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Check your change on Dublin Bus

One of our more popular Value Ireland Tips pages is that giving some hints and advice on checking your change. It may seem like such a simple thing, but the reaction we’ve received – particularly with regards to the section on things to watch out for – has been extraordinary since we first published the article.

Dublin Bus don’t provide you with change, but instead they print out that little receipt at the end of your ticket which you can return to their offices in return for the actual cash. It’s a simple transaction for both sides, if a little inconvenient for the customer.

And yes, I know that this process is intended to discourage passengers from using cash and getting regular “saver tickets” instead – but my options for saver tickets given my bus usage wouldn’t actually save me any money at all.

So how, I wonder, in recent times can bus drivers get it so wrong? The best example of this happened to me and a friend of mine on a Friday evening a couple of weeks ago when we were heading out to Ballsbridge from Nassau Street on the 4. I was paying the fare so dropped two €2 coins in the machine to pay for the two €1.40 fares and got my change ticket printed out with the two tickets. I was given change of 2c rather than the €1.20. Unfortunately, I didn’t notice this short-changing until afterwards, and it was this that inspired this post. You might understand if the change receipt said 12c rather than €1.20, but 2c?

Another example happened since then, but now I’m wiser to the possibilities. A week or so ago on my normal 19a route I put a €2 coin into the slot and asked the driver for a €1.60 ticket. He prints out the €1.60 ticket, does nothing else, and moves to look over my shoulder to the next passenger. This time around, I had to ask for my change. Either I had put in a €1 coin and he didn’t realize but he still gave me a €1.60 ticket (thereby not really doing his job properly by checking that the correct money is paid for tickets), or he decided to extract his Christmas bonus a couple of weeks early.

As per the commentary in the above link on checking your change, I’m always very suspicious of someone who corrects a short-changing issue without at least confirming for themselves that there was a mistake. This driver simply printed out my 40c change ticket without checking for himself that I had in fact put in €2 rather than €1.

Lessons learned:

  • Always check your change, everywhere, even if it’s not actually in cash format.
  • Always have the correct change when you’re travelling on Dublin Bus.
  • Be generous and tip your bus driver for Christmas- the average salary for a bus driver employed by Dublin Bus with four years’ service is about the same as Berties proposed, but deferred, payrise.

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