Impressions of a new country

Tag Archives: Tickets

In England things are quite strict when it comes to tickets on public transport. The ticket you buy for a bus journey must be used within the same day. The date is printed on your ticket when you buy it, and the bus driver always checks the tickets as you enter onto the bus – meaning there is little to no chance of you being able to cheat the bus system. If you purchase a return ticket, and for some reason don’t use the return journey – your return is now useless. You cannot save it and use it for the next day, which, regarding the price of UK bus tickets, is absurd!

In Romania, things are different. When you buy a tram or bus ticket, it does not expire until after you have used it – you can buy one tomorrow and keep it in your wallet for 6 months and it will still be valid when you need it. I think this system is much better, it is very convenient. The ticket has 2 ends – each end is worth 1 journey. The ticket checking system is also quite different. You are responsible for ‘punching’ your own ticket using the little orange machine on the tram – whether or not it will be checked by a ticket inspector is a complete gamble. Being found without a ticket, however, results in large fines.

Something strange that I have noticed about the trams here in Oradea is the difference in ‘punching’ quality between the old and new style trams. You would expect that the newer and more modern trams would have much better ‘punching’ machines…but it is completely the opposite way around. The new trams have really useless machines that either only punch half of the date and time stamp onto the ticket, or print it so faintly that it may as well not be there. The old tram punchers are much better and almost always print the stamp perfectly!


An older tram


The modern tram’s awful stamping.


The old tram’s great stamping!

When I first arrived here, it took me some time to get used to the small differences I observed during every day life…

For example – on trams you are expected to ‘punch’ your own ticket in a little machine. Ticket inspectors will randomly hop on board and ask to see a few peoples’ tickets (but this happens very infrequently, I have noticed!)

Another small thing is that you cannot take a bag of shopping from one shop into another shop. You have to put it inside a locker at one end of the shop before you can actually do your shopping. A good way to deter thieves, yes, but a little inconvenient sometimes when there are only so many lockers available…

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