In spring 2016, 66.6% of train passengers in Belgium were subject to ticket checks, so as to ascertain whether they held a valid ticket. This was a lower overall percentage result compared to spring 2015, when nearly 72% of passengers were checked.
This emerged from a response by the Minister for Transport, François Bellot, to a parliamentary question posed by Caroline Cassart-Mailleux.
The percentage of checks was worked out using the “mystery shopping” principle. The checks were carried out by SNCB colleagues, specialising in quality control. They travelled incognito on the trains. Twice a year, the SNCB organises such a ticket-check operation, each time over a two-month period.
Minister Bellot says that this lower percentage-check result is explained by the introduction of a new portable sales system for train guards, known as Itris.
He explained, “Guards were faced with reliability problems with their Itris equipment, the implementation of which was not completely finished at the time of the survey.”
Bellot went on, “Technical problems necessitated several restarts. Finally, dealing with the MOBIB card (a smart chip card which often has multiple railcards), during a given check, proved to take longer.”