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I've been thinking of other bizarre price-discrimination schemes similar to the "don't get off the train early" idea:

1. Charge New York subway riders more if they are coming out of a touristy-subway station?

2. Charge people for unfinished buffet plates? (I've seen a place that warned this but I assumed it was a joke....)

3. Charge more for the skim-milk version of coffee (diet-consciousness as a indicator of wealth?)

4. Extra charge for no-dressing on a salad?

One way the train company could have prevented this is by starting to charge on the way out rather than the way in. Say, if the turnstiles just gave you a stub and then on your way out you had to scan it and pay then the users wouldn't feel as much wronged.

Parking lots typically do this "charge on exit" thing. I faintly recall being on a subway system that did this but can't remember which one it was!

1. Absolutely. A psychiatrist friend of mine told me one time "All day long, I work with nothing but Kants."

Rahul wrote: >Parking lots typically do this "charge on exit" thing. I faintly recall being on a subway system that did this but can't remember which one it was!

Well I don't know if you've ever been to Washington, D.C. but the metro there does that. When I worked there, I'd buy a pre-paid card, insert it at the beginning of the trip, then at the end insert it again and it would be charged based on how many stops I passed before getting off. Seems to make a lot more sense than what they are trying to do in the UK.

The key to getting away with price discrimination is non-transparency and complexity. Otherwise the users will feel wronged and raise hell. The pay-on-exit does exactly that. Now people have a harder time comparing who was charged what since it can be individualized based on start station, end station, trip duration, peak / non peak and what have you.

Think about airplanes. Do you really know how much the guy next to you paid for his ticket?

It's sometimes on Airports - you are charged more if you get off the train on the airport (I think it's Madrid?).
But reading this I feel ****... I bought a Scotrail ticket 2 days ago thinking that I will get on the train 1 or 2 stations later, as I just don't know where I will be.... seems to me I might end up using a bus :(

andy - You're fine as long as its a regular ticket. Its the advance tickets that require you to buy a seat reservation at the same time that have restrictions on where you can get on and off.

A reader on the Brit blog wrote this:

The terms and conditions of travel which you disparagingly suggest are being 'spouted' by people on this site would be central to any subsequent case brought by the rail company against a passenger breaking those conditions of carriage..........

It is the breaking of the contract that matters under law.
====================
The "contract" specifies payment by the passenger in exchange for service by the railroad. There is no contract requiring the passenger to perform, and thus no grounds for charging the passenger for non-performance.

14 out of 15 . Wrong in one of the SCOTUS question. Educated in a catholic school, agnostic since 19 yo.
In Latin America most catholic really believe that Church banned the reading of the Bible. A priest told not to read the Bible to a friend. We were once reprimanded for not reading the Bible in school ( we read it only in 3 and 4 th year in elementary school). The priest teaching biology in 9 year taught us evolution, never mentioned creation. The priest teaching biology in junior High school was a freudian ( he reprimanded us for not watching a Hayek interview in TV , he did not understood him since he was left leaning, we were 14 yo). The three principal while i was there left the Church to marry ( two their secretaries the the other an ex nun) I broke with the Church in full when the Pope condemned the wild capitalism. I was disenchanted for the marxist teaching of the theology of liberation

"To the south, officials relied on customs duties and other taxes on trade through Nigeria’s ports. North of the line, taxes were levied on people "

Anti-free trade policies hurt the economy longer than I thought.

On early-detraining fees: I've heard explanations for why a rail company might arrange fares discrimination, but I haven't heard any legel or market defense of the policy.

Come, free marketeers: is this a legitmate example of the freedom of contract between railway and passenger, or is it nonsense? Is this an example of markets working, or market failure?

The article makes it seem as if the professor was physically detained at his destination station, and that his release from train station custody was dependent on promising to pay the train company fees.

I would submit that "markets" where market participants are able to forcibly detain one another are not really "free".

China appears to be blowing up buildings before they’re finished being built.

when growing at 11-13% p.a., they are doubling every six years...so the economy had quadrupled in a dozen years, making some of the structures built that long ago obsolete...not a whole lot different than the US tearing down 40 year old buildings...

@Ken Rhodes:

How are you so sure what's in the contract? What if the Terms of Carriage had a line "The purchase of a ticket only allows the purchaser the privilege of riding between the exact stations mentioned on the ticket. Embarkation / disembarkation at any other stations is prohibited"

Do you think such a clause would violate contracts-law?

PS. I think this is nonsense too. But I am not sure if it is illegal.

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