Rail operators forced to consider pricing revisions; consider operative word
The House of Commons Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has slated rail operators for the unfair practice of providing their cheapest tickets only through the internet.
"It is unacceptable,” states the conclusion of the PAC’s latest report on Letting Rail Franchises. “There is no reason why the DFT should favour a system which supports such perverse and unwarranted exclusion.”
Strong words perhaps, but with only 65% of UK households sporting internet access, they may be warranted. Further reasoning is given as ‘old people’: “... many people, particularly elderly people, find using the internet difficult.”
It is implied that there is a moral obligation, as a public service, on the part of operators to provide equal pricing for all. However this does run fairly contrary to the government’s drive to move public services online. It makes sense as it’s cheaper to run. But how does one encourage online activity without inherently disadvantaging those that have no access?
It’s certainly one of many contemporary politico-ethical conundrums that baffle us every day. I suppose the solution “lower monpolistically extortionate prices across the board” is just too silly to contemplate.