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S-Bahn controllers absent for 3 weeks say unions

A shortage of staff means that not enough checks are being carried out on Austrian railway ÖBB S-Bahn trains meaning that people without tickets are escaping fines.

The S-Bahn is the city center metro like railway system and the name is an abbreviation for the German "Stadtschnellbahn" (meaning "city rapid railway").

According to the latest information checks have not been properly carried out for 2 to 3 weeks meaning that so-called  Schwarzfahrer - people travelling without a ticket – has increased by 30 percent according to union officials.

Ticket conductor trade unionist Oliver Gruber in Salzburg said simply carrying out sporadic checks has no effect.

He said the checks need to be carried out daily because only those sent a clear message.

He added: "There are 95 euros that can be taken from anybody that doesn't have a ticket, and each controller will catch between eight and 10 guests the day. That drops with regular controls but that's because people are buying more tickets. But if you don't do proper controls 2 to 3 weeks as is now the case then you are finding up to 30 percent of the people are travelling without a ticket."

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