Penza rights activist intends to return fare overpayment due to price decrease
Penza, 19 August 2015. PenzaNews. Penza rights activist Yuri Voblikov, known as “the gas-mask man” due to peculiar approach to the conduct of street protest actions, intends to receive the refund for the overpaid fare which rose as of June 1, and then decreased as of August 16: in buses and minibuses by 2 rubles, and in trolleybuses by 3 rubles.
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As Yuri Voblikov told PenzaNews agency, since the beginning of the summer, he has collected tickets — got around 30 in the end.
“I was preparing for this moment,” the agency interlocutor explained, adding that he intends to prepare an appeal to the court concerning each ticket.
Asked about what he intends to achieve, getting involved in a legal battle, the human rights activist noted that he is “educating the citizens by personal example.”
“I am trying to show that there is a law, and that even one person can make it work if he wants to,” Yuri Voblikov stressed.
However, he expressed confidence that the fare would not have risen if the Penza residents were not so passive, and openly expressed their opinion on the upcoming price increase, including during a mass rally.
“If we had a thousand people on the square, I am sure we could avoid all that,” the human rights activist said.
He added that he does not rule out the possibility of solving the issue in the pretrial order — through the personal appeal to the leadership of the transport companies to voluntarily return the money overpaid.
“I believe that following my example, other citizens can appeal with the tickets and get it [money]. In fact, I am going to apply to the transport inspectorate requesting to return the amounts overpaid by the citizens to the transport companies in connection with the fare increase in the form of lower fares by the amount received or free travel for a few months,” the agency interlocutor said.
He explained that when appealing to the court, there is an opportunity to not only return the overpayment, but also the amount of benefits in public transport provided by law.
“The chances of success are high. I refer to the precedent of October 24, 2004. The Presidium of the Penza regional court pointed to the fact that all minibuses are required to provide a reduced fare according to the laws of the disabled and veterans. [...] Bases on this, on November 11, 2004 Alexander Bubnov, head of the department of transport and communications of Penza [in the office until April 2008] issued a letter stating that in view of the decision of the regional court Presidium, minibuses are to provide services at preferential fare. [...] This decision is still valid,” Yuri Voblikov noted.
As PenzaNews agency reported earlier, the max bus fare was increased for passenger transport of Penza in spring 2015. Thus, the trolleybus fare was 20.79 rubles, the minibus fare — 22.02 rubles, the large buses — 20.02 rubles.