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  #1  
Old Posted Feb 3, 2017, 1:03 AM
cganuelas1995 cganuelas1995 is offline
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TransLink Fare Review Discussion | Consultation On-Going

Let's discuss the TransLink Fare Review thingy here.
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  #2  
Old Posted Feb 3, 2017, 1:56 AM
fredinno fredinno is offline
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no
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  #3  
Old Posted Feb 3, 2017, 2:39 AM
cganuelas1995 cganuelas1995 is offline
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Originally Posted by fredinno View Post
no
Why not?
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  #4  
Old Posted Feb 3, 2017, 2:41 AM
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Originally Posted by fredinno View Post
no
Why not - the general transit thread is being hijacked by a single issue. I'm all for moving it here.


Quote:
Originally Posted by GlassCity View Post
I'm not even that against distance-based fares. I'm just discussing a big downside of theirs. I'm more open to a reforming of the zone system, though I'd have to see a detailed plan for that to say that with confidence.
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  #5  
Old Posted Feb 3, 2017, 2:42 AM
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Also...
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I remember when zones were only in effect during rush hour and it was one zone between 9:30am - 3:00pm. There were a lot of people who would wait until after 9:30 to travel. When they took that away it felt like a cash grab. A time of day discount does more to affect travel patterns than charging different fares for different vehicles (WCE is premium and only travels during rush hour).
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  #6  
Old Posted Feb 3, 2017, 3:36 AM
retro_orange retro_orange is offline
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Originally Posted by cganuelas1995 View Post
Let's discuss the TransLink Fare Review thingy here.
Good plan. Mods?
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  #7  
Old Posted Feb 3, 2017, 3:49 AM
casper casper is offline
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My thoughts:

- The airport fare zone premium should go. It is silly, especially with a retail mall on the airport.

- Get rid of the day pass. It is silly. When your fares hit the max for the day, stop charging additional fares. It removes complexity.

- Get rid of zone boundaries. They are silly. On Skytrain they could adopt a 2 stop, 4 stop, 8 stop, 16 stop, 32 stop type rule. Zone boundaries are from a time when the downtown was the core of the city and there was an assumption that is where people were going. Now with town centres things are more even.

- Bring on line other transport operators. The water taxis in false creek are a good example. If they do payment using compass cards, it better integrates the system.

- Hire people in the provincial seniors transit office that know how to design a website and manage fare cards and collect fees. Tried to use that to sign up and pay for yearly pass for a family member. It is all based on pdf forms that are automatically filled in online that don't work. Have translink fare offices do it.

- Have automated lockers for bike storage that are compass aware (like these www.omnioninc.com ). Use the same fare cards. Ride your bike to the station, pay to lock it up and ride the train.

- Integrate with the Fraser valley system. Basically it becomes more zones just managed by someone else.
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Old Posted Feb 3, 2017, 5:19 AM
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Originally Posted by casper View Post
My thoughts:

- Get rid of the day pass. It is silly. When your fares hit the max for the day, stop charging additional fares. It removes complexity.


- Have automated lockers for bike storage that are compass aware (like these www.omnioninc.com ). Use the same fare cards. Ride your bike to the station, pay to lock it up and ride the train.
I know that's been brought up before - they're crying complexity on their end

The stations they've been doing work on are having bike rooms built onto them that work with Compass.
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  #9  
Old Posted Feb 3, 2017, 5:58 AM
ilikeredheads ilikeredheads is offline
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wasn't there a mod here who want most discussions in the general thread because he/she didn't want the board to be cluttered?? (fwiw, I thought it was unnecessary micro-management)

Anyways, this is how I want the fare system to be like:
- Zone boundaries removed
- 90min transfer window stays the same
- buses remain unchanged.
- skytrain and WCE changed to distance based.
- flat fare for seabus
- fares remain the same regardless time of day
- offer discounts for transferring to a different mode of transit. The discount applies only to the second leg of the trip. For example, I take bus then I transfer to skytrain. The skytrain portion of the trip will get a discount. This discount is only effective if you make the transfer during the transfer window. If transfer window had expired, there will no discount and it's count as a separate fare. No discounts for changing from bus to bus because bus is flat fare, so you are not paying extra when you transfer from bus to bus.

The idea is to make it simple and straight forward, while providing incentives to those who make transfers.
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  #10  
Old Posted Feb 3, 2017, 9:19 PM
Kisai Kisai is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ilikeredheads View Post
wasn't there a mod here who want most discussions in the general thread because he/she didn't want the board to be cluttered?? (fwiw, I thought it was unnecessary micro-management)

Anyways, this is how I want the fare system to be like:
- Zone boundaries removed
- 90min transfer window stays the same
- buses remain unchanged.
- skytrain and WCE changed to distance based.
- flat fare for seabus
- fares remain the same regardless time of day
- offer discounts for transferring to a different mode of transit. The discount applies only to the second leg of the trip. For example, I take bus then I transfer to skytrain. The skytrain portion of the trip will get a discount. This discount is only effective if you make the transfer during the transfer window. If transfer window had expired, there will no discount and it's count as a separate fare. No discounts for changing from bus to bus because bus is flat fare, so you are not paying extra when you transfer from bus to bus.

The idea is to make it simple and straight forward, while providing incentives to those who make transfers.
The bolded are the most important.

If we go distance based for everything, it's fairer than being penalized for living near zone boundaries.

The WCE and the Skytrain have an easy mechanism for doing distance based fares, they have clearly labeled stations on all the vehicles.

For buses, they will need to bring back "tap-out" to do distance based fares, until then, they may as well do two things:
- Make all the local/short routes operate on the one-zone fare, and they don't cross municipal boundaries.
- Make all the long/municipality-crossing/express routes (B-lines) operate like the train fares (eg like a real BRT,) and put a "tap-here" kiosk at the stops as the "tap in/out" that has the same practical function as the fare gates. Yes I know the buses have readers that could be set to operate the same way, but it seems like having the readers on the bus only works if you don't have to tap off.

If you fail to tap-off the WCE/Skytrain/B-lines it would keep counting until the next time you tap the card or the system time expires.

Ultimately what would be a better mechanic for people with smartphones would be to create a phone app that would let you "tap-in" or "tap out" automatically once you reach the GPS coordinates and it detects velocity signalling that you're on the bus or no longer on the bus.
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  #11  
Old Posted Feb 3, 2017, 9:27 PM
dandor31 dandor31 is offline
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I think keeping the flat fare for buses would be the right thing to do and then switch to a distance fare for SkyTrain/Seabus. As well, adjust the Skytrain/Seabus fares for peak times. This just considers stored value and not cash (as 95% of people use Compass cards)

Peak Fare
  • Bus $2.10
  • SkyTrain/Seabus $1.50 + $0.14/km
Transfers: Same 90 minute window. Transfer fare will be the maximum of the bus fare ($2.10) and the SkyTrain fare. So $2.10 will be the minimum fare unless you are doing a super short SkyTrain only trip.

e.g.
  1. A trip from King George to Waterfront is about 30km so that trip would be $5.70. This is more than the stored value discount (closer current to cash fare), but I think represents the premium we should value such a quick trip.
  2. UBC to Lougheed Stn (99 and 13km on SkyTrain) would be $3.32. Flat fare bus trip of $2.10 is included in fare.
  3. Seabus 3.2km would be $1.95 (bumped up to $2.10 if bus transfer included)

Off-Peak Fare
  • Bus $2.10
  • SkyTrain/Seabus $1.50 + $0.07/km
Transfers: Same 90 minute window. Transfer fare will be the maximum of the bus fare ($2.10) and the SkyTrain fare. So $2.10 will be the minimum fare unless you are doing a super short SkyTrain only trip.

e.g.
  1. A trip from King George to Waterfront is about 30km so that trip would be $3.60. This is more than the current 1-Zone fare, but as a premium service I still think it should be charged more.
  2. UBC to Lougheed Stn (99 and 13km on SkyTrain) would be $2.41.
  3. Seabus 3.2km would be $1.72 (but would be bumped up to $2.10 if a bus transfer is included).

Instead of monthly passes, frequent transit users should be provided a discount on each subsequent trip. Something like 1% after each trip (theoretically after 100 trips, all other trips would be free). For the person doing King George to Waterfront exclusively for work (40 one way trips) the first trip of the month would be $5.70, but the last trip would be $3.42 ($5.70 x (100%-40%)). If you average all forty trips that would total $182.40 which is pretty close to the current monthly pass 3-zone pass.

For a bus rider doing 40 one-way commuting trips, the first trip of the month would be $2.10 and the last trip would be $1.26 for a monthly cost of $67.20. This is a bit of a discount over the monthly pass, but buses are slow and crowded. Also, this doesn't account for additional weekend rides which currently aren't earning revenue with hyper-frequent transit users. Someone doing 100+ bus trips a month would cap out at $105 which I think is fair.

I haven't thought much about a daily rate, but perhaps something like you cap out after 3 trips, and only pay for the 3 most expensive trips you take in a day (prevents people from scamming by taking a short trip a lunch to have a cheap fare put you over the 3 fare threshold). If you are doing similar cost trips, it should work out okay. And even if you have a forth short trip that is free, it's still a free trip.

What are peoples thoughts? I've tried to capture peak/off-peak, simplicity for buses, discounts for frequent riders, premiums for SkyTrain but lower fares for short distances, same 90 minute transfer window. Also, I'm open to adjusting the base fares or $/km rate if it turns out this reduces revenue (ideally it would be the same revenue). Also, I think having tap-out on buses and using the same distance formula would be the best, but I think it would be easier to implement this way.
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  #12  
Old Posted Feb 3, 2017, 9:32 PM
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GlassCity GlassCity is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kisai View Post
The bolded are the most important.

If we go distance based for everything, it's fairer than being penalized for living near zone boundaries.

The WCE and the Skytrain have an easy mechanism for doing distance based fares, they have clearly labeled stations on all the vehicles.

For buses, they will need to bring back "tap-out" to do distance based fares, until then, they may as well do two things:
- Make all the local/short routes operate on the one-zone fare, and they don't cross municipal boundaries.
- Make all the long/municipality-crossing/express routes (B-lines) operate like the train fares (eg like a real BRT,) and put a "tap-here" kiosk at the stops as the "tap in/out" that has the same practical function as the fare gates. Yes I know the buses have readers that could be set to operate the same way, but it seems like having the readers on the bus only works if you don't have to tap off.

If you fail to tap-off the WCE/Skytrain/B-lines it would keep counting until the next time you tap the card or the system time expires.

Ultimately what would be a better mechanic for people with smartphones would be to create a phone app that would let you "tap-in" or "tap out" automatically once you reach the GPS coordinates and it detects velocity signalling that you're on the bus or no longer on the bus.
The last thing I think we need to do is split fares between local/express buses. Not only do my same criticisms of the bus/SkyTrain split apply, but this becomes even more confusing.

I agree that the current zone system is flawed, but if you take their proposal of adding more zones and then making your first zone crossing free, it could fix it while staying simple.
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  #13  
Old Posted Feb 3, 2017, 11:38 PM
oy1234 oy1234 is offline
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Is there a proposed date for any changes to the fare system?
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  #14  
Old Posted Feb 3, 2017, 11:39 PM
ilikeredheads ilikeredheads is offline
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Just to add on to my post: The reason I want bus fares to stay the same because I do not want Translink to make people tap out on buses again. They had already removed tapping out and people have already adjusted to it. Making people tap out again only angers/confuses people and this is not what you want when its (perceived) reputation is low to begin with. More importantly, having to tap out increases buses dwell time at stops, especially on busy routes, causing longer travel times and lower service reliability.
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  #15  
Old Posted Feb 4, 2017, 12:11 AM
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jlousa jlousa is offline
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This thread shouldn't have been created and belongs in the general transit thread. The reason isn't just to keep things confined, it's to bring structure to the forum as a whole. It's not great for the forum in general when a typical user searches for new threads and has 20 threads out of 100 coming out of ssp:Vancouver, it drives them away needlessly. I'm sure we can cope with slightly less threads. I will leave this open for now and let the other mods discuss. Going forward before opening a new thread just ask yourself if the discussion could fit into an existing thread, if in doubt you can always pm one of us, we don't want to stop people from creating threads, lets just think it thru beforehand.
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  #16  
Old Posted Feb 4, 2017, 1:49 AM
Kisai Kisai is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GlassCity View Post
The last thing I think we need to do is split fares between local/express buses. Not only do my same criticisms of the bus/SkyTrain split apply, but this becomes even more confusing.

I agree that the current zone system is flawed, but if you take their proposal of adding more zones and then making your first zone crossing free, it could fix it while staying simple.
I'd rather it be all one zone, but you can't tell me there isn't something inherently unfair in letting someone use one fare to go from North Van to White Rock vs someone going from Joyce to Metrotown where the latter is charged more.

I wasn't thinking about the UBC B-line in this case, but rather the buses that cross a geographic/municipal barrier (eg Richmond/Vancouver, Surrey/New West) that are also served already by the Skytrain to dissuade the kind of problem that was also created by having a Toll Bridge and a non-toll bridge to cross from Surrey/New West.

Like, if/when the Surrey BRT/LRT comes online, someone who doesn't need to leave Surrey could just pay the Surrey local fare, and as long as they don't cross into New West, the distance is X cents per km.

(Keep in mind that paratransit is the by FAR the most expensive form of transit)

http://www.translink.ca/-/media/Docu...08_12_2016.pdf

CMBC average: $5.19/km (not including fuel)
Access Transit: $40.52 per trip

(Expo/Millenium Line)
Skytrain vehicle: $2.67 per km
Skytrain passenger: $0.150 per km

WCE per vehicle: $13.73 per km
WCE passenger: $0.219 per km


Let's assume that the "real fare" cost of taking the bus is $5.19/km, regardless if the vehicle is full or empty

A "full" bus has 36 seated passengers or 81 total possible
A "full" 6-car MKI Skytrain (480) or 4-car MK III (532)
Canada line has a capcity of 334

For one bus to drive one person one km, it should cost them $5.19/km
For one bus to drive 80 people one km it should cost 0.064875/km
A completely empty Skytrain should cost $2.67
A completely full Skytrain should be (MKI: $0.0056/km, MKIII:$0.0051)

If you stay on one bus, that is relatively full the entire trip, and the maximum trip length (from another thread) was roughly 45km(#504) that trip in theory costs $233.55 for trip if there was only one passenger, with 80 it's $2.92

So taking that into account the most expensive bus fare inside one zone should be $2.92. The reality is that only trips from the Ferry (eg #601) are ever this full on every trip.

This is why Translink would suggest time-of-day, because off-peak is actually more expensive, and they save those costs by cutting the service frequency. Since you're not going to hire a bus driver to just drive an empty bus for 8 hours off peak, that is the problem with the bus.

The Skytrain on the other hand has no reason to have an off-peak or on-peak time at all. They can use the fare gates to determine how many trains are needed at specific times and send more/store a few at the pocket track segments in anticipation of that passenger load.

So, same logic:
The longest possible trip on the Expo line Skytrain alone is 29.7km x $2.67 = $79.30 if there is only one passenger. If it's full, end-to-end that is $0.15 (exactly what was quoted in the pdf?)

So the Skytrain subsidizes the bus system, no matter any way you look at it, when it's efficient.

So that gets into the fare calculation, a full train, Surrey to Waterfront, the fare can't be below $0.15, where as the bus, an "all-zone" fare can't be less than $2.92 otherwise it doesn't even begin to cover the longest routes.

So if we look at distance only, let's say that longest trip Translink justifies charging 2.95 ($2.92) for, and a short trip (eg equal to two skytrain stops or about 6km) about $0.40 cents (0.39)

We already know that the buses are more efficient in Vancouver/Burnaby/NewWest and the Skytrain is efficient, so perhaps a fair "distance" rate for that area works out to about 7.5 cents per km or we can call this the "express fare" scale.

Surrey is one of the more expensive bus areas, a full trip from White Rock to the Skytrain is roughly 20km (the same as Waterfront to Columbia via road.) If there was an express (eg White Rock/South Surrey, Newton to King George or Scott Road) B-Line, it could be rated at the same 7.5 cents/km "express fare" scale if it's well used, while all the other routes could be on the "South Fraser" distance scale that averages out the cost of all the bus routes in Surrey (and the City of Surrey would likely claim they could run it cheaper, because they are that full of themselves.)

At any rate we should be encouraging people to use the rail system because it costs less to operate than the buses, however the current fare structure makes people avoid taking the train for trips during peak time unless they have a daily/monthly pass. That suggests that the bus system is carrying more passengers than it needs to because people are trying to save $2 in fare.

Let's assume for a second (these aren't realistic, and are based on nothing for the sake of not wanting to rub it in anyones face how expensive their transit area is)
Vancouver/Burnaby/NewWest = 7.5c/km travel
Richmond/Port Moody/Coquitlam/Poco = 8c/km
Delta/Surrey/Langley = 10c/km
West/North Vancouver's = 12c/km

If an area wants a doubling of it's frequency, it needs to take a doubling of the distance for it's region.

That solves the "well why does X bus system suck so much" problem by having Translink take the money given by the city and using it to subsidize the fares distance rate, or the city can complain about tax hikes till they are blue in the face and Translink ends up cutting frequency instead.

Use the obvious geographic barriers (eg the Fraser River, Pitt River) where a bridge is crossed instead of arbitrarily trying to carve out areas that people don't really know the municipal boundaries of anyway.

There's likely other ways to go about this, but again, it would only make sense if people could tap-in/out from a GPS-enabled smartphone, because they could keep track of where they are, and when their fare card will not have enough for a return/home trip.
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  #17  
Old Posted Feb 4, 2017, 2:36 AM
ilikeredheads ilikeredheads is offline
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It's impossible to make a bus only trip from White Rock to North Van without having to pay a second fare, so this example is a bit reaching.

351, 480, 10, 240 That's 3 transfers, which is extremely impractical and time consuming.

Even according to Translink's trip planner, which replaced the 240 with seabus, that trip still takes 2hours 30min
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  #18  
Old Posted Feb 4, 2017, 3:59 AM
Sheba Sheba is online now
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Originally Posted by Kisai View Post
I'd rather it be all one zone, but you can't tell me there isn't something inherently unfair in letting someone use one fare to go from North Van to White Rock vs someone going from Joyce to Metrotown where the latter is charged more.

...

This is why Translink would suggest time-of-day, because off-peak is actually more expensive, and they save those costs by cutting the service frequency. Since you're not going to hire a bus driver to just drive an empty bus for 8 hours off peak, that is the problem with the bus.

The Skytrain on the other hand has no reason to have an off-peak or on-peak time at all. They can use the fare gates to determine how many trains are needed at specific times and send more/store a few at the pocket track segments in anticipation of that passenger load.

...

Use the obvious geographic barriers (eg the Fraser River, Pitt River) where a bridge is crossed instead of arbitrarily trying to carve out areas that people don't really know the municipal boundaries of anyway.
I'm not a fan of the Vancouver / Burnaby fare zone border either - because it's on land. The others are where there's a river crossing, which makes a lot more sense. That said, I didn't mind their idea of 'common zones', which would get rid of the problem of having to pay two zones for a short Skytrain ride from Joyce to Metrotown.

I remember when zones were only in effect during morning and afternoon rush hour. There were plenty of people who would travel during the mid-day because it was only one zone. It really did help shape travel loads on transit. Something along those lines is not hard to understand so I don't foresee chaos happening because of it (just like the predicted wholesale chaos that didn't happen when Compass went live).
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  #19  
Old Posted Feb 4, 2017, 7:16 PM
Kisai Kisai is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheba View Post
I'm not a fan of the Vancouver / Burnaby fare zone border either - because it's on land. The others are where there's a river crossing, which makes a lot more sense. That said, I didn't mind their idea of 'common zones', which would get rid of the problem of having to pay two zones for a short Skytrain ride from Joyce to Metrotown.

I remember when zones were only in effect during morning and afternoon rush hour. There were plenty of people who would travel during the mid-day because it was only one zone. It really did help shape travel loads on transit. Something along those lines is not hard to understand so I don't foresee chaos happening because of it (just like the predicted wholesale chaos that didn't happen when Compass went live).
I filled out the survey but scaled back the amount of suggestion text.

Essentially, I think that some version of "zones" will continue to exist, but they should be distance-per-km zones marked by geographic barriers instead of the current system which heavily penalizes short trips and discourages short trips that cross zone boundaries.

As far as time-of-day, I think the fare should be the same all day, everyday and only discount holidays and "bar closing" times to encourage transit use.
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  #20  
Old Posted Feb 4, 2017, 7:47 PM
cganuelas1995 cganuelas1995 is offline
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Originally Posted by Kisai View Post
I filled out the survey but scaled back the amount of suggestion text.

Essentially, I think that some version of "zones" will continue to exist, but they should be distance-per-km zones marked by geographic barriers instead of the current system which heavily penalizes short trips and discourages short trips that cross zone boundaries.

As far as time-of-day, I think the fare should be the same all day, everyday and only discount holidays and "bar closing" times to encourage transit use.
Instead of zones, there should be kilometre-based tiers. The zone system seems kinda dystopian and really divisive, kinda has a negative connotation that everyone who doesn't live in zone 1 is poor.

I agree that time of day should be flat rate. There should be a discount based on how often the user travels, and maybe their income if that's possible.
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