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  #1  
Old Posted Nov 27, 2009, 9:00 PM
lightrail lightrail is offline
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TransLink, where's the Oyster?

I ws just reading at Transport for London, that the pay-as-you-go (or as we call it - Smart card) Oyster Card will be accepted on all National Rail in London and on a riverboat service, in addiition to the existing, bus, trams, underground, DLR, overground and selected National Rail services.

I also found it interesting that:
- 80 per cent of all travel is made by Oyster Card
- less than 3% of fares are now paid in cash

Of major relevance for Translink, which is considering implementing fare gates, is that Oyster allows 40 people per minute to pass through a faregate, whereas the old tickets allow only 25 people per minute to pass through.

This to me is important, because the current tickets used by Translink would really slow down the use of faregates. Just look at how long it takes the reader to read them on the buses!

Finally, the Transport secretary wants to see an Oyster Card than can be used on any public transit across the UK. Can you imagine a single card that you could use to get s subway in Toronto and Skytrain in Vancouver?

It's time that BC got onto the Smartcard bandwagon and stop stalling. Smart cards increase ridership and reduce operating costs (once installed).
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  #2  
Old Posted Nov 27, 2009, 9:15 PM
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Ah, but that would require faregates wouldn't it, and Translink has shown they will go to almost any length to deny and delay when it comes to them.

The last fare check I went through on the C-Line was a joke. I waved my (valid) faresaver about 5 feet away from the checker while walking briskly. I'm sure they were able to read the tiny validation.
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  #3  
Old Posted Nov 27, 2009, 9:22 PM
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I would welcome this ASAP!

It seems like something that should logically be done, and I can see it contributing to an increase in ridership, as it will just make the whole process "easier".
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Old Posted Nov 27, 2009, 9:39 PM
WarrenC12 WarrenC12 is offline
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All good points. How about a RFID system like the mastercard paypass? Move it by quickly and you're good to go. I remember the oyster in London being great.

First things first though... the faregate debacle.
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  #5  
Old Posted Nov 27, 2009, 9:51 PM
DKaz DKaz is offline
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With how slow Translink's ticket magnetic strips are read, I would think only 15 people per minute can pass through a gate. Think about it, if 200 people clear out of Burrard Station per train load, you would need 14 gates to clear everyone in a minute if we were using magnetic strips.

My West Coast Express GO 2 card reads very quickly, under a second. Warren, it is RFID.

Does everyone use one card, whether they just have preloaded cash on the card or have a monthly pass for unlimited rides within whatever zones?
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  #6  
Old Posted Nov 27, 2009, 9:52 PM
twoNeurons twoNeurons is offline
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Oyster IS using RFID.

The reason Oyster is popular is easy. Ubiquitous marketing and punitive cash fares

1-Zone cash fare = £4.00
1-Zone Oyster fare = £1.60

IF all cash fares here were priced at 3-zones you'd see a drastic uptake of smart cards too! Basically that's what London did.
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Old Posted Nov 27, 2009, 9:55 PM
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Keep in mind that not everyone will be using smart cards. Single trip fare tickets, the ones we have now, will still be in use for these future fare gates.

Nevertheless, we need smart cards asap!


I love the Oyster pricing!
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  #8  
Old Posted Nov 27, 2009, 9:58 PM
WarrenC12 WarrenC12 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twoNeurons View Post
Oyster IS using RFID.

The reason Oyster is popular is easy. Ubiquitous marketing and punitive cash fares

1-Zone cash fare = £4.00
1-Zone Oyster fare = £1.60

IF all cash fares here were priced at 3-zones you'd see a drastic uptake of smart cards too! Basically that's what London did.
I thought I recalled putting my Oyster card through a machine like Translink, my mistake. I don't agree with the punitive fares, but there's no reason we can't have an electronic replacement to the faresaver passes, and something that will give many more pricing options, we need faregates on the way out of stations as well for better distance based pricing.

Most systems have this and they include faregates that work both ways for busy in/out times.
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  #9  
Old Posted Nov 27, 2009, 10:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twoNeurons View Post
Oyster IS using RFID.

The reason Oyster is popular is easy. Ubiquitous marketing and punitive cash fares

1-Zone cash fare = £4.00
1-Zone Oyster fare = £1.60

IF all cash fares here were priced at 3-zones you'd see a drastic uptake of smart cards too! Basically that's what London did.
My concern with this is that the U-Pass is already nearly bankrupting TransLink, and is preventing it from rolling out the U-Pass to more institutions. How can TransLink cope if a SmartCard system results in a lower fare per passenger for everyone, not just students?
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  #10  
Old Posted Nov 27, 2009, 10:32 PM
twoNeurons twoNeurons is offline
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Why? You're basically keeping rates same, If you increase all cash fares to $5 you would just have higher uptake of smart cards, that's all.

It's perceived as a discount, but in reality, they are a cash penalty.

And I'd like to go on record saying that U-Pass rates should be increased or at least standardized for all Universities to remain somewhat revenue neutral.
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  #11  
Old Posted Nov 27, 2009, 10:57 PM
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... in the Paris transit sytem ....

.... they have a similar thing called the PASSE NAVIGO, and you can buy as many zones as you want, up to six (as, obviously there are six transport zones)

The pass Navigo speeds up check through enormously because it is passed over a plastic panel, which can read the content of your PASSE NAVIGO without having to take it out of your purse or wallet. It even works on buses.

I really speeds things up, and Paris is planning soon to phase out monthly fare tickets, and use tickets with magnetic strips ONLY for individual journeys.

If it's speed and efficiency you're looking for, the OYSTER, or PASSE NAVIGO equivalent is the way to go.
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  #12  
Old Posted Nov 27, 2009, 11:51 PM
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Smart cards are great; even if we don't have fare gates installed, we can still have smart cards first!

An example would be Seattle's ORCA.
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  #13  
Old Posted Nov 27, 2009, 11:55 PM
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It sure would be nice to reload my smartcard instead of having to purchase bus tickets all the time. freak.
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  #14  
Old Posted Nov 28, 2009, 12:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zassk View Post
My concern with this is that the U-Pass is already nearly bankrupting TransLink, and is preventing it from rolling out the U-Pass to more institutions. How can TransLink cope if a SmartCard system results in a lower fare per passenger for everyone, not just students?
I would like to see your evidence that the U-Pass is bankrupting Translink.

The 2005 review by Urban Systems noted that TransLink incurs additional costs of $4.6 million a year to support the U-Pass programs at SFU and UBC. U-Pass, because of the volume of students, especially those with U-Passes that don't use transit, almost breaks even.

I believe the Province even wants to institute an province wide Upass program for all students, taking a lot of the funding burden off of local authorities.

If anything is Bankrupting us, it's the use of single zone monthly passes by people in CoV. They get the best, most frequent service, and pay the least, and in return for paying the least, after 6:30pm they can go anywhere they want on the system. Commuters from the burbs then have to pay more to keep service running, and get less reliable service, which results in people not wanting to pay. Who, in their right mind, would pay more than what someone else does and get WORSE service for the extra? It's like if Taco Bell charged 100% more for their food than the McDonald's across the street.

By making those who CAN pay to use transit pay per use, you get a better financial modeling of the system. Services that people don't want to pay for aren't subsidized. Services that are popular see more money entering through them. And by lower the travel price per trip, you encourage people who don't use transit to use transit more often for casual use. Right now a lot of people drive to work because they actually have to. Outside of business, they still don't take transit because our system is VERY expensive for casual users. If we could get more people to take transit if they are going shopping, or to a show, it would make a huge difference.

I support subsidizing the Upass to the extent it is at, because many students are burdened with debt. It has also been shown that recent grads (those under the U-pass) have been more likely to continue using transit than those from before the U-pass (or where it isn't). It's like giving away the first hit of meth for free, you get a lifetime buyer afterwards.
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  #15  
Old Posted Nov 28, 2009, 5:17 AM
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Originally Posted by DKaz View Post
With how slow Translink's ticket magnetic strips are read, I would think only 15 people per minute can pass through a gate. Think about it, if 200 people clear out of Burrard Station per train load, you would need 14 gates to clear everyone in a minute if we were using magnetic strips.

....
Can someone help me understand why, when exiting a station, you want to make someone 'sign out' when using a RFID, a MagStrip or some other ticketing system? Isn't it good enough to have a ticket of some sort validated (date/time stamped) at the beginning of the trip?

The only advantage I could see for a 'sign out' mechanism is to give Translink a way to capture raw data on the start & end points of the trip used on each ticket. From that info they might be able to do near- real-time traffic management, or later stats analysis.
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  #16  
Old Posted Nov 28, 2009, 5:28 AM
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Originally Posted by jsbertram View Post
Can someone help me understand why, when exiting a station, you want to make someone 'sign out' when using a RFID, a MagStrip or some other ticketing system? Isn't it good enough to have a ticket of some sort validated (date/time stamped) at the beginning of the trip?

The only advantage I could see for a 'sign out' mechanism is to give Translink a way to capture raw data on the start & end points of the trip used on each ticket. From that info they might be able to do near- real-time traffic management, or later stats analysis.
The only real advantage would be for distance based fares, that automatically charge the card depending on where you get off. I imagine you would somehow have to configure the cards to allow unlimited access for a daypass on certain days and etc., which could be kind of confusing. Those don't exist in Japan, you pay each time no matter how many times I'm not sure how somewhere like Seattle manages it...
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Old Posted Nov 28, 2009, 5:33 AM
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Originally Posted by BCPhil View Post
If anything is Bankrupting us, it's the use of single zone monthly passes by people in CoV. They get the best, most frequent service, and pay the least, and in return for paying the least, after 6:30pm they can go anywhere they want on the system. Commuters from the burbs then have to pay more to keep service running, and get less reliable service, which results in people not wanting to pay.
Actually, Translink gets more from the single zone monthly pass by people in CoV simply because there are more utilization. Stats from 2007:


So comparing Vancouver and Surrey, for example. Assuming everyone board in Vancouver uses a 1 zone monthly pass and everyone in Surrey uses a 3 zones pass. The total revenue from passes per km is $265 in Vancouver compared to $170 in Surrey, as the space on the bus gets used almost 3 times as much.

The things that's really bankrupting Translink are:
1. All the empty or nearly-empty buses in the suburbs
2. Those Not-in-service deadheadings back to suburbs to pick up more people during peak hours
3. Those who ride for a very long trip on a long route, or taking end-to-end trips on a bus route, or transfer a million times during a trip.
4. Those in the suburbs who use a 1 zone monthly pass to ride a much more empty bus during daytime and go everywhere in evening/weekend.

I must admit, that.. I live in a suburb satisfying #3, #4, and I'm a frequent rider of route that's doing #2... so I guess I'm bankrupting Translink
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  #18  
Old Posted Nov 28, 2009, 5:52 AM
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Japanese style distance base fare system is the best I have experienced in my life. I love it and hope our system is somewhat designed along this line. No more zones.
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Old Posted Nov 28, 2009, 7:24 AM
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Originally Posted by mr.x View Post
Keep in mind that not everyone will be using smart cards. Single trip fare tickets, the ones we have now, will still be in use for these future fare gates.

Nevertheless, we need smart cards asap!


I love the Oyster pricing!
It depends on TransLink's mentality. In London, Transport for London goes out of its way to make the Oyster easily available. If you're visiting London, you can either pick one up at the point of Entry, or you can order one by phone or web and they'll mail it to you. Also, after you've used your Oyster card and are ready to leave, you can turn it in and you get all of the unused cash back, plus a small deposit you paid when you bought the card. Now, if Translink would use the same approach, we'd have a user friendly fair system. but I can just see Translink either making it difficult to get an Oyster Card (only available at Skytrain station) so when arriving by ferry you need to pay cash to get anywhere.

Finally, Translink is moving away from punitive cash fares, look at the recent move to increase the cost of passes, but not the cash fare. Backwards move.

Translink are a bunch of short-sighted bureaucrats who can't see past the bottom line.

We could start with a Province-wide smart card. It will know where it is and deduct the correct amount with remittance to the correct transit system. Wouldn't that be great - one card to travel on any transit system in BC? We can do it with the libraries (BC One Card), so why not for transit and why not from the beginning?

Link to more information about London's Oyster card
http://www.tfl.gov.uk/tickets/oysteronline/2732.aspx

If you're visting London, you can buy the card in advance and they'll even deliver the Oyster card to addresses in 62 countries
http://visitorshop.tfl.gov.uk/
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Old Posted Nov 28, 2009, 7:34 AM
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Originally Posted by jsbertram View Post
Can someone help me understand why, when exiting a station, you want to make someone 'sign out' when using a RFID, a MagStrip or some other ticketing system? Isn't it good enough to have a ticket of some sort validated (date/time stamped) at the beginning of the trip?

The only advantage I could see for a 'sign out' mechanism is to give Translink a way to capture raw data on the start & end points of the trip used on each ticket. From that info they might be able to do near- real-time traffic management, or later stats analysis.
It also needs to calculate the distance so it knows how much to charge. In Vancouver, this would be the current zones, assuming the zones are kept. In London, you touch in and out on railways as fares are either distance based or zone based. London has 9 concentric fare zones for the underground, overground, DLR and national rail. On buses and trams, which are flat fare in London, you only need to touch in.

I suppose in the evenings and on weekends, one would only need to touch in. For transfers, the system would probably use the touch in times to determine if it is a free transfer, or counted as a second fare.

London's Oyster also allows you to place a travel-card or monthly pass on it. So it is very flexible on how it can be used.
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