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Go Back   SkyscraperPage Forum > Regional Sections > Canada > Alberta & British Columbia > SSP: Local Vancouver > Transportation & Infrastructure

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  #9481  
Old Posted May 17, 2012, 3:49 AM
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They have never taken off here, but go to Japan and they have been used for everything for years. I remember seeing them the first time i went to japan nearly 5 years ago and having no idea what these square bar codes were on everything.

So they have flopped here it seems, but not from what I have seen in Asia.
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  #9482  
Old Posted May 17, 2012, 5:27 AM
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Tale of a pathetic pair of losers, the likes of who earned the system the "Scumtrain" moniker:

One of two men accused of attacking a disabled woman on SkyTrain and running off with her tablet computer has been arrested...

....The iPad is Campbell's main means of communication, since she is deaf and has cerebral palsy. The attack happened on May 10th in Burnaby aboard SkyTrain.

"When she got to Metrotown, there was two fellows on the train, one of which [sic] grabbed her iPad and there was a bit of a pulling match between him and her," explains Transit Police Staff Sergeant Ken Schinkel.

She held on tight and was pulled out of her chair before letting go of the device and getting hit in the face....

http://www.news1130.com/news/local/a...an-on-skytrain
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  #9483  
Old Posted May 17, 2012, 6:42 PM
twoNeurons twoNeurons is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Metro-One View Post
They have never taken off here, but go to Japan and they have been used for everything for years. I remember seeing them the first time i went to japan nearly 5 years ago and having no idea what these square bar codes were on everything.

So they have flopped here it seems, but not from what I have seen in Asia.
They were invented in Japan, which is why they have greater penetration there.

The problem with QR codes, is that they're just barcodes... with an attempt to make them sexy. They're not human-readable and they're not transparent.

People don't read barcodes. The closest you'll get is people reading the numbers below the bar code at times, the translation.

Google doesn't specify HOW you search, they figure it out.

I think QR codes have their place as compact/machine-readable stores of information, but I don't think there are good marketing. They're just a fad at the moment in place because of the limitation of phones to quickly enter information like a URL. With Speech-to-text technology getting better, QR codes don't have as much of a place.
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  #9484  
Old Posted May 17, 2012, 7:26 PM
deasine deasine is offline
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While much more expensive, I do think NFC enabled bus stops that link to direct information would be the way of the future, especially with the technology being integrated with more and more mobile phones.
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  #9485  
Old Posted May 17, 2012, 9:47 PM
BCPhil BCPhil is offline
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Originally Posted by paradigm4 View Post
Agreed. I don't know anyone who uses QR codes. Seems like a marketing thing that never took off
The problem with QR codes is that most marketing companies just use them to take you to their website. Like you take a picture of a QR code on a can of soup and it just takes you to the Campbles front page. BORING! And it's horrible when it takes you to a website that's not even designed for mobile devices.

QR codes are useful when they contain actual information. For example, I was recently in a bathroom somewhere (I forget where) and you know how they have those time sheets on the wall or door where the janitor signs in when he cleans it? Well on the bottom of this sheet was a QR code with instructions that if the bathroom was dirty or missing paper or something, then you can take a picture of the QR code and it will fire off a notification message to the janitors that the bathroom needs attention. No need to enter the actual website address, then find a form and type in the id number of the bathroom, it's all just automatically fired off.

I have a QR code on the back of my business card so that it can be scanned and adds me as a contact to that persons phone, complete with email and phone number. People actually buy business card scanners for all the cards they get, no need for that BS with QR codes.

A QR Code on a bustop can take you to a direct link for the schedule of that busstop (not just the translink page that lets you put in the busstop number). It could instantly show you the estimated next arrival times of your next bus using the next bus info and any service warnings for the routes serviced.

I can see the liability issues deasine pointed out, but there are ways around that. When I take a picture of a QR code with google goggles it shows me the website address (so if its not what I'm expecting I don't launch it). And because it is through a google service, they can run the address through a database of malicious sites and automatically block it if it has caused problems in the past (heck the embedded browsers in the phones should have that protection feature).

I use the next bus service all the time on my smartphone and it does take some time to download the first page, then enter the number then wait for the response. It's probably pointless for the mostpart and not worth the cost to translink, but it would save some measurable time (for me anyway) if it would just load straight to the next bus info with a QR code.
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  #9486  
Old Posted May 23, 2012, 5:32 AM
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Having killed the goose that laid the golden egg (gas taxes) Translink is looking at having to sell of property just to meet operating expenses. Not good.

Facing plummeting gas-tax revenues and other financial woes, TransLink says it will likely be forced to sell off some of its property holdings just to cover operating costs over the next three years. ..


...gas-tax revenues are going to be about $120-million less over the next three years than what TransLink had projected when it devised its three-year plan last summer.

Gas-tax revenue shows all signs of being tapped out, he said – one of the biggest shocks to the TransLink system.

The last two-cent-a-litre tax increase that went into effect in April isn’t bringing in any new revenue because people are buying less gas: they’re riding the bus, carpooling, buying more fuel-efficient vehicles, or driving out of the region to buy gas.

“This takes gas off the table as a future revenue source,” said Mr. Walton.
(bold mine)

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/...rticle2440629/
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  #9487  
Old Posted May 23, 2012, 5:35 AM
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i stopped using my car a year ago and i know my parents don't go out much at all cause of the price of gas, they only go if they have to, no more leisure trips to the seaside or anything
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  #9488  
Old Posted May 23, 2012, 7:13 AM
allan_kuan allan_kuan is offline
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I noticed a "More Buses NOW" campaign this morning that was displayed on the 24Hours newspaper today, and was reminded of it just now after a friend of mine liked it on Facebook.

I wasn't so sure whether to be critical of it or not at first given the plenty of knee-jerk reactions that the general public already has on the current transit troubles (aka TransLink is too bloated or costly, cut the fat, split the system, it must go, etc.)... and adding to that, the short title of the campaign's name sounded rather too simplistic like the above.

However, on a second, deeper look at the details on their website, it actually seems like a pretty decent campaign from the bus drivers' union to encourage riders to write to the province and the mayors to stop squabbling over taxes and to start funding transit more... which is something that I totally agree with.

Of course, it remains to be seen if people who do not take transit and/or feel that transit adequately serves them will support any extra tax measures... and it's been said that some tax increases like the gas tax are turning out to be real flops. Another nitpick is that the statistics that they use for comparing Vancouver to Toronto and Montreal aren't exactly fair, given the generally smaller and denser areas that Toronto and Montreal municipal transits serve.

In addition, there still exist several places where efficiencies may be gained as listed below:

- One that has been talked about lately are modifications to the policing contract (as the current one was extended from transit and is rather ill-suited for the service). Following on that, the security apparatus of the CMBC is technically a cheaper extension of the police service and might do better being integrated into it. The other possibility would be to scrap the transit police service and form a joint task force of local police forces on Transit-related crimes and incidents, and perhaps keep the security role for fast response?

- A second area where efficiencies may be found could be the simplification of fare media. I'm not sure how many types of fare media there are... cash fares, faresavers, monthly passes, separate tickets and passes for WCE, employer passes, UPasses, TransLink special passes, etc. I wonder how much more understandable and/or cost effective it would be to tie the UPasses and the employer passes to the 1-zone adult monthly pass or the all-zone concession monthly pass, as an example.

- A third area is the optimization of bus routes. It's been taking awhile to do but I've drawn something up to that effect. Perhaps I'll rush it out part of it soon for discussion on possible improvements to the North Shore, the TriCities, and the south of Fraser.

- And finally, is it necessary for TransLink to have a Board of Directors? I can understand the commissioner as a check and balance and a CEO as the head, but the Board of Directors sounds like something the mayor's council could do. Alas, it may just turn into another political arena with the latter...

Any other thoughts, comments, and suggestions?
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  #9489  
Old Posted May 23, 2012, 7:24 AM
ryanmaccdn ryanmaccdn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BCPhil View Post
The problem with QR codes is that most marketing companies just use them to take you to their website. Like you take a picture of a QR code on a can of soup and it just takes you to the Campbles front page. BORING! And it's horrible when it takes you to a website that's not even designed for mobile devices.

QR codes are useful when they contain actual information. For example, I was recently in a bathroom somewhere (I forget where) and you know how they have those time sheets on the wall or door where the janitor signs in when he cleans it? Well on the bottom of this sheet was a QR code with instructions that if the bathroom was dirty or missing paper or something, then you can take a picture of the QR code and it will fire off a notification message to the janitors that the bathroom needs attention. No need to enter the actual website address, then find a form and type in the id number of the bathroom, it's all just automatically fired off.

I have a QR code on the back of my business card so that it can be scanned and adds me as a contact to that persons phone, complete with email and phone number. People actually buy business card scanners for all the cards they get, no need for that BS with QR codes.

A QR Code on a bustop can take you to a direct link for the schedule of that busstop (not just the translink page that lets you put in the busstop number). It could instantly show you the estimated next arrival times of your next bus using the next bus info and any service warnings for the routes serviced.

I can see the liability issues deasine pointed out, but there are ways around that. When I take a picture of a QR code with google goggles it shows me the website address (so if its not what I'm expecting I don't launch it). And because it is through a google service, they can run the address through a database of malicious sites and automatically block it if it has caused problems in the past (heck the embedded browsers in the phones should have that protection feature).

I use the next bus service all the time on my smartphone and it does take some time to download the first page, then enter the number then wait for the response. It's probably pointless for the mostpart and not worth the cost to translink, but it would save some measurable time (for me anyway) if it would just load straight to the next bus info with a QR code.
I just can't see the time saving in the QR code mentality...

I mean for bus stops I just load the mobile page, hit next bus and find my location and bamn!

And the QR code issue with security issues its pretty limited... At best a hacker could get a handful of people , so really there isn't much of a threat.
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  #9490  
Old Posted May 23, 2012, 7:48 AM
paradigm4 paradigm4 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by allan_kuan View Post
- And finally, is it necessary for TransLink to have a Board of Directors? I can understand the commissioner as a check and balance and a CEO as the head, but the Board of Directors sounds like something the mayor's council could do. Alas, it may just turn into another political arena with the latter...
So, merge the BoD and MC into one entity, like the original BoD?
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  #9491  
Old Posted May 23, 2012, 10:30 AM
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trofirhen trofirhen is offline
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Re: QR Codes



Regarding QR Codes, there appear to be more security issues than
it would seem. Of course, this may be less of a problem if using your smartphone for bus times. Nevertheless .....

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/45729377.../#.T7y8RFLfKBM
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  #9492  
Old Posted May 23, 2012, 4:36 PM
Zassk Zassk is offline
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The gas tax seems to be proving itself to be a bad basis for transit funding, as many people thought when it was first assigned to Translink.

Essentially, anything that Translink does to improve ridership causes them to lose tax revenue.
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  #9493  
Old Posted May 23, 2012, 4:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Zassk View Post
Essentially, anything that Translink does to improve ridership causes them to lose tax revenue.
I'd like to think of fuel taxes as market-based funding for transport (transit, roads, etc), with the adam smith's invisible hand making a shift away from driving.

a missing piece of the puzzle IMO is having TL being able to raise money by road pricing and car tabs.
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  #9494  
Old Posted May 23, 2012, 5:33 PM
whatnext whatnext is offline
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Originally Posted by mezzanine View Post
I'd like to think of fuel taxes as market-based funding for transport (transit, roads, etc), with the adam smith's invisible hand making a shift away from driving.

a missing piece of the puzzle IMO is having TL being able to raise money by road pricing and car tabs.
One would think that any tax is the antithesis of Adam Smith's invisible hand. By that criteria, shouldn't transit users be paying the full cost of their trip?
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  #9495  
Old Posted May 23, 2012, 6:04 PM
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wrenegade wrenegade is offline
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One would think that any tax is the antithesis of Adam Smith's invisible hand. By that criteria, shouldn't transit users be paying the full cost of their trip?
Ideally....but it will never happen. Translink should have been allowed to raise fares 12.5% instead of the 10% that they will be raising it (2% per year is the limit and I guess they haven't changed in 5 years?). It's not a huge difference for the transit rider, but for Translink they need every penny they can get it looks like.
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  #9496  
Old Posted May 23, 2012, 7:36 PM
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Originally Posted by whatnext View Post
One would think that any tax is the antithesis of Adam Smith's invisible hand. By that criteria, shouldn't transit users be paying the full cost of their trip?
transit service will likely always need a subsidy, because transit authorities not only need to consider ridership, but providing service to low-ridership areas at odd hours of the day, which requires a subsidy.

Quote:
If public transit agencies were charged exclusively with maximizing their ridership, and all the green [and financial] benefits that follow from that, they could move their empty buses to run in places where they'd be full. Every competent transit planner knows how to do this. Just abandon all service in low-density areas, typically outer suburbs, and shift all these resources to run even more frequent and attractive service where densities are high, such as inner cities. In lower-density areas, you'd run only narrowly tailored services for brief surges of demand, such as trips to schools at bell-times and commuter express runs from suburban Park-and-Rides to downtown.
....
Meanwhile, back in the real world, transit agencies have to balance contradictory demands to (a) maximize ridership and (b) provide a little bit of service everywhere regardless of ridership, both to meet demands for 'equity' and to serve the needs of transit-dependent persons.
http://www.humantransit.org/2009/12/...ses-story.html

WRT to gas taxes, i would agree that road pricing and car tabs would be more equitable, as people can't really drive across the border to skip out on paying those charges.
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  #9497  
Old Posted May 23, 2012, 7:41 PM
aberdeen5698 aberdeen5698 is offline
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Originally Posted by whatnext View Post
One would think that any tax is the antithesis of Adam Smith's invisible hand. By that criteria, shouldn't transit users be paying the full cost of their trip?
If so, then all roads should be tolled to pay for their construction and maintenance costs.
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  #9498  
Old Posted May 23, 2012, 8:49 PM
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If so, then all roads should be tolled to pay for their construction and maintenance costs.
As cyclists like to say when trying to justify why they shouldn't pay licensing fees: I pay taxes for that. Taxes on gas, taxes on purchases, taxes on vehicle maintenance, licensing fees etc etc
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  #9499  
Old Posted May 23, 2012, 8:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Zassk View Post
The gas tax seems to be proving itself to be a bad basis for transit funding, as many people thought when it was first assigned to Translink.

Essentially, anything that Translink does to improve ridership causes them to lose tax revenue.
As I said, killing the goose that lays the golden egg. The Feds want their share through the HST, Gordo made his grab with the carbon tax and then Translink gets their cut.

Mind you, if Tranlink is so hard up, why don't they turn their vacant lots along Cambie at King Ed and 49th into small pay lots? Easypark will be happy to manage for a small cut.
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  #9500  
Old Posted May 23, 2012, 8:57 PM
twoNeurons twoNeurons is offline
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The 6 million dollar question really is...

Should public transit, like public roads and public bridges, be considered public infrastructure?

If it is, then capital expenses should come from general taxation, while running costs should come from fare revenue. As it stands, capital like new buses, bus shelters, more trains, the Canada Line, etc. all come out of fare revenue.

Maybe that's an oversimplification.
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