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  #41  
Old Posted Feb 20, 2010, 3:47 PM
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Originally Posted by freeweed View Post
That's my point though - how do the transit cops know if a passholder is valid or not? Unless they carry portable card readers, the only possible way I can see is if they make everyone get a ticket at the station before boarding.

I'm just imagining them going through a car with 100+ people, scanning everyone's smartcard. It'd take half the trip.
I would think this is exactly what would be done. They'd carry a portable scanner and ask people to swipe their card. I don't think it would take that much extra time to have people scan their cards.
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  #42  
Old Posted Feb 21, 2010, 12:01 AM
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Originally Posted by SubwayRev View Post
I would think this is exactly what would be done. They'd carry a portable scanner and ask people to swipe their card. I don't think it would take that much extra time to have people scan their cards.
In fact, it can save time as the Transit Officers just tap the card and wait for the beep instead of actually reading the ticket. As you can just tap your wallet or purse on the reader, the only time they actually need to physically see the card is when it is an ID card.

However, having portable scanners make so much sense that you could see CT somehow not going with them. Freeweed has planted the seed of doubt in my head.
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  #43  
Old Posted Feb 21, 2010, 1:04 AM
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In fact, it can save time as the Transit Officers just tap the card and wait for the beep instead of actually reading the ticket.
Methinks you give this enforcement too much credit. All I've ever seen is the enforcement officers quickly walking down the aisle, looking to see if people have something vaguely resembling a pass or ticket. It takes about the same time as a person does to just walk down the train car.

Not exactly a huge deal really, as enforcement is so sporadic that it won't be too noticeable by me. I'm actually a bit more annoyed that now I'll have to remember to get a receipt for every "pass" that I buy, for income tax purposes. A receipt that will inevitably come off a thermal printer, and of course fade in a year. And of course I'll have to have 12 of them, because an annual pass would be evil.

In any event, this is a good thing for tourism. I don't know how I would have managed if I had to constantly carry change in all the various places I've traveled.
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  #44  
Old Posted Feb 21, 2010, 1:40 AM
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eesh. I carry my CNIB card for transit fare. I hope this means the card will no longer be accepted because it doesn't have a bar code ..
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  #45  
Old Posted Feb 21, 2010, 2:09 AM
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Nevermind.

Last edited by frinkprof; May 22, 2010 at 6:31 AM.
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  #46  
Old Posted Feb 21, 2010, 2:21 AM
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^ In current form, there would be way too high a value in counterfeiting, even if there was a photo on it to help deter. If the smart card system ends up working off a central database it would be pretty easy to do, likely working with a automatic account withdraw, since very few people are wiling to drop 1000+ at once for a transit pass.
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  #47  
Old Posted Feb 21, 2010, 2:27 AM
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Originally Posted by frinkprof View Post
It's probably not that it's been something that has been considered and thought of as "evil" or otherwise dismissed, it's probably that it hasn't been given much thought before. On that note, you've posted about annual passes here before saying you want the option, but have you ever contacted Calgary Transit or maybe your Alderman about it?
I think the one concern that I can see them using as to why they don't is the issue of people paying for a yearly pass then wanting a pro-rated refund for whats left of it if they no longer need it 6 months down the road. Even if they explicitly stated its non-refundable then people would raise a noise about it I'd bet, and if they did allow for that then there would be increased costs on the administration side of offering it to process those cases (granted probably not many, but its possible. I know the U of C offers pro-rated refunds on the multi-month parking permits for Macmahon, and theres been a few instances of people taking advantage of that I've heard of)
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  #48  
Old Posted Feb 21, 2010, 3:57 AM
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  #49  
Old Posted Feb 21, 2010, 6:09 AM
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I've noticed that a lot too lately. It's like a metal on metal clang kind of horn instead of the normal one.
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  #50  
Old Posted Feb 21, 2010, 7:13 AM
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Yep. They've been replacing the horns on some of the SD160's with what has been described as an "electronic clanger". Only ones I see mentioned on cptdb was 2228 and 2245, but that was last fall.
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  #51  
Old Posted Feb 21, 2010, 7:36 AM
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Originally Posted by freeweed View Post
Methinks you give this enforcement too much credit. All I've ever seen is the enforcement officers quickly walking down the aisle, looking to see if people have something vaguely resembling a pass or ticket. It takes about the same time as a person does to just walk down the train car.

Not exactly a huge deal really, as enforcement is so sporadic that it won't be too noticeable by me. I'm actually a bit more annoyed that now I'll have to remember to get a receipt for every "pass" that I buy, for income tax purposes. A receipt that will inevitably come off a thermal printer, and of course fade in a year. And of course I'll have to have 12 of them, because an annual pass would be evil.

In any event, this is a good thing for tourism. I don't know how I would have managed if I had to constantly carry change in all the various places I've traveled.
Perhaps this is why an electronic system would be better?


As for annual passes, I don't have anything to back me up on this, but my thinking tells me, if no other system on Earth (and there aren't any I can think of) has an annual pass, there must be a reason they aren't implemented. I don't know what that is, but if New York, London, Moscow or Tokyo don't offer them...there must be a reason.
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  #52  
Old Posted Feb 21, 2010, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by SubwayRev View Post
If no other system on Earth (and there aren't any I can think of) has an annual pass, there must be a reason they aren't implemented. I don't know what that is, but if New York, London, Moscow or Tokyo don't offer them...there must be a reason.
Actually, London offers both monthly and annual travelcards. One of their best features is that they can start when ever you want. For example, my monthly pass expired yesterday so tomorrow I'm going to get another monthly put on my Oyster card that will expire on the 21st of March but I could also get an annual travelcard that would expire on the 21st of March 2011.
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  #53  
Old Posted Feb 21, 2010, 2:40 PM
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^ Can you add the new pass using the internet, or do you have to use a dedicated terminal?
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  #54  
Old Posted Feb 21, 2010, 4:13 PM
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Heh. No one ever sees the elephant in the room.

The reason you don't see something like an annual pass is that transit authorities love to have the option to raise fares mid-year (even if we never actually see it in practice here...). Those damned annual pass owners couldn't be hit up in that scenario. All this talk about "it becomes too valuable", "mid-year refunds" etc - ask yourselves why you also cannot buy a year's worth of monthly passes in advance. It's not like there's any logistical reason for CT to print up the passes only 10 days before the next month. It's not like they may not offer the pass the next month - the bulk of passes could easily be printed in December for an entire year, and then additional print runs if you see a sudden unexpected spike in demand. No, it's done this way because they want to reserve the right to hike fares at any time.

When you actually *ask* about it, the response inevitably comes down to "we just don't see customer demand" - yeah, even in a system where 70% of your ridership uses passes and the majority of them use a pass each and every month. I'm sure there's no demand just because you specifically don't have 100,000 people calling in to ask that specific question.

Calgary's transit is so commuter focused compared to many other cities that an annual pass is a no-brainer here. Maybe with the electronic cards we'll be able to have automatic monthly "renewals" tied in to a credit card. That'd be handy.

Interestingly enough, I can tell how few of the folks on this forum are heavy transit users whenever I post about the annoyances of being a regular transit user. I'd expect more considering the general pro-transit, anti-car tone we usually see. I should set up a poll thread sometime.

Last edited by freeweed; Feb 21, 2010 at 4:24 PM.
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  #55  
Old Posted Feb 21, 2010, 4:30 PM
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Originally Posted by mersar View Post
Yep. They've been replacing the horns on some of the SD160's with what has been described as an "electronic clanger". Only ones I see mentioned on cptdb was 2228 and 2245, but that was last fall.
Just to be clear, the SD horns are not being replaced, but the clangers are being replaced with the electric clanger. The SD horns work fine, and are already electronic. Since they're actually just WAV files, I'd love to replace it with a recording that says "Get the hell out of the way, stupid."
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  #56  
Old Posted Feb 21, 2010, 4:36 PM
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Nevermind.

Last edited by frinkprof; May 22, 2010 at 6:32 AM.
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  #57  
Old Posted Feb 21, 2010, 4:46 PM
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Nevermind.

Last edited by frinkprof; May 22, 2010 at 6:32 AM.
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  #58  
Old Posted Feb 21, 2010, 4:49 PM
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I read this article yesterday in eye weekly in Toronto about the potential solutions to the problems plaguing the TTC here in that city and thought it had some relevance to Calgary Transit. I think user experience, "design thinking" and a customer service approach should become a focus for Calgary Transit. This article outlines several good reasons why.


A creative director for the TTC?
Bruce Mau says that what our transit system needs is some design thinking

BY Edward Keenan February 17, 2010 21:02

“I was in my minivan with my wife and kids, and we drove up next to a bus shelter in Toronto in February. And the bus shelter was a glass box with a woman in it huddled against the cold,” says the world-famous Toronto designer Bruce Mau, on the phone from Chicago. “And I turned to my wife and said, ‘In a million years, I’m not getting out of this minivan.’

“I mean, I’m an environmentalist and I absolutely know what to do. But that bus shelter is a big fat loser. And I’m not getting out of this van, and no one else who has a choice is either. If we use the same bus shelters as they use in Los Angeles, that ought to tip you off to something. Guys, it’s freezing here! How about we put the shelter in the bus shelter. Design it as an experience. My minivan has 17 cup-holders. What does that say? It says, ‘we understand you.’ The bus shelter has a metal bench. That says, ‘we don’t understand you.’”....

rest of the article.
http://www.eyeweekly.com/city/city/article/83312

Thoughts?
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  #59  
Old Posted Feb 21, 2010, 4:55 PM
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Originally Posted by frinkprof View Post
Honestly, I could see the lack of customer demand. People don't want to commit to something like a transit pass for a year, much less want to drop $1000 all at one time as opposed to doing it in monthly installments. Those that would be for an annual pass probably aren't clamouring enough about it to break down doors trying to get it, and find the monthly passes just fine.
I never thought of that...I would bet a high number of transit users are simply not able to pay $1000+ for an annual pass.
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  #60  
Old Posted Feb 21, 2010, 5:00 PM
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I never thought of that...I would bet a high number of transit users are simply not able to pay $1000+ for an annual pass.
The way Toronto does "annual passes" is you sign up for the pass, which basically gives you a discount for each monthly pass. Payment installments (monthly) are taken directly from your account and the TTC mails you your pass each month. It works really well. You can cancel mid-year, you just simply have to pay the difference between the yearly discounted amount per month and the regular monthly pass price.
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