Free Ride Friday on Commuter Rail

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Free Ride Friday on Commuter Rail

Postby johnpbarlow » Sat Aug 02, 2014 5:15 am

Made a RT from Needham to S Station yesterday. Took an off-peak train in-bound where all 50 or so passengers easily fit in a single coach ahead of the locomotive to afford high level platform boarding. It looked like there might be 2 crew members but only one was tending to the passengers. He gave up collecting fares after the first 8 or so people had boarded in the Needhams. Since this was an off-peak train, most people were non-commuters paying cash for tickets on board. On the outbound peak train which had far more riders, there was only a single train man (instead of the three normally assigned to a rush hour train) who announced he would open only two adjacent doors of mid-train double deckers. The first coach that stopped at the HLP would also be available for exiting. However, station dwell time increased as the lone conductor needed to check all vestibules as some passengers opened the traps to let themselves off at other points in the train. But the conductor was upbeat as he ran through the train to get to the doors of the double deckers he was going to open as each station was approached. No fares were collected at all on the outbound train although presumably many of them were monthly pass holders. Is this typical for a summer Friday on the Needham line where stations are spaced only a few minutes apart?
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Re: Free Ride Friday on Commuter Rail

Postby Disney Guy » Sat Aug 02, 2014 8:00 am

Welcome to the omnipresent cost of processing money. There is a breakeven point between having another person on board (and on the payroll) to help collect fares versus not having that person and leaving that job undone.

The first duty of the conductor is to allow passengers off of the train at their stops.

If the train is packed then the dwell time is increased with passengers squeezing past other standees to reach the open door. It may even help if passengers let themselves out the nearest door. If the train is packed then a lone conductor is not going to make it very far down the aisle before he has to get back to tending the doors.
(To the theater stage manager) Quit twiddling the knob and flickering the lights while the audience is entering and being seated. (To the subway motorman) Quit twiddling the knob and dinging the doors while passengers are getting off and others are waiting to board.
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Re: Free Ride Friday on Commuter Rail

Postby daytripper1 » Sat Aug 02, 2014 8:11 am

Disney Guy wrote:
The first duty of the conductor is to allow passengers off of the train at their stops.


The first duty of the Conductor is the safe operation of their train.
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Re: Free Ride Friday on Commuter Rail

Postby MBTA F40PH-2C 1050 » Sat Aug 02, 2014 11:44 am

daytripper1 wrote:
Disney Guy wrote:
The first duty of the conductor is to allow passengers off of the train at their stops.


The first duty of the Conductor is the safe operation of their train.


Bingo!
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Re: Free Ride Friday on Commuter Rail

Postby ck4049 » Mon Aug 04, 2014 1:07 am

Passengers should not be opening their own doors, period. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ril4Gcl ... uw9rGgQCXA
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Re: Free Ride Friday on Commuter Rail

Postby Disney Guy » Sat Aug 09, 2014 7:26 pm

Would it help if other passengers kibitzed the conductor if the latter could not remember who just boarded or who has not yet paid his fare?

Those passengers who paid, and were therefore upset that others were riding for free, could be first to speak up.
(To the theater stage manager) Quit twiddling the knob and flickering the lights while the audience is entering and being seated. (To the subway motorman) Quit twiddling the knob and dinging the doors while passengers are getting off and others are waiting to board.
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Re: Free Ride Friday on Commuter Rail

Postby TrainManTy » Sun Aug 10, 2014 10:50 am

Disney Guy wrote:Would it help if other passengers kibitzed the conductor if the latter could not remember who just boarded or who has not yet paid his fare?

Those passengers who paid, and were therefore upset that others were riding for free, could be first to speak up.


That sounds like a recipe for having to call the cops to remove belligerent passengers from the train.
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Re: Free Ride Friday on Commuter Rail

Postby diburning » Sun Aug 10, 2014 12:07 pm

And that would escalate into a PR nightmare when those people contact the news media.
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Re: Free Ride Friday on Commuter Rail

Postby johnpbarlow » Mon Aug 11, 2014 4:24 am

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Re: Free Ride Friday on Commuter Rail

Postby TrainManTy » Mon Aug 11, 2014 9:48 am



I've never heard of or come across the practice mentioned of collecting tickets as passengers board the train. Presumably, it's only done at Zone 1A stations where passengers purchase their tickets prior to boarding. The article claims this actually speeds up boarding -- I can't imagine how this can be on par with normal boarding, much less faster.
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Re: Free Ride Friday on Commuter Rail

Postby highgreen215 » Fri Aug 22, 2014 1:22 pm

Free rides from Forest Hills were very common - not sure about now.
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