"Operation Fare is Fair"

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Re: "Operation Fare is Fair"

Postby dbperry » Mon Apr 25, 2016 1:07 pm

In the immortal words of Major Clipton: "Madness....madness!"

I tweeted: "As the rest of the civilized world moves toward proof of payment systems, the MBTA looks for ways to move backwards" (re: fare gates at North Station, South Station, and Back Bay station).

Nobody is pointing out that Commuter Rail revenue collection is up 5% over last year and 14% over 2014:
http://www.mbta.com/uploadedfiles/About ... Update.pdf
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Re: "Operation Fare is Fair"

Postby jamesinclair » Mon Apr 25, 2016 3:59 pm

A plan drawn up by people who clearly have never ridden transit here, there, or anywhere.
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Re: "Operation Fare is Fair"

Postby deathtopumpkins » Mon Apr 25, 2016 7:24 pm

Ugh, that idea for faregates is awful. As if the platform doors weren't already enough of a bottleneck at North Station. And what do they plan on doing at South Station, since the platforms serve as access to the bus station and Atlantic Ave entrance?

Also, may I just point out that that $10 million could be much better spent elsewhere in the system.
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Re: "Operation Fare is Fair"

Postby saulblum » Mon Apr 25, 2016 7:49 pm

As someone pointed out on Twitter, when you see proposals such as these, you start to wonder whether those making the decisions have ever stepped foot in North or South stations, at rush hour or at any hour, or have ever ridden any form of transit, anywhere.
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Re: "Operation Fare is Fair"

Postby Rockingham Racer » Tue Apr 26, 2016 6:05 am

saulblum wrote:As someone pointed out on Twitter, when you see proposals such as these, you start to wonder whether those making the decisions have ever stepped foot in North or South stations, at rush hour or at any hour, or have ever ridden any form of transit, anywhere.


The answer to that is probably "no." One does have to wonder why there are so many operational issues with this system, # 5 in size BTW.
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Re: "Operation Fare is Fair"

Postby octr202 » Tue Apr 26, 2016 6:48 am

I have a feeling at North Station they'll basically encircle a large portion of the waiting area. That's honestly the only way it can work. That said, that creates issues for all of the station vendors, several of whom could end up within the paid zone - I'm sure they won't be happy with that. That area can also serve as waiting space for Garden events, so there's an added challenge. The other option would be to move the doors and wall further back again to make more room for a "paid corridor" long the area under the information boards.

The platforms are narrow enough as it is that I doubt you could get more than two, maybe three gates, if you're lucky, on each platform.

And, while I don't spend as much time at BOS or BBY to really know them, but I think the traffic flows are way easier to deal with at BON than either of the other two.
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Re: "Operation Fare is Fair"

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Tue Apr 26, 2016 6:50 am

How are these faregates supposed to work? Is each person picking final destination from a menu or something? That sounds clunky as hell unless they can spell out details that make it sound a lot more workable


Far better way to do it on a next-gen fare system fully integrated with commuter rail is:

-- Tap-on/tap-off at each door for precise tracking of Zone fares.
-- For all intermediate stops the conductor has a video feed they can pull up at the vestibule they are manning that lets them monitor fare compliance at the other 3 unmanned doors on their 2 assigned cars.
-- NO faregates at the terminals. Make it a system default that any "no two taps" trip is counted as either starting or ending at the terminal, and collect fare accordingly. Avoids the crowd-clogging need for terminal faregates, and avoids the extra step of a second tap for majority of the passengers who are going strictly stop-to-terminal/terminal-to-stop on a non-interzone trip.
-- High-traffic outer stations where passengers enter/exit through a station building or other controlled access point to reach the platforms have permanent faregates at the entrances/exits to speed up boarding/exiting, with the door taps disabled at the stops that are under faregate control. Only doable when the stop has fully controlled egresses. Wouldn't work when it's just stepping onto a wide open platform from any angle of the parking lot or street-level access.


Do I expect them to ever go that cutting-edge, even though it would speed systemwide boarding and make fare compliance pretty airtight? Not really, no. "Not invented here" and all that. . .
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Re: "Operation Fare is Fair"

Postby octr202 » Tue Apr 26, 2016 6:59 am

I have a feeling this is going to be something of a "just need to show some sort of fare" to get through, which as pointed out, could still allow people to ride pretty far on a zone 1A or 1 ticket if there aren't additional checks on the train. My guess is this will just be a full time version of "Buy before your board" checks that they do periodically now. (Given the concerns about eliminating the 10-ride tickets, which I suspect are used frequently to beat the system, this sounds believable.)

They can't get to something like what SEPTA's proposed* without going for a large investment in platform readers at all outlying stations.

(I'm not fully up to date on the discussions in the SEPTA forum, but the nutshell of the plan was to put gates at Center City stations, which would charge the maximum fare. If you want to pay the lower fare for shorter zones, you'd need to tap on before boarding inbound, or tap out when arriving outbound. How this accommodates one-off riders without having to issue lots of refunds for outbound trips is beyond me, unless it's via refunds to credit/debit cards only.
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Re: "Operation Fare is Fair"

Postby MBTA3247 » Tue Apr 26, 2016 8:06 am

Faregates could work at South Station, if you placed a long row of them underneath the Solari board. It would require a major rearranging of the main concourse, some new fencing to funnel people from the side entrances into the concourse's unpaid area, and building the bus depot its own entrance on Atlantic Ave.

For North Station, you could just install a row of faregates across the entire concourse 20 or 30 feet from the platform doors.
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Re: "Operation Fare is Fair"

Postby saulblum » Tue Apr 26, 2016 8:15 am

MBTA3247 wrote:Faregates could work at South Station, if you placed a long row of them underneath the Solari board.


And this accommodates Amtrak passengers how?
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Re: "Operation Fare is Fair"

Postby dbperry » Tue Apr 26, 2016 8:57 am

F-line to Dudley via Park wrote:Far better way to do it on a next-gen fare system fully integrated with commuter rail is:

-- Tap-on/tap-off at each door for precise tracking of Zone fares.


This is spot on, except for on-train equipment and everything else (video, fare gates anywhere, etc.). All you need is tap on / tap off with FIXED readers at all stations. No on-train readers. The tap posts at stations are not connected to fare gates - just tap posts that you walk up to while waiting for your train.

Everyone must have a tappable Charlie Card. Pre-load with cash / single ticket value for one-off riders. Load up with more cash for occasional riders. Load up with monthly pass for those commuters.

Inbound:
Tap 'on' at a station which 'validates' you into the system. No need to 'tap off' at a Boston station, since the system can be programmed to assume that you're going the distance (similar to what F-Line proposes). If you tap out at an interzone station, correct fare is calculated.

Outbound (or interzone):
Tap on which 'validates' you into the system. Tap off to calculate correct fare. If you fail to tap off, you get charged farthest distant zone from the station where you tapped on. [The one gap in my proposal, the single-ride-loaded Charlie Card with no additional funds to access for the overshoot scenario can be solved by requiring a minimum deposit on the Charlie Card instead of just the exact single ride fare.]

No need for fare gates anywhere.

Conductors given handheld fare validator devices and go through and spot check the Charlie Cards. If 'you're in the system' (having validated your Card with an on-tap), the fare validator detects that you're OK. If not, you're issued a big fine. This would probably require legislative authority. But better than fare gates anywhere.

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Re: "Operation Fare is Fair"

Postby jamesinclair » Tue Apr 26, 2016 9:29 am

Hey guys, I have an innovative solution.

I swear I invented it.

Have small machines, similar to parking validators, that stamp the ticket with the date and time. The ticket expires 2-3 hours later.

That way, even if the train is crowded and the staff cannot collect, the ticket cannot be reused so the revenue gets taken.

This is a sketch I just created of what one of these simple and affordable machines could look like.

http://parisbytrain.com/wp-content/uplo ... er_tgv.jpg
https://transportingcities.files.wordpr ... g_1590.jpg

And here is a rough mock-up of what the ticket stock could look like when stamped.

http://imgur.com/Yqr1eSF

Again, this is 100% brand new, something I just created. Groundbreaking stuff.
Last edited by jamesinclair on Tue Apr 26, 2016 12:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: "Operation Fare is Fair"

Postby MBTA3247 » Tue Apr 26, 2016 11:34 am

jamesinclair wrote:And here is a rough mock-up of what the ticket stock could look like when stamped.

http://www.jtbell.net/transit/images/Ca ... -front.jpg

I'm not sure how "I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that" helps the conductor determine whether the ticket is valid. :wink:
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Re: "Operation Fare is Fair"

Postby jamesinclair » Tue Apr 26, 2016 12:47 pm

MBTA3247 wrote:
jamesinclair wrote:And here is a rough mock-up of what the ticket stock could look like when stamped.

http://www.jtbell.net/transit/images/Ca ... -front.jpg

I'm not sure how "I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that" helps the conductor determine whether the ticket is valid. :wink:


Does this link work for you?

http://imgur.com/Yqr1eSF
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Re: "Operation Fare is Fair"

Postby leviramsey » Tue Apr 26, 2016 1:02 pm

How would faregates work with mTicket? If you have to staff the gate full time to let mTicket users through, it's essentially making the "Buy before you board" checks permanent.
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