News   Jul 12, 2024
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GTHA Transit Fare Integration

The reference people insulting my position was aimed at another writer who seems to think I never get north of Bloor Street.

Steve
 
Logistically, how would a flat fare work? If the time limit was, say, two hours how could the transit agency insure that this is being followed to an acceptable level? Monitoring all the trips which occur within the GTAH to see that they conform to this seems like a monstrous task.

EDIT: I don't buy the idea that, because an RFID card can be exploited, we shouldn't use them. Any advance in human technology opens up new possibilities for malicious exploits. When we learned to harness fire, we also learned to burn down villages. It doesn't mean we shouldn't use the technology, it means we should work to mitigate the security flaws. I mean, why not ban the internet? Think of all the kiddy porn and identity theft it would prevent.
 
In somewhat related news, MIT students discovered an exploit to charge the Boston Transit Farecard. They were about to go public, but MBTA had an injunction just in time:
http://www.informationweek.com/news...ml?articleID=210002185&subSection=All+Stories

Well security will always be a challenge with these kinds of systems....but the risks can be minimized. If you saw the presentation, there were a number of bone headed things like unattended security booths, open access panels, unsecured wifi networks, etc. that allowed them to gather the intel they needed to do the task. One would hope the TTC has better network and corporate security.

That being said, the ubiquity of the Oyster Card was pheonomenal....not just the subway, but taxis, ferries, vendors in the tube, etc. I observed while I was over there, that it almost became a mini credit card for kids. Just imagine the possibilities for here.....
 
Logistically, how would a flat fare work? If the time limit was, say, two hours how could the transit agency insure that this is being followed to an acceptable level? Monitoring all the trips which occur within the GTAH to see that they conform to this seems like a monstrous task.

EDIT: I don't buy the idea that, because an RFID card can be exploited, we shouldn't use them. Any advance in human technology opens up new possibilities for malicious exploits. When we learned to harness fire, we also learned to burn down villages. It doesn't mean we shouldn't use the technology, it means we should work to mitigate the security flaws. I mean, why not ban the internet? Think of all the kiddy porn and identity theft it would prevent.

I think it's a mistake to adopt any technology that makes it easy to steal from the TTC. Given sufficient incentive, just about any RFID system that doesn't rely on physical security of some sort is doomed to failure. In this sense, physical security means isolation of part of the system from malicious users to prevent attacks.
 
Flat fare for 2 hours is absolutely useless in terms of equality. If you consider how much it would cost to get to work, flat fare for 2 hours means that no matter where you live in the GTA - Newmarket, North York, or Yorkville - the cost to get to your office downtown would be the same.

The only reasonable fare system to implement is one in which the fare you pay is directly proportional to the distance that the transit system carries you. Whether I travel straight home from work or stop off along the way to run an errand, I'm still travelling the same total distance along the same route, and am therefore not imposing any more or less of a burden on the TTC to accomadate my trip. Therefore the total fare that I pay should be the same whether or not I head straight home, and we certainly don't need a 2 hour transfer policy to achieve that.
 
any smartcard should not carry the value on the card itself. Instead the reader should be able to dynamically query the value of the card from a central accounting system and confirm enough credit to proceed.
 
any smartcard should not carry the value on the card itself. Instead the reader should be able to dynamically query the value of the card from a central accounting system and confirm enough credit to proceed.

The card should not carry the value, but relying on dynamic query from central accounting system is problematic as well. Networks go down. The data has to be cached and distributed - so that if the network goes down the system continues to operate. Once the network comes up, then the balances across the network get updated.

Actually, it is something that should be done with identification (like passports). The passport would contain all the details, including picture... but when it is swiped - a picture should be downloaded from a server -- so that tampered passports are easier to detect...
 
We should use the Presto Card to allow people to sign up for their own plans that would fit their transit needs the best. Some people might want a distance-based fare (if you normally travel short distances or switch between transit agencies a lot). Other people might want a monthly pass to their city's transit agency (if you don't leave your city). Treat it like picking a phone plan - each has advantages for a certain type of user.

Keep the current cash option for one-off users, tourists, etc.

I still find it a little creepy though that with Presto the government will be able to keep tabs on where you're going.

If they end up putting tolls on a bunch of highways/parking lots/etc, you should be able to put your liscence plate number on your account so you could get one bill with one invoice (handy in weighing your transportation options) and one payment.

Adding cabs on to it would be awesome as well as long as there was a tip option.
 
We should use the Presto Card to allow people to sign up for their own plans that would fit their transit needs the best. Some people might want a distance-based fare (if you normally travel short distances or switch between transit agencies a lot). Other people might want a monthly pass to their city's transit agency (if you don't leave your city). Treat it like picking a phone plan - each has advantages for a certain type of user.

Then wouldn't Metrolinx start loosing large amounts of money? The entire point of the fare system is that some people are disadvantaged while other people are advantaged. The goal should be to hand out the advantages in the fairest possible manner. If everyone started picking plans that benefited them, like 905ers taking a flat fare and downtowners taking a pay-by-distance fare, everyone would win. That implicitly means that Metrolinx would loose.
 
The card should not carry the value, but relying on dynamic query from central accounting system is problematic as well. Networks go down. The data has to be cached and distributed - so that if the network goes down the system continues to operate. Once the network comes up, then the balances across the network get updated
I think that's less of a problem now than it used to be. Look at how cellular devices can now switch from wifi to cellular data and back.

With a sufficiently robust embedded OS and chipset (i.e. not an iPhone's dodgy 3G one) mobile validators could use cellular networks with either repeaters or wifi points in underground sections to permit continuous access. Caching could be a bit tricky unless physical access to the storage medium was next to impossible outside of a maintenance bay.

If a query cannot be completed due to network interruption then every boarder gets a free ride - I doubt over the lifespan of a well planned system it would amount to much.

Wait - I see the flaw - a well planned system... I'll get me coat :D
 
Then wouldn't Metrolinx start loosing large amounts of money? The entire point of the fare system is that some people are disadvantaged while other people are advantaged. The goal should be to hand out the advantages in the fairest possible manner. If everyone started picking plans that benefited them, like 905ers taking a flat fare and downtowners taking a pay-by-distance fare, everyone would win. That implicitly means that Metrolinx would loose.
The point is that by attracting riders through modal shift with better fares you grow system revenue and you use the card to provide ridership data to see quickly where routes are doing well and where they need help.
 
The point is also keeping things simple. London introduced the Oyster Card because the brochure that explains the fare system is 17 pages long.

IF we started a fare-by-distance scheme, then the system could be made flexible.

A 6 km trip doesn't have to cost twice as much as a 3 km trip, for example.
 
The point is that by attracting riders through modal shift with better fares you grow system revenue and you use the card to provide ridership data to see quickly where routes are doing well and where they need help.

But if transit looses money per rider (50c on the TTC, right?) attracting more riders will grow system revenues, but profitability will remain constant.

The point is also keeping things simple. London introduced the Oyster Card because the brochure that explains the fare system is 17 pages long.

IF we started a fare-by-distance scheme, then the system could be made flexible.

A 6 km trip doesn't have to cost twice as much as a 3 km trip, for example.

I think it should be dealt with like a cab. Create a set fare everyone pays regardless of mode (say, $1.25) and charge per a set rate for every km traveled (say 25c per km) on RT routes. It should reflect the cost of the service.
 
I think it should be dealt with like a cab. Create a set fare everyone pays regardless of mode (say, $1.25) and charge per a set rate for every km traveled (say 25c per km) on RT routes. It should reflect the cost of the service.

I agree, but I would also add decreasing increments. 25 cents / km for the first X, then 10 cents / km after, for example. We want to encourage long distance commuter to take transit, as moving into the city to be closer to work just isn't an option for everyone.
 

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