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Old 03-14-2015, 01:28 PM   #21
JeffDowntown
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Re: MBTA Bus & BRT

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Woo hoo! The data has begun to flow and the Final Report is available from San Francisco Muni Bus' switch to all-door boarding, and it looks great. Fare evasion unchanged (down slightly), but boarding time per rider is sped way up, and overall buses are dwelling for shorter (and more predictiable) periods of time--raising average trip speeds and (one presumes) improving schedule performance.

Any system with fairly high boardings per bus (Boston is high but not tops as we learned upthread) can see the biggest gains from uncongesting the boarding process.

This is *exactly* the kind win that the T should be looking for if it is to reinvent itself with both faster/oftener service and lower costs. It is one of those Southwest Airlines moments where customers get happier, trips get faster, unions get more productive (justifying decent wages), and capital gets used more efficiently.

At the cost of rear-door electronic readers and 13 new inspectors, time per passenger boarding has been sliced and dwell times are down too.

The T should pilot this on the Silver Line Washington. It suffers a ton due to slow boarding at major stops.
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Old 03-14-2015, 09:16 PM   #22
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Re: MBTA Bus & BRT

It should go system-wide for any vehicle that today uses a farebox. The ops and $ impact will be everywhere beneficial.
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Old 03-18-2015, 06:49 AM   #23
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Re: MBTA Bus & BRT

The ability to add money to your card at the fare box needs to be eliminated immediately if you want to clear congestion at boarding.
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Old 03-18-2015, 08:12 AM   #24
BussesAin'tTrains
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Re: MBTA Bus & BRT

PoP. That will clear congestion at boarding more than any sort of restrictive payment policy.
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Old 03-18-2015, 09:55 AM   #25
Arlington
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Re: MBTA Bus & BRT

^ It does of course look like a huge delay when somebody does a $ transaction at the farebox, but it is rare enough (and so much easier at "real" fare machines) that I think it can linger even in PoP world.
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The ability to add money to your card at the fare box needs to be eliminated immediately if you want to clear congestion at boarding.
In a PoP world, you could move the add-value machine to the middle of the bus since money and boarding are disconnected.

But way better would be to move it to the:

- sidewalk at busy stops every half mile or so (about every 4th stop)
- or to Starbucks/DD/drugstores (which tend to be at busier stops anyway)
- Street level at subway stations
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Old 03-18-2015, 11:16 AM   #26
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Re: MBTA Bus & BRT

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In a PoP world, you could move the add-value machine to the middle of the bus since money and boarding are disconnected.
I used this form on a trolly in Gutenberg, Sweden. It was very convenient, but took up a good bit of space as well.
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Old 03-18-2015, 03:13 PM   #27
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Re: MBTA Bus & BRT

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The ability to add money to your card at the fare box needs to be eliminated immediately if you want to clear congestion at boarding.
Or have like a $20 minimum add on to discourage and reduce the number of times a Charlie Card needs to be re-upped. I thought this was a proposal in the last fare hike. It must not have made it to the final cut.
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Old 03-18-2015, 03:17 PM   #28
Arlington
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Re: MBTA Bus & BRT

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Or have like a $20 minimum add on to discourage and reduce the number of times a Charlie Card needs to be re-upped. I thought this was a proposal in the last fare hike. It must not have made it to the final cut.
I think you'd have to do more the for low-income riders, for whom pre-paying $20 is a lot of $ to suck out of a wallet.
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Old 03-18-2015, 06:08 PM   #29
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Re: MBTA Bus & BRT

I'll add a slight distinction - there's no need to be able to add value to a Charlie card on board. Adding stored value can be easily done at any fare machine or I believe online as well. (Though the website doesn't appear to be Iphone friendly) an app may help things further. I do think you should be able to pay cash on board - but should default to the Charlie ticket rate and only spits out a Charlie ticket in return.
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Old 03-18-2015, 06:14 PM   #30
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Re: MBTA Bus & BRT

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I'll add a slight distinction - there's no need to be able to add value to a Charlie card on board. Adding stored value can be easily done at any fare machine or I believe online as well. (Though the website doesn't appear to be Iphone friendly) an app may help things further. I do think you should be able to pay cash on board - but should default to the Charlie ticket rate and only spits out a Charlie ticket in return.
The option should be kept for those people (few as they may be) who live on bus routes, don't often take rapid transit, and don't have reliable internet access. If PoP is implemented, as stated, reloading on the bus wouldn't cause any delays at all.
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Old 03-19-2015, 03:14 PM   #31
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Re: MBTA Bus & BRT

I believe the T was going to set a $5 minimum for loading cash on board. The big problem is people loading exactly one CharlieCard-priced fare using cash onto the card and then paying for that ride right then. It's actually a very clever way to get the CharlieCard discount while still paying cash for each ride. The fact that the T even allowed this in the first place shows how little thought they are putting into the fare/boarding practices.
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Old 03-20-2015, 05:52 AM   #32
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Re: MBTA Bus & BRT

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I believe the T was going to set a $5 minimum for loading cash on board. The big problem is people loading exactly one CharlieCard-priced fare using cash onto the card and then paying for that ride right then. It's actually a very clever way to get the CharlieCard discount while still paying cash for each ride. The fact that the T even allowed this in the first place shows how little thought they are putting into the fare/boarding practices.
I am pretty sure that there are systems around the world that only allow payment by stored value card on board. They make the cards available at kiosks and convenience stores around the city, so there is no excuse not to have a card. You can also add value to the cards at those locations.
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Old 03-20-2015, 10:50 AM   #33
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Re: MBTA Bus & BRT

In many places in Europe, the only place you can buy tickets is in convenience stores, or at subway stations (where they exist). This seems a far better system in terms of bus speediness.
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Old 03-20-2015, 11:08 AM   #34
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Re: MBTA Bus & BRT

Any place that can sell a lottery ticket has what it takes to sell transit fares--and should.

Freak yourself out with this thought: in 1921, the nickel turnstile was a huge labor-and-time-saving win for automation. Miraculous: Your nickel is your ticket! It blew people's minds, but the IRT was desperate for cost savings.

But clearly the world of payments and authorization has been reinvented (and radically improved) every place else in society, and several times over (Credit Cards in 1950s/60s, Debit Cards 1970s/80s, stripe readers, contactless...) leaving the farebox (like the 1921 turnstile) a has-been idea that now wastes millions of hours of passenger, labor, and vehicle capital time.
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Old 03-20-2015, 11:20 AM   #35
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Re: MBTA Bus & BRT

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Any place that can sell a lottery ticket has what it takes to sell transit fares--and should.
Arlington, this was my thought exactly. If State agencies could actually cooperate, you could even make it mandatory that if you sell Lottery, you have to sell T passes. That would ensure that there are plenty of T pass distribution/reload stations even in poorer neighborhoods (because they all have Lottery outlets!)
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Old 03-20-2015, 11:50 AM   #36
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Re: MBTA Bus & BRT

Would you force Lotto sellers in the Berkshires to stock T passes? Or would you limit it to the MBTA district?
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Old 03-20-2015, 11:52 AM   #37
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Re: MBTA Bus & BRT

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Would you force Lotto sellers in the Berkshires to stock T passes? Or would you limit it to the MBTA district?
I guess they could have the option if they thought they'd be able to sell any, but the requirement should only be on lotto sellers in the T's district.
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Old 03-20-2015, 11:58 AM   #38
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Re: MBTA Bus & BRT

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I guess they could have the option if they thought they'd be able to sell any, but the requirement should only be on lotto sellers in the T's district.
Except what do you do with say the fringes of the district? Lawrence, Lowell, Worcester, and the rest? Unless you're selling commuter rail passes too, it won't make sense out here.
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Old 03-20-2015, 12:00 PM   #39
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Re: MBTA Bus & BRT

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Except what do you do with say the fringes of the district? Lawrence, Lowell, Worcester, and the rest? Unless you're selling commuter rail passes too, it won't make sense out here.
Right. It would only make sense once MBCR flips to Charlie.
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Old 03-20-2015, 12:18 PM   #40
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Re: MBTA Bus & BRT

You might need a more focused geographic solution - those within one quarter mile of active MBTA (or Charliecard-accepting) bus routes, perhaps?
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