A Line - Arterial Rapid Bus

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Silophant
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Re: "A Line" Snelling Avenue Arterial Bus

Postby Silophant » May 18th, 2015, 4:48 pm

twincitizen wrote:TVMs will print tickets that:
* will not be able to be used on regular bus fareboxes and
Not a great solution. But if you were to transfer to a regular route bus, I guess you just show the printed pass to the driver. Hopefully the timestamp will printed in very large font. If it's tiny font like current paper transfers, drivers can't/won't read that and just wave people on if the transfer reader doesn't work. Or drivers won't be asked to check at all and you'll simply be subject to random fare checks. I suppose in the future it's possible that buses won't have the paper card readers at all.
Looks like you just show it to the driver. From the aBRT FAQs:
A Line tickets are valid for regular-route buses and METRO Line trains. To transfer to a regular-route bus with an A Line ticket, present your ticket to your driver as you board. Do not insert them in the farebox! Unlike tickets purchased on regular-route buses or at METRO stations, A Line tickets do not have a magnetic strip, and cannot be read in the farebox. To transfer from a regular-route bus to the A Line, simply hop on the bus when it arrives. Be prepared to show Transit Police officers your ticket if requested.

David Greene
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Re: "A Line" Snelling Avenue Arterial Bus

Postby David Greene » May 18th, 2015, 7:40 pm

mattaudio wrote:Maybe they are paying hefty licensing fees to Microsoft for every time they use that default Windows 98 "ding."
For future reference, by accident I discovered that the "ding" is the sampled sound of G5* with the default instrument setting (Piano 1) on the Kawai MP-9000. So huge royalties to a piano company may be a factor.

*At least I'm pretty sure it was G5. Would have to drag out the monster from the attic to double-check.

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mister.shoes
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Re: "A Line" Snelling Avenue Arterial Bus

Postby mister.shoes » May 18th, 2015, 8:48 pm

I actually clicked that. /urbanistconfession
The problem with being an introvert online is that no one knows you're just hanging out and listening.

HuskyGrad
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Re: "A Line" Snelling Avenue Arterial Bus

Postby HuskyGrad » May 19th, 2015, 7:41 am

intercomnut wrote:According to the May 11 Transportation Committee meeting, the TVMs for the A-Line (And C and D Lines) will print tickets that will not be able to be used on regular bus fareboxes and will not be able to recharge Go-To cards. This allows each TVM to cost $11,000 instead of the $80,000 the LRT TVMs cost.
Fare collection is not included on the design contract for the SWLRT unlike previous contracts. It's possible they are keeping costs as low as possible now to do a systemwide upgrade of fare collection in a few years.

helsinki
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Re: "A Line" Snelling Avenue Arterial Bus

Postby helsinki » May 19th, 2015, 9:16 am

twincitizen wrote:TVMs will print tickets that:
* will not be able to recharge Go-To cards.
This doesn't seem like a big deal. Who actually puts money on a Go-To card in person at the machine? I would guess the overwhelming majority of folks take care of this online, and if not they handle their biz at a Metro Transit store (or at an LRT platform I guess...).
Couldn't disagree more. The organized, commuting, creature of habit certainly may never fail to add value to his card online, but many others are less disciplined. I have certainly forgotten to add value beforehand and didn't have cash to pay bus fare. Doesn't seem to me like a uniform habit amongst all transit riders to be so prepared. Although you can buy a paper ticket under this scheme with card regardless, it still seems like a lost opportunity.

twincitizen
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Re: "A Line" Snelling Avenue Arterial Bus

Postby twincitizen » May 19th, 2015, 9:43 am

Taking the cost difference into consideration, between $80k per TVM ($160k per stop pair) and $11k per TVM ($22k per stop pair), I wouldn't call it a lost opportunity. We want to build a bunch more of these aBRT lines and losing little bits of functionality at the TVMs is definitely a concession I'm willing to make. Especially if it's cutting costs on TVMs vs. cutting costs on platforms, shelters, real-time info, etc.

Like you said, it's not perfect, but you can still buy a paper ticket with your debit card on the day you find your Go-To is out of funds. It's not likely to leave anyone out in the cold without a ride.

MNdible
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Re: "A Line" Snelling Avenue Arterial Bus

Postby MNdible » May 19th, 2015, 9:47 am

What are the prospects of being able to use NFC functionality on phones to replace GoTo cards for most people? I guess this is a more general transit question, rather than specific to aBRT, but it seems like a logical progression.

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FISHMANPET
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Re: "A Line" Snelling Avenue Arterial Bus

Postby FISHMANPET » May 19th, 2015, 10:11 am

So the goto cards use NFC, but they use an out of spec implementation, so fully compliant devices can't read the card. So for example, I think my old Nexus 4 phone could read my goto card, but my new Nexus 5 phone cannot. So they'd have to replace all of that with compliant devices to make it work.

Sent from my phone

helsinki
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Re: "A Line" Snelling Avenue Arterial Bus

Postby helsinki » May 19th, 2015, 10:30 am

twincitizen wrote:Taking the cost difference into consideration, between $80k per TVM ($160k per stop pair) and $11k per TVM ($22k per stop pair), I wouldn't call it a lost opportunity. We want to build a bunch more of these aBRT lines and losing little bits of functionality at the TVMs is definitely a concession I'm willing to make. Especially if it's cutting costs on TVMs vs. cutting costs on platforms, shelters, real-time info, etc.

Like you said, it's not perfect, but you can still buy a paper ticket with your debit card on the day you find your Go-To is out of funds. It's not likely to leave anyone out in the cold without a ride.
All fair points.

Still, it's hard to believe it costs so much more to add this one function. Particularly when the electronic payment system appears to present no problems.

mattaudio
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Re: "A Line" Snelling Avenue Arterial Bus

Postby mattaudio » May 19th, 2015, 11:12 am

If we could get the TVM cost down to maybe $5000 or less, we could really scale up proof-of-payment and speed up our system. Of course, this would necessitate quarter-mile stop spacing too :) but we could do 16 or more TVMs for the cost of one LRT TVM.

I actually wonder if there's a way to analyze how much dwell time is spent dealing with payment, etc. And how much time could be saved with proof-of-payment. This would be especially critical for rush-hour services and busier routes, since we could do all-door boarding. It would reduce the bus-and-driver time to accomplish the same route, so maybe there's a case to be made for TVMs/POP on some routes today if the price is right.

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Re: "A Line" Snelling Avenue Arterial Bus

Postby EOst » May 19th, 2015, 11:38 am

I'd think adding more proof-of-payment routes would require hiring additional transit police to check them as well as the new TVMs, so the cost could never be just that lowish startup cost.

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Re: "A Line" Snelling Avenue Arterial Bus

Postby twincitizen » May 19th, 2015, 11:43 am

That opens the discussion of "Do Fare Checkers Really Need to be Sworn Police Officers?" (with the salary and benefits, etc.)

Really, we ought to be able to have "meter maid" types handing out these tickets instead of sworn police officers. I'd think there's a crapton of potential savings/efficiency there (i.e. instead of 10 real cops you could hire 15 "fare checkers" instead, etc.) Transit Police would be able to focus on doing actual police work, monitoring platforms, busy bus stops, following up on crimes, etc. If anyone gave the fare checkers any trouble, they could radio a real transit cop for help.

If a "meter maid" can write a parking ticket, why can't they write a fare evasion ticket? Is it the way the fare evasion crime is classified? Couldn't the legislature help in that regard? This is going on my list of "Things to Ask Frank Hornstein or Scott Dibble"

It would be great if we could have that discussion before we build another LRT line and hire more sworn officers...

masstrlk67
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Re: "A Line" Snelling Avenue Arterial Bus

Postby masstrlk67 » May 19th, 2015, 12:28 pm

Re: fare checking. I once had my fare checked by a general MT employee rather than a transit cop. He was walking the train with a transit cop though. But it seems like cutting back on transit cops checking fares is at least feasible.

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Re: "A Line" Snelling Avenue Arterial Bus

Postby Tcmetro » May 19th, 2015, 1:06 pm

Metro Transit/Council is looking into a replacement for the current GoTo technology, which was implemented c. 2001/2002 and was one of the first transit smartcard installations in the country. Any new technology would certainly use NFC credit/debit cards and perhaps phones.

Metro Transit also issued an RFP for a phone app, hopefully GoTo cards can be easily refilled that way. Perhaps the mobile ticketing system that is becoming more popular could be implemented too.

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Re: "A Line" Snelling Avenue Arterial Bus

Postby David Greene » May 19th, 2015, 1:12 pm

Tcmetro wrote:Metro Transit also issued an RFP for a phone app
About damn time!

Do you have a link to that RFP? I'd like to see what they're requesting.

cond8147
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Re: "A Line" Snelling Avenue Arterial Bus

Postby cond8147 » May 20th, 2015, 8:48 am

twincitizen wrote: If a "meter maid" can write a parking ticket, why can't they write a fare evasion ticket? Is it the way the fare evasion crime is classified?
Yes, part of the answer is the way fare evasion is classified. Most parking offenses are petty misdemeanors, which means that they are by definition not a crime. Conversely, the legislature has deemed fare evasion a misdemeanor (MN §609.855 sub. 1), which is a crime. This is why sworn police officers are the individuals enforcing it. People do get arrested and go to jail for fare evasion in certain circumstances.

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Re: "A Line" Snelling Avenue Arterial Bus

Postby RailBaronYarr » May 20th, 2015, 9:42 am

So speeding or running a red light, which are a heck of a lot riskier to society, are petty misdemeanors while fare evasion is a misdemeanor? WTH?

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Re: "A Line" Snelling Avenue Arterial Bus

Postby cond8147 » May 20th, 2015, 10:01 am

That's correct. As the old adage goes... I don't write the law; I just enforce it.

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Re: "A Line" Snelling Avenue Arterial Bus

Postby VAStationDude » May 20th, 2015, 10:15 am

Officers do fare enforcement because they have arrest power and parking officers do not. Fare evaders may not get cuffed very often but they can be held against their will as officers run their name and write a ticket. I believe that is technically an arrest. I imagine a meter maid could be paired with an officer.

I'm not an attorney so I could be completely wrong.

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FISHMANPET
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Re: "A Line" Snelling Avenue Arterial Bus

Postby FISHMANPET » May 20th, 2015, 10:33 am

Also a fare inspection requires directly confronting a person. It doesn't really matter in the misdemeanor vs petty misdemeanor classification, but I feel like if I was going to be writing up tickets for fare evasion I'd want someone with the power to compel with me at all times.


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