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David Greene
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Re: Snelling BRT/enhanced bus

Postby David Greene » October 8th, 2013, 8:46 pm

VAStationDude wrote:Aside from three transit stores, hundreds of retail establishments, mt website, mt telephone customer service, ticket vending machines at light rail and future brt there is no where to buy tickets. We need to stop coddling a small number of potential customers to the detriment of regular riders who deserve faster service and better frequencies.
It is *not* a "small number of potential customers!" I constantly see everyday users paying cash. MSPtoMKE is right. It is mostly poor people who don't have GoTo cards. Metro Transit has tried all sorts of tactics to get those populations to use GoTo cards but nothing has worked yet. Typivcally they'll use a free card sent in the mail but then not recharge it, probably because they don't have the necessary cash flow.

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Re: Snelling BRT/enhanced bus

Postby mulad » October 8th, 2013, 10:13 pm

It's one thing if there wouldn't be any TVMs anywhere on the route, but that's not the case. Even with widened stop spacing, I don't see a problem if they plan to just skip one stop here or there, maybe up to gaps of a mile between them. If people truly can't scrape together the minimum $5 increment for adding value to Go-To cards, then we need to have a program available to them which will provide free fare cards of some sort.

I will say that Metro Transit should try SMS text message payments. That would capture some poorer folks, and would be a decent alternative for visitors or occasional riders.

And as many Go-To retailers as there are, they aren't especially well-distributed. Currently, it looks like there's Rainbow and Cub in the Midway area and Cub at Har-Mar. Metro Transit's map also has Go-To symbols at the 46th Street LRT station and Rosedale transit center -- presumably card dispensers. There isn't continuous retail along any corridor I'm aware of, so it probably wouldn't be possible to get cards sold everywhere, but it does seem like a couple more could be added along the route.

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Mdcastle
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Re: Snelling BRT/enhanced bus

Postby Mdcastle » October 9th, 2013, 6:46 am

People that can't afford to put $5.00 on a card have cell phones?

Maybe since there's not a TVM at every bus stop it's simpler just to pay cash to the bus driver rather than to take the extra step of recharging a card that you have to keep track of and remember to bring.

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Re: Snelling BRT/enhanced bus

Postby VAStationDude » October 9th, 2013, 7:08 am

I think if we force people to use cards it may help them become more financially sophisticated. Instead of cashing their pay checks, they may get a checking account, etc. Perhaps MT could partner with a credit union and/or social services non-profit?

I'm sorry but cash payers degrade the quality of the service for everyone, including the poor and working class who make up the bulk of the ridership.

Poor people absolutely need a phone and usually opt for a pay-as-you-go cell phone. I rarely need to call the office when I'm not working, but when I worked lower wage service jobs in my teens and twenties, I was calling them at least a couple times a week to confirm my schedule, trying to pick up extra shifts, etc.

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Re: Snelling BRT/enhanced bus

Postby Snelbian » October 9th, 2013, 7:55 am

That's not elitist and condescending at all...

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Re: Snelling BRT/enhanced bus

Postby VAStationDude » October 9th, 2013, 8:13 am

Assuming the poor are incapable of using smart cards is far more condescending than anything I wrote.

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Re: Snelling BRT/enhanced bus

Postby RailBaronYarr » October 9th, 2013, 8:33 am

Mdcastle wrote:People that can't afford to put $5.00 on a card have cell phones?
Yes. Balk if you will, but having technology for people to get in contact with you at all times of the day is almost a necessity in today's world (just about as much of a necessity as having the internet at home is). Many people forego having a land-line at home and instead get a cell phone (or family plan). It's not that outrageous.

Wholeheartedly agree with Tcmetro. If we can put parking meter pay stations on both sides of every block, there's no reason a TVM at each aBRT stop can't make sense. And WHY are they so expensive? Does anyone else get the feeling that anything transit-related in this country has way-inflated costs?

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Re: Snelling BRT/enhanced bus

Postby UptownSport » October 9th, 2013, 8:53 am

Again it fits urbanMSP subset that just wants transit to look at, it's not necessary for anyone to actually (letalone people that depend on transit) actually ride the busses.
So much could be done (example: exit door exits) to improve efficiency at low or no cost claiming 'efficiency' isn't credible.

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Re: Snelling BRT/enhanced bus

Postby phop » October 9th, 2013, 10:11 am

UptownSport wrote:Again it fits urbanMSP subset that just wants transit to look at, it's not necessary for anyone to actually (letalone people that depend on transit) actually ride the busses.
So much could be done (example: exit door exits) to improve efficiency at low or no cost claiming 'efficiency' isn't credible.
According to the Met Council presentations, 32% of transit time is taken up by boardings. If improved efficiency is the goal, off-board payment seems exactly where to look.

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Re: Snelling BRT/enhanced bus

Postby FISHMANPET » October 9th, 2013, 10:16 am

I know on local routes there are some stops that are always busy (campus stops for the 2, for example) whereas some aren't that busy (most other stops on the 2). Maybe put fareboxes on all buses, and put TVMs at the busiest stations.

But really a TVM shouldn't be that expensive. Just a machine that you put $1.75 or $2.25 into, and a validated paper ticket comes out of. Paying by SMS probably wouldn't work so well for the poor that have prepaid cell phones, as that means they'd need to keep an extra balance on their prepaid account. At that point they'd be better off buying a goto card, so it's not feasable for the same reasons expecting everyone to use a goto card is.

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Re: Snelling BRT/enhanced bus

Postby mulad » October 9th, 2013, 10:34 am

There are multiple variants of TVM out there -- the $80k ones are what we have now, which can do pretty much everything: Take coins, take paper bills, read credit cards, dispense change, dispense mag-stripe transfers, and read/write Go-To cards. It's possible to get machines that strip out some of those features. I agree with FMP's second paragraph above -- A good option would be to have ones that take dollars & coins and dispense transfers (and change, I guess?).

I just remember that I jumped at the chance to get a Go-To card as soon as I could because I had trouble with cash fares. Despite one time when my net worth dropped to about $25, I haven't really had to worry about money, but I've always had trouble with having the right combination of change to pay fares -- I need my quarters for laundry, dangit! I bet the real problem is that folks are afraid that money will just disappear from the card and that there isn't any way to track it. But you can see the value on the card whenever you tap it against a reader -- and the color and tone of the reader's beep changes depending on how much is left -- and it's possible to go modestly negative on your balance if you're short by a little bit.

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Re: Snelling BRT/enhanced bus

Postby MSPtoMKE » October 9th, 2013, 12:22 pm

RapidRide in Seattle has two levels of stop infrastructure, Stations and Stops, and they are differentiated on the map. Stations have TVMs and Stops do not. The only time you have to use the farebox if is you are paying cash from a Stop instead of a Station. Everyone else can board from any door. I am not sure if they mandate that you must always pay ahead when boarding from a Station, but I don't see why that couldn't be a policy. Sure, some people wouldn't follow it and try to pay onboard when they shouldn't, but that is a fact of life with a transit system. When we get to the point that there are TVMs at every station, or GoTo card usage is widespread enough, it is easy enough to take the farebox out of the Rapid buses and put them in a local bus. I just don't think we are at that point yet.
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Nick
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Re: Snelling BRT/enhanced bus

Postby Nick » October 9th, 2013, 3:51 pm

VAStationDude wrote:Assuming the poor are incapable of using smart cards is far more condescending than anything I wrote.
-1

UptownSport
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Re: Snelling BRT/enhanced bus

Postby UptownSport » October 11th, 2013, 9:30 am

Im sure youre both aware thats not what anyone said.
Nick wrote:
VAStationDude wrote:Assuming the poor are incapable of using smart cards is far more condescending than anything I wrote.
-1
Just not OK with turning public transit into a line for elites; denying rides to a person that has the fare but not in the magic combination.

As pointed out by MSPtoMKE and others, there's lots of way to collect fares, rather than to say; "No ride for you".

If boarding takes so much time (and operators do start driving with transactions still in progress) do they actually care about time?
what are they doing about it?
Why not 'encourage' exits thru back door? Costless.
My guess is they don't care, and will only suggest it a problem when there's a very expensive solution to profit from.

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Re: Snelling BRT/enhanced bus

Postby talindsay » October 16th, 2013, 12:15 pm

FISHMANPET wrote:I know on local routes there are some stops that are always busy (campus stops for the 2, for example) whereas some aren't that busy (most other stops on the 2). Maybe put fareboxes on all buses, and put TVMs at the busiest stations.
This seems like a complete no-brainer to me - I don't understand why this hasn't been implemented along key bus routes throughout the city. Major cross-streets on the 5, 6, 18 and 21 at least could have a TVM to enable people to buy the ticket before boarding, while still keeping on-board fare collection available. Sure, it's not cheap, but it's far cheaper than most methods that have been proposed for speeding up these corridors, and it would have no negative effect on people's ability to pay by whatever means they like.

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Re: Snelling BRT/enhanced bus

Postby UptownSport » October 17th, 2013, 11:34 am

talindsay wrote:
FISHMANPET wrote:I know on local routes there are some stops that are always busy (campus stops for the 2, for example) whereas some aren't that busy (most other stops on the 2). Maybe put fareboxes on all buses, and put TVMs at the busiest stations.
This seems like a complete no-brainer to me - I don't understand why this hasn't been implemented along key bus routes throughout the city. Major cross-streets on the 5, 6, 18 and 21 at least could have a TVM to enable people to buy the ticket before boarding, while still keeping on-board fare collection available. Sure, it's not cheap, but it's far cheaper than most methods that have been proposed for speeding up these corridors, and it would have no negative effect on people's ability to pay by whatever means they like.
This sure makes a lot of sense- even a campaign to encourage cash payers to get on last, so bus could roll- would improve things by some margin.

Could you write to MetroTransit and see what response you get on ticket machines?

I look forward to day when it's rider responsibility to pay fare- even on-board self serve ticket machines- so driver can drive.

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Re: Snelling BRT/enhanced bus

Postby mulad » October 21st, 2013, 8:45 pm

There's some construction work happening along Snelling near University Avenue. I wonder if this has something to do with the Snelling study published around the beginning of the year, though that only suggested that work would begin in 2014 or 2015.

They've removed a chunk of the concrete median between University Avenue and Charles Avenue (the dark asphalt in the next two shots), and are working on reconstructing the sidewalks at the corners of Snelling and Sherburne, and Snelling and Charles.

Image
img_7516 by Mulad, on Flickr

Image
img_7517 by Mulad, on Flickr

Image
img_7524 by Mulad, on Flickr

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Re: Snelling BRT/enhanced bus

Postby MSPtoMKE » October 22nd, 2013, 11:38 am

I assume it has to do with creating a bicycle boulevard on Charles Ave. I think they are closing Charles to left turns, but allowing bikes to pass through. Here is an older article I found on it:

http://www.twincities.com/ci_21476420/s ... es-charles
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Re: Snelling BRT/enhanced bus

Postby Tcmetro » November 15th, 2013, 3:06 pm

Met Council will study extension of Snelling BRT to the Army Ammunition Plant:

http://metrocouncil.org/News-Events/Tra ... %28Sn.aspx

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Re: Snelling BRT/enhanced bus

Postby mulad » November 15th, 2013, 3:43 pm

I saw Adam Voge of F&C tweet about BRT to TCAAP the other day, though he didn't say which route, but this seemed like an obvious possibility. The farthest north I've gone by bus along this general corridor is to Target on Lexington just south of I-694, where I got off and walked to the Red Robin on the other side of the highway. The existing suburban buses have to loop around a lot. Even just a bit north of Snelling and County C, the route had to use frontage roads to provide access for riders, sometimes going into the parking lots of individual apartment complexes.

If they did something along this corridor, it'd probably be best to shift to Lexington Avenue somewhere at County C2 or Lake Johanna Boulevard.

I think the idea of getting to at least County C/C2 is fairly good, except for how buses would have to go to Roseville and circle around there before continuing north, wasting several minutes in the process.

I suppose something interesting could be done with faster bus access if the Snelling/MN-36 cloverleaf ever gets reconstructed. I think we've discussed that a bit before, though.
Last edited by mulad on November 15th, 2013, 3:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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