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Old 05-21-2015, 07:39 PM   #1
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TransLink mulls 1-zone fare system for bus riders after Compass glitch

Does anyone think this would be good or bad? (After 7 months they still haven't figured out how to fix the "glitch")

http://www.news1130.com/2015/05/19/t...-compass-card/

Posted May 19, 2015 4:34 pm PDT
VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) It might soon cost the same amount to take a bus in Metro Vancouver, no matter how far you ride. TransLink says it is considering bringing in a one zone fare system for buses when the Compass Card comes in.

TransLink is having a hard time getting this tap on tap off feature to work for buses. It takes too long to tap off and anyone who just forgets to will be charged for three zones. This means line ups getting off of buses. It could also lead to a great deal of backlash from customers who forget to tap off or are unable to for another reason.

VP of Communications for TransLink Colleen Brennan said last week only that they’re getting somewhere with fixing the bugs. “We’ve made some really good progress with that. We need to continue to do that.”

Transit users have been waiting a long time to see the Compass Card be fully launched and getting rid of zones for buses could speed things up. But that means, for example, people who take a bus from Delta to Vancouver would pay the same as someone who takes a bus a few blocks.

Gord Price with the SFU City Program says it’s impossible to make the system into something that’s 100 per cent fair all the time. “There’s always going to be these inequities. Same with a zone system for instance. Someone coming from Lonsdale to downtown. They’re only taking one trip and they’re going a short distance and yet they cross that zone boundary. Always the problem of where you draw the line.”

He thinks going with a one-zone system might be the only way for now. “Its way more complicated than rocket science. It involves people and all of the different things that we do. And to have one system that tries to accommodate it all and do it fairly, well, no one’s actually figured that out. But eventually, at least using the technology of Compass or some system like it, we can get closer.”

TransLink announced last week West Coast Express riders would be next to get Compass Cards starting June 8th.


TransLink mulls 1-zone fare system for bus riders after Compass glitch | CTV Vancouver News

Published Thursday, October 30, 2014 10:20AM PDT
Bus riders could be paying a one-zone fare no matter how many zones they cross – one temporary solution proposed by TransLink as it admits problems with Compass Card readers are harder to solve than previously thought.

The bus-based electronic readers aren’t fast enough or accurate enough when users “tap out” at the end of a fare, meaning that the $200-million system can’t figure out how far riders have gone and can’t charge them accordingly, TransLink spokesperson Colleen Brennan said.

“We have an option in our contract to put in a grace period for tapping out. What that would mean is on buses, our customers would not be required to tap out,” Brennan said.

Under the new Compass Card system, which was supposed to be operational 18 months ago according to a contract with manufacturer Cubic, passengers will use an electronic card rather than paper transfers.

The system calculates the fare based on where a user “tapped in” with the card, and where the user “tapped out.”

If half of that system – tapping out – doesn’t always work, users could be charged the wrong amount. There’s no way for a Compass Card user to pay for distance travelled in advance.

One solution: eliminate fare zones, at least temporarily, for bus riders, said Brennan. It’s early going, she said, so TransLink brass don’t yet know how much the new one-zone fare could be.

“We haven’t dotted our is and crossed our ts on that one yet,” she said.

NDP Transit Critic George Heyman told the BC Legislature it’s one more problem for a beleaguered system that was troubled from the start. The program was supposed to stop some $8 million in fare evasion, but it costs about $12 million a year to run.

He blamed a cozy relationship between the B.C. Liberals and Cubic.

“Then-transportation minister Kevin Falcon forced this costly system on TransLink after (former deputy minister) Ken Dobell lobbied on Cubic’s behalf,” Heyman said.

“When will this government stop wasting money on failed insider deals and act on the Lower Mainland’s real transit needs?” he asked.

Transportation Minister Todd Stone said he had phoned TransLink’s board chair to express his displeasure, but his claims that the system was about saving money lost to fare evasion were shouted down by MLAs.

Speaker Linda Reid called for order.

“For the program to be successful TransLink needs to get its act together, TransLink needs to be accountable and it needs to fix this problem, and I’ve communicated that to the chair,” Stone said.

A TransLink spokesperson told CTV News that the agency did attempt to test the readers on a single bus, five buses, 24 buses and finally a whole bus depot, but it was only during a test of tens of thousands of riders the agency noticed the problems.

TransLink is forging ahead with the system, vowing to fix the problems, and plans to get Compass Cards to 145,000 students by September.

“Over the long term, we are totally committed to tap out. It provides very important information for tapping out,” Brennan said.

“We want to make sure that when we roll this out everybody has a positive experience from the beginning. And if that means bringing in a temporary no tap out period on buses that’s what we’re looking at,” she said.
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Last edited by GoldenBoy; 05-21-2015 at 10:00 PM.
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Old 05-21-2015, 07:42 PM   #2
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our tax dollars at work...
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Old 05-21-2015, 08:03 PM   #3
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It's not a bug, it's a feature!
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Old 05-21-2015, 08:06 PM   #4
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Compass Card will be rolled out to West Coast Express users on June 8

Source: Compass Card will be rolled out to West Coast Express users on June 8 - BC | Globalnews.ca


So is the above roll out still going ahead?
This is the kind of wasteful bullshit that's ruining translink - operational inefficiencies at best here.

Also how much do you guys wanna bet the average no-zone fair will be the cost of a current 2 zone fare? And that the 250mil in potential PST revenue will be used to fund the operational shortfall that this 'no zone' revenue decrease
will create...


Furthermore, I'm surprised a 200M system cannot integrate with the current in-bus GPS system to figure out the GPS location of bus stop and if a "geo-fence" has been crossed into the next zone and charge. How much more grease does Cubic need to get it working? You'd think that integration with current GPS system would've been a requirement from the get go.


so frustrating!
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Old 05-21-2015, 08:08 PM   #5
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Another Translink success story ...
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Old 05-21-2015, 08:28 PM   #6
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glitch?

This is Cubic not delivering a system according to bid specifications. Were the latency requirements on TransLinks part unrealistic? Most likely, considering this would operate on existing 3G/LTE networks.

Did Cubic bid based on said requirements? Yes. Cubic should pay.

What the hell does a glitch mean anyways?
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Old 05-21-2015, 08:30 PM   #7
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Just another attempt to get more taxpayers to vote yes for increased taxes before the looming deadline for the plebiscite.
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Old 05-21-2015, 08:32 PM   #8
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Ah, Translink... all you had to do was add some fucking turnstiles...
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Old 05-21-2015, 08:56 PM   #9
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Cool story, bro.
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Published Thursday, October 30, 2014 10:20AM PDT
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Old 05-21-2015, 09:00 PM   #10
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Better give them more money! because they handle what they already have so well!
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Old 05-21-2015, 09:52 PM   #11
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Cool story, bro.
A more recent article for you bro posted on May 19, 2015 which says exactly the same thing as the article I posted in my original post. I also added it in my original post just so there is no confusion.
TransLink considering one zone fare system for Compass Card - News1130
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Posted May 19, 2015 4:34 pm PDT
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Old 05-21-2015, 10:02 PM   #12
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our tax dollars at work...
And they want even more.
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Old 05-21-2015, 10:02 PM   #13
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It's not a bug, it's a feature!
LOL
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Old 05-21-2015, 10:06 PM   #14
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Compass Card will be rolled out to West Coast Express users on June 8

Source: Compass Card will be rolled out to West Coast Express users on June 8 - BC | Globalnews.ca


So is the above roll out still going ahead?
This is the kind of wasteful bullshit that's ruining translink - operational inefficiencies at best here.

Also how much do you guys wanna bet the average no-zone fair will be the cost of a current 2 zone fare? And that the 250mil in potential PST revenue will be used to fund the operational shortfall that this 'no zone' revenue decrease
will create...


Furthermore, I'm surprised a 200M system cannot integrate with the current in-bus GPS system to figure out the GPS location of bus stop and if a "geo-fence" has been crossed into the next zone and charge. How much more grease does Cubic need to get it working? You'd think that integration with current GPS system would've been a requirement from the get go.


so frustrating!
Yes, it's still going ahead. A lot of people are talking about this no-zone fair being just another way of jacking up the prices without actually saying it is.
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Old 05-21-2015, 10:08 PM   #15
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The re-iterating of the same 1-zone fare idea is obviously different from the first time it was suggested though. As each additional time the same idea is re-hashed, it becomes more likely that Translink is seriously considering to adopt it.
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Old 05-21-2015, 10:11 PM   #16
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The re-iterating of the same 1-zone fare idea is obviously different from the first time it was suggested though. As each additional time the same idea is re-hashed, it becomes more likely that Translink is seriously considering to adopt it.
I wonder if this 1-zone fare idea will apply to SkyTrain because if it doesn't would it mean people will have to pay separate fares if they want to ride the bus and SkyTrain to get somewhere?
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Old 05-21-2015, 10:18 PM   #17
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I wonder if this 1-zone fare idea will apply to SkyTrain because if it doesn't would it mean people will have to pay separate fares if they want to ride the bus and SkyTrain to get somewhere?
The multi-zone charging thing has no problems at the Skytrain stations. As a matter of fact, it would not have any issues with a fixed data network. The problem is occurring only for the buses because they rely on mobile data transfer, and the mobile data transfer is not happening fast enough to meet Translink's needs.

One example that I instantly thought of is Hong Kong. Their subway system uses a distance-based charge with gates / turnstiles. Their buses are not part of the subway system, but they use the same Octopus smart card payment system. Their buses typically charge a flat rate, but each route charges a different amount. In that sense, it is completely different than what the Lower Mainland is used to.

For the most part, that system works in Hong Kong. Whether Translink could adopt / adapt it to make it work in Vancouver is another question. But I could potentially see Translink heading in this direction.
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Old 05-21-2015, 10:27 PM   #18
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they've already rolled out u-pass on compass card.
when are the faresavers being phased out?
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Old 05-21-2015, 10:49 PM   #19
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so, is translink thinking single-zone fare for buses (because of Compass issues) and multi-zone fares for Skytrain?
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Old 05-21-2015, 11:00 PM   #20
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Yes basically the reason is cell coverage in Vancouver is not good enough for the equipment they use on buses to have fast enough reaction time. I understand it is a latency issue. I mean no one wants to worry about whether the read works or not once they are off the bus.

On Skytrain however since everything is fixed. so it is easier.

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so, is translink thinking single-zone fare for buses (because of Compass issues) and multi-zone fares for Skytrain?
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Old 05-21-2015, 11:37 PM   #21
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Yes basically the reason is cell coverage in Vancouver is not good enough for the equipment they use on buses to have fast enough reaction time. I understand it is a latency issue. I mean no one wants to worry about whether the read works or not once they are off the bus.

On Skytrain however since everything is fixed. so it is easier.
So if, for example, people are going to Metrotown they will pay to get on the bus and then have to pay again to get on the SkyTrain? If the buses become a 1-zone fare system how would that work with the 3-zone fare system of SkyTrain? It sounds like Translink hasn't thought this through, which is not a surprise.
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Old 05-21-2015, 11:40 PM   #22
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Probably the same way West Coast express works. You pay West Coast express, then you are free to take the bus.

When did options automatically becomes a plan?

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So if, for example, people are going to Metrotown they will pay to get on the bus and then have to pay again to get on the SkyTrain? If the buses become a 1-zone fare system how would that work with the 3-zone fare system of SkyTrain? It sounds like Translink hasn't thought this through, which is not a surprise.
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Old 05-21-2015, 11:50 PM   #23
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still trying to figure out which one is worst in my books, translink, HK transit or GZ transit
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Old 05-21-2015, 11:52 PM   #24
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Apple and Oranges.. HK Transit they generate revenue from their station space (building apartments).. that's something Translinke specifically aren't allowed to do.

I rarely take transit.. but we have to put it in perspective and objectively look at it. For the population density (that's where the Compass problem comes in), it is not doing badly at all.

I can see 1 zone system entice people who live further out to take the transit increase ridership that way, while people who live closer to the center use Gregor's bike lanes. So it has its merits.

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still trying to figure out which one is worst in my books, translink, HK transit or GZ transit
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Old 05-22-2015, 12:04 AM   #25
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So if, for example, people are going to Metrotown they will pay to get on the bus and then have to pay again to get on the SkyTrain? If the buses become a 1-zone fare system how would that work with the 3-zone fare system of SkyTrain? It sounds like Translink hasn't thought this through, which is not a surprise.
thats how its done in the rest of the world. current translink fares are cheap and approximately fairly priced in gvrd. its priced so that ppl are still willing to take the train over driving.

when i lived in tokyo, i had a train pass and a pocket full of change to pay for the bus. distance based rates on both. on avg to travel the distance from say a house in surrey to the train, to downtown , that equivalent distance in tokyo would run you close to 700 yen, which is about 7$ cdn.

same deal in toronto, bus to gotrain, gotrain in, then ttc. paid 3 systems. all on 3 different pay systems.

there is no such thing as a perfectly implemented large scale software system that finishes on time and on budget. shit happens. the numbers appear large in the article, but what does it actually cover, hardware, software , licensing, retrofit, is it built to support the system for the next 50-70-100 years? how does is it compare to competitors in the market. maybe thats the market price of software. who says the other major competitor wouldnt have cost overruns.

there's big #'s big words being thrown around to invoke an emotional response of the reader, generally someone who might be a bit thick and not inquire more into details and jump to conclusions and the hate train.
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