Monday, May 5, 2008


We had quite a few comments on this morning's post about the idiots who designed and mis-run Transclunk, but these two below, deserve special attention:


I have used BART in SF and Metro in DC often in my life, and both systems have secure entry and exit systems. And on both systems, everyone pays.

My favorite example for the operators of the Loser Cruiser though is this: In what is arguably the most civil, upstanding, law-abiding cultures on earth - Japan, the subway systems in Tokyo, Osaka and all other cities have TURNSTILES! Japanese rapid transit systems use the same secure gates that all grown-up cities use. And it's very easy for visitors to use: if you don't speak or read the language and aren't sure how much to pay to get to your destination, the system tells you when you reach your exit point.

Loser Cruiser officials keep claiming than they based their "honor-pay" system on research of other rapid transit sytems. I have travelled the world my entire life and find it hard to believe any of them have ever used rapid transit anywhere, even in Vancouver.


I was in Hong Kong with a friend this past March. We rode the Metro extensively (in fact it was fabulous and got us to far flung areas not just destinations within the city). Upon arrival we purchased an Octopus Card ( which made paying for our transit use extremely efficient. And like BART, you pay when you go in, and if you ride further than your initial payment allowed, you pay when you go out. It appeared to us that people wouldn't think of not paying -- you use the system, therefore you pay. Simple.

We really are a hick town (one with fabulous views of mountains and the ocean, but a hick town nonetheless). An honour system is a joke, and it breeds misuse and a culture of "let's see what we can get away with".

I've ridden the subway systems in San Francisco, New York, Paris and London -- you always pay as far as I can see. It seems Vancouver can never quite figure out what is simple for the rest of the world.


1 comment:

anonamoose said...

In London, they have the Oyster card.
Nearly all transit systems have fares for buses, and separate fares for rail. This allows a lower fare for buses which usually are shorter trips.