photo by Ran Zhang, via Flickr creative commons
Nice photo and processing of the gates in a New York subway station. The photo was taken with a Nikon D300.
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Categories: The Art of Transit
You know, I love this “turnstiles and fare gates get jumped, therefore they don’t work” slippery slope theory.
I want somebody to show me a traffic law which is followed 100 percent perfectly 100 percent of the time. Speeding laws get broken on a daily basis, and red light violations, too. Or any law, for that matter.
The solution is not to throw up our hands and give up.
We need to keep trying to catch the crooks, with both human beings (transit police and station attendants) and the best enforcement tools (fare gates, security cameras) which are available.
Again, percentage numbers are meaningless when comparing NYMTA vs LA Metro.
NYMTA has a lot more riders and higher fares than LA Metro. 1.5% fare jumpers at NYMTA is a way more number of people and a lot more loss of revenue than 4% fare jumpers at LA Metro. And that’s considering how LA Metro is even able to contemplate their estimated numbers of fare jumpers to begin with with no form of data collection to come up with true numbers.
Just looked at the picture again. You can still see the token return slot on the turnstile from the left.
If I read the LA Metro staff reports correctly Paper RFID tickets should be coming soon. IIRC there was an issue in finding a supplier who actually made them in the USA.
James, that’s because New York started going towards a plastic fare card in the early-to-mid 1990’s and that was the state-of-the-art at the time. (Boston had been using swipe-able plastic cards and turnstile card readers starting in the early-1980’s for monthly passes). New York will soon be/has already started adding RFID readers to these turnstiles in anticipation of a move to a TAP like card. Indeed they have already had some demonstration projects to explore moving to accepting credit cards, especially the few that have an RFID chip built in like Pay Wave, etc.
These also-CUBIC-built turnstiles in the picture above could also accept tokens, and although this ability has now been removed, it shows how much more planning went into the turnstile acquisition process at NYCMTA than at LACMTA. For a long (over-10-year transition) period, all turnstiles could accept both token and New York’s “Metrocard”.
P.S. Despite their intimidating looks, these turnstiles, which are usually just across from a staffed booth, get jumped by approximately 1.5% of riders. Let’s contrast that number with the around 4% of riders that LA Metro says were not paying their fares before the turnstile-installation-fetish arrived here.
All things considered, I’m glad that Los Angeles’ gates are the “tap” variety rather than the magnetized credit-card swipe reader.
Of course, we still need tappable paper cards, but that’s a topic for another day.