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Thread: Metro issue with tangential bikeshare relationship

  1. #1
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    Default Metro issue with tangential bikeshare relationship

    So I realize that this is not a bikeshare issue, as much as it is a metro issue. But, I don't know of a metro discussion board as helpful as this one is and someone here might have a useful insight. In any case, I posted the below comment as a suggestion to WMATA. I hope that my biting comparison to bikeshare lights a fire under their complacency (please note my sarcasm).

    "When I entered L'Enfant Plaza to catch a train on the yellow line toward Pentagon City last evening during rushhour, the information on the boards was totally incorrect as usual and the one train that did arrive was completely filled, leading about half the hopeful passengers jostling with one another on the platform. Having no information about my expected wait time, I left the station and got a bikeshare bike and rode it over the river. My suggestion is that it is crazy that I still had to pay for a fare. When I leave a station due to inadeqaute service, it's an additional insult that I still must pay. I'm sure you have the technology to avoid this. When I go into a restaurant only to find it full and leave, I am not charged. Thank goodness for bikseshare, which is much more reliable and lower cost. Thank you for reading my suggestion."

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    mstone is offline I really need to log off the internet and go for a ride.
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    Quote Originally Posted by elbows View Post
    So I realize that this is not a bikeshare issue, as much as it is a metro issue. But, I don't know of a metro discussion board as helpful as this one is and someone here might have a useful insight. In any case, I posted the below comment as a suggestion to WMATA. I hope that my biting comparison to bikeshare lights a fire under their complacency (please note my sarcasm).

    "When I entered L'Enfant Plaza to catch a train on the yellow line toward Pentagon City last evening during rushhour, the information on the boards was totally incorrect as usual and the one train that did arrive was completely filled, leading about half the hopeful passengers jostling with one another on the platform. Having no information about my expected wait time, I left the station and got a bikeshare bike and rode it over the river. My suggestion is that it is crazy that I still had to pay for a fare. When I leave a station due to inadeqaute service, it's an additional insult that I still must pay. I'm sure you have the technology to avoid this. When I go into a restaurant only to find it full and leave, I am not charged. Thank goodness for bikseshare, which is much more reliable and lower cost. Thank you for reading my suggestion."
    I think it actually is not possible for them to do that, for both technical and practical reasons. The farecard/gate technology is ancient, and they've had all sorts of problems caused by trying to add more complex logic. There's a plan to upgrade them, but until that happens there is a practical limit to how complicated their controls can be. That's the technology. The practical issue is that if you have zero-cost exit, it becomes too easy to scam the system and take free rides. (You can scam the system now, but the cost/benefit is low enough to make it not worthwhile on short trips.) It's possible in theory to watch entry/exit patterns for signs of fraud (suspiciously long times between same station entry & exit) to allow what you want without opening the gates for widespread abuse, but not until the farecard system is modernized and plugged into a backend that doesn't date from the 1970s.

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