Random Transport Chatter

Take a break from playing the game and chat here about real-world transportation issues!

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Re: Random Transport Chatter

Post by Pyoro »

tbf, it's been a huge debate in Germany as well, and it's meant as a one-time system to help alleviate some problems with rising cost of living in a corona-affected economy. Also loads of people complaining about it ... mostly because people are actually using it, which, yeah, who'd have thought, and then saying that, surprise, it didn't instantly completely change how car traffic works in Germany :|

The good news is that a successor ticket is real discussions so maybe we'll be getting that now. There are some options already but nothing as easy and affordable as this one.
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Re: Random Transport Chatter

Post by Redirect Left »

Pyoro wrote: 08 Aug 2022 07:29 The good news is that a successor ticket is real discussions so maybe we'll be getting that now. There are some options already but nothing as easy and affordable as this one.
I'd love for even the original €9 scheme to be done here in the UK. Unfortunately, (to my knowledge) there hasn't ever been a meaningful 'deal' on such a widely valid ticket here such as that All Lines ticket from before, the £540/€640 a week one, although it is available with the standard Railcard discount of 33%, if you possess one, bringing it down to just.. £356 or €425.
Unfortunately it just never really even ever looks like a possibility, public transport here, whether it is Trains, Trams or Buses are ran for profit rather than passengers. Some tram systems, in particular i'd say Sheffield Supertram or Manchester Metrolink do have pretty good value tickets vs the offerings of them, and London Underground is fairly decently capped at the daily 'maxes'. Other than that, its super pricey, the Government keep saying "oh no, we're green AF!" whilst doing nothing to tempt people away from cars like offering meaningfully decent prices on railway travel.
I'm lucky in that I qualify for a disabled railcard, and a free bus pass (the bus one is only valid after 0930, because elderly or disabled people have nothing to do in the early morning, it is a fact the Government got from... somewhere), but I'm able to look at the prices and still go "...that's ridiculous".
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Re: Random Transport Chatter

Post by Pyoro »

Thing is, I feel a lot of the success - despite "marketed" via the price - isn't actually that it's cheap, but that it's very uncomplicated and very stress-free. It's really more about being a "all-in-one" ticket. You buy it. You stop worrying about which train, tram, subway, bus you want to take. Just do it! Missed one? Take the next one. Spontaneously want to go somewhere else? Why not! It's raining and you want to go on your trip a day later? Perfectly fine. Find yourself unprepared somewhere? Doesn't matter, can still hop on the bus/train without a worry.

That appeals to people. Many people not used to public transport feel kinda insecure about it (which I can understand, when I interact with a new system I'm not oriented with it also always takes a bit to get that security in knowing you're getting the right tickets etc), and this takes a lot of worry about it away.

The precise cost is something to debated and I could see different models working, like just daily or weekly tickets, or keeping it monthly, or making it yearly; possibly even some sort of subscription-based thing, or do it via some taxes, or whatever. I honestly don't know what the "correct" approach is here - according to surveys, people are saying they feel 60-90€ would be fair (which would still be incredibly low given that one local train ride can easily could 20€ already, and typical monthly tickets for example for Munich can go from 120€ to 200€ or more).

The last thing is availability. The ticket showed - and this will blow your minds, I'm sure - that people only use it if there's actually convenient public transport there. Who could have known?! So basically the people that already had good public transport are the ones that got the most out of having cheap public transport too, now. If this is supposed to work for everyone then a massive increase in capacity and availability is necessary. Well, that's already necessary either way, but even more so if they want to really go for it. It'll take a lot of government effort to get it done and I'm not sure we got one that is THAT gutsy. They'll go in the right direction, but probably not determined enough.
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Re: Random Transport Chatter

Post by Redirect Left »

Pyoro wrote: 08 Aug 2022 10:09 It's really more about being a "all-in-one" ticket. You buy it. You stop worrying about which train, tram, subway, bus you want to take. Just do it! Missed one? Take the next one. Spontaneously want to go somewhere else? Why not! It's raining and you want to go on your trip a day later? Perfectly fine. Find yourself unprepared somewhere?
This is something London has really excelled at here. You can buy an 'oyster' card, which is valid on any type of transport within the Greater London area (tip: its really big), doesn't matter if you want to get a bus, a train (above or below ground) or even want to do the touristy things of use the boats or the Air Line. That card will get you on them (as long as you've got credit on them to be taken off for the fare). On top of Oyster, you can also just tap any valid debit or credit card with contactless and the system will sort out your fare at the other side depending where you went and how you got there. There really should be a system like this nationwide, in my opinion. Get a travel card and go anywhere, no worries or frets about "what if?"
You're completely right in that some people just have no idea how to handle some public transport situations, the oyster card resolves that within London. You got one of them? You can go anywhere in the city boundaries, no worrying about buying a ticket before you board anything, or where to buy the ticket at all!

sidenote: since the widespread implementation & usage of contactless debit/credit cards, oysters have limited usage, given you can now just use any of those debit/credit cards too. Which is even more convenient for the public, also this is generally used throughout the UK now, not just in London with contactless cards. I don't live in London, but I enjoy going there on the underground, so i have a few oyster cards laying about lol
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Re: Random Transport Chatter

Post by Chrill »

Redirect Left wrote: 08 Aug 2022 11:05 On top of Oyster, you can also just tap any valid debit or credit card with contactless and the system will sort out your fare at the other side depending where you went and how you got there.
This is what we did when we spent a few days in London. This seems to do the math for me, uses the Daily anytime capped prices for zones and all. Why would anyone use an Oyster, is it cheaper per trip or something? Just tapping the card (or in my case, my Samsung Pay on my phone) was incredibly hassle free and really not that expensive.
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Re: Random Transport Chatter

Post by Pyoro »

https://youtu.be/3kzu06TRi48

A little youtube sorta documentary on an Alaskan railway (Copper River Railway). Found it to be quite interesting. Impressive feat in awful conditions.
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Re: Random Transport Chatter

Post by Redirect Left »

aaaaa. On 17th this month I am a hipster for the day in Shoreditch. I'm attending a live show being put on by the Sorted Food YouTube channel crew at the Town Hall there. Railways have decided to strike that day and the day before, so I can't even reliably go down the day before and stay in a cheap hotel (hello Kingston-upon-Thames Travelodge) overnight.

I'm waiting for LNER to say announce their intended timetable, I've got tickets booked there & back on the same day already, so hopefully somehow those two trains are on the timetable, or if not they announce the timetable in enough time for me to either rebook or maybe even get a coach down there, as painful as that'll be for me.
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Re: Random Transport Chatter

Post by Redirect Left »

Redirect Left wrote: 05 Dec 2022 01:05 there were 774 characters and 131 words here, but alas, they are no more...
So following this, LNER released their time table. Train to London is still a go, but the last train up North is now... before my event in London has even started.
So what is a man to do?! Well, book the cheapest hotel in London on a Saturday night, that's what! Which is *refers to notes*, Heathrow Terminal 4 Premier Inn.

So I'm going to make the wild presumption that the Premier Inn & Tube Station there is at the non-security side of the airport so I can happily go there. Maybe I'll take my passport so if worst comes to worst, at least I can be accused of breaking into my own country, rather than breaking into a foreign to me country... Hopefully the skywalk bridge from T4 to the hotels is also at the 'not breaking into a country' side of the airport too.
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Re: Random Transport Chatter

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Redirect Left wrote: 11 Dec 2022 13:53 So I'm going to make the wild presumption that the Premier Inn & Tube Station there is at the non-security side of the airport so I can happily go there. Maybe I'll take my passport so if worst comes to worst, at least I can be accused of breaking into my own country, rather than breaking into a foreign to me country... Hopefully the skywalk bridge from T4 to the hotels is also at the 'not breaking into a country' side of the airport too.
Can confirm the Tube Station is Landside, as I was there 2 weeks ago when I changed from the Purple Line to the Piccadilly Line. I'd be surprised if the access to the Premier Inn is anything other than Landside as well.
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Re: Random Transport Chatter

Post by Pyoro »

DB isn't doing too great lately, but at least they finally discovered the power of digital information systems. They are currently trialing station display like this one for regional trains:
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Basically the bottom right thing is new, with sensors at the doors counting passengers and then approximating how full they are.

It's I guess a small convenience but the sorta thing I personally quite appreciate; and ultimately, everything that makes travelling a bit easier is welcome. Now it just needs to be introduced everywhere ... oh, and actually work ;)
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Re: Random Transport Chatter

Post by Redirect Left »

Pyoro wrote: 12 Jan 2023 22:46 Basically the bottom right thing is new, with sensors at the doors counting passengers and then approximating how full they are.
Sweet! this has been standard on most of the UK network for a bit now, and at least in the North where I am, also displayed for buses, I don't recall catching a bus down south recently. Thameslink trains also tell you on the train itself, in case you're ever wondering if any of the other carriages are quieter for you to wander down to.
train_loading_thameslink.png
train_loading_thameslink.png (428.28 KiB) Viewed 302 times
They're really quite nice if there's two trains within say 10 minutes of each other and knowing if its worth waiting for the others or not. I do kinda wish Transport for London would add them on the Underground, but I guess it'd be pretty hard to modify the old train shells to accommodate them, and sometimes you get 3-4 people squeezing on or off at the same time, so who knows how accurate their counting would be then.
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Re: Random Transport Chatter

Post by Pyoro »

Nice! Do you happen to have experience with those in regards to passenger behavior? Because I tend to get kinda frustrated (even though I understand why it happens) with people "clumping" in certain parts and even when obviously it'd be perfectly reasonable to move just a little further up or down a train (or wait just 2 minutes for the next subway) they'll absolutely refuse to do so. Do these sorta clear "you can go there and more space is available" signs change this, or do people just shrug and still stubbornly board right at the stairs where 95% of all people do, while ignoring everything else? ^^;
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Re: Random Transport Chatter

Post by Geo Ghost »

Redirect Left wrote: 13 Jan 2023 00:15 Thameslink trains also tell you on the train itself, in case you're ever wondering if any of the other carriages are quieter for you to wander down to.
train_loading_thameslink.png
Can confirm... everyone still crams in the rear coaches and leave the front ones practically empty :mrgreen:

I've had one unit, 717 (6-car), where the screens thought the train was 8 coaches.. with 2 missing... and phantom toilets...
Technology isn't always that grand sadly.
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Re: Random Transport Chatter

Post by Redirect Left »

Geo Ghost wrote: 29 Jan 2023 18:35 Can confirm... everyone still crams in the rear coaches and leave the front ones practically empty :mrgreen:
I generally catch Thameslink trains at St. Pancras down to Brighton, I always wander down to the start of the platform and hop on the basically empty first carriage hah. Most people were crowding down the stairs and trying to get on at the bottom of them instead of propagating even 10 metres down the platforms.
Pyoro wrote: 14 Jan 2023 13:04 Nice! Do you happen to have experience with those in regards to passenger behavior?
It generally seems to change their behaviour barely any, my nearest station (Wakefield Westgate) has coach capacity status drawn on the board, and they pay absolutely zero attention to it, and as noted above, even on the open plan trains which has the info on it, and you can walk between carriages at any time, they just stand where they got on like lemons.
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