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Author Topic: Demand management using targeted off-peak discounts  (Read 6020 times)

Offline ozbob

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Demand management using targeted off-peak discounts
« on: June 20, 2012, 07:49:07 AM »
Discussion on ' Demand management using targeted off-peak discounts to encourage passengers shift to the off-peak and shoulder peak services '.
 
« Last Edit: June 26, 2012, 03:17:25 PM by ozbob »
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Offline Derwan

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Re: Fare incentives for the shoulder peak - suggestions
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2012, 08:02:06 AM »
Well for a start we need to include touch-OFF's before 7am as off-peak!

Is it worth introducing another discount?  All well as the off-peak discount, we could have a shoulder-peak discount - at around half the discount of off-peak.  It could work something like this:

Touch off before 7am: Off-peak
Touch off before 7:30am: Shoulder-peak
Touch on after 8:30am: Shoulder-peak
Touch on between 9:00am and 3:30pm: Off-peak
Touch on between 3:30pm and 4:00pm: Shoulder-peak
Touch on between 6:00pm and 7:00pm: Shoulder-peak
Touch on after 7pm: Off-peak

Sounds complicated, but we're looking at desperate measures here!

Of course, ANY shoulder-peak incentive will ONLY work if there is the additional frequency during the shoulder-peak period.
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Re: Fare incentives for the shoulder peak - suggestions
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2012, 08:10:53 AM »
I thought that Go Card didn't have the capability to use touch off time?

AM peak is the critical case.  PM peak is far less of a concern - just add additional service.  Perhaps make off peak for touch ons after 8:30am?

Offline Derwan

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Re: Fare incentives for the shoulder peak - suggestions
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2012, 10:14:27 AM »
I thought that Go Card didn't have the capability to use touch off time?

I believe it's more to do with not wanting to confuse people.  If you look at your transaction history, you have both a touch on and touch off time.  Either one could be used as the basis for fare calculations.
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Offline ozbob

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Re: Fare incentives for the shoulder peak - suggestions
« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2012, 10:44:21 AM »
Yes, I think that might the way to go Derwan.  Define the time periods for off peak, shoulder peak, and peak.  Once that is settled then look at discounts.  Off peak 30% discount, shoulder 20%?
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Offline #Metro

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Re: Fare incentives for the shoulder peak - suggestions
« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2012, 11:33:20 AM »
Fare incentives won't work because during PEAK hour people pay more already anyway. If people are willing to pay MORE to sit on a crowded train, that tells you that the issue probably isn't fares. I mean, if you are running late to be at work on time at 9am, are you going to turn up late to work consistently just so you can save 50c or whatever it is. No of course not.

What's needed is ALL DAY services because you pull out the people that could travel at other times of the day anyway. A new policy on urban development needs to be put in place so that town centres on the periphery are developed and that BALANCE is achieved in peak flows. Half the system's capacity is wasted because Brisbane is mono-centric.

Canberra, for example, is polycentric, and peak flow happens in both directions.

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Re: Fare incentives for the shoulder peak - suggestions
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2012, 11:47:06 AM »
I thought that Go Card didn't have the capability to use touch off time?

I believe it's more to do with not wanting to confuse people.  If you look at your transaction history, you have both a touch on and touch off time.  Either one could be used as the basis for fare calculations.
I guess we have been told a number of times that "It can't be done", and then it is.

Offline Gazza

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Re: Fare incentives for the shoulder peak - suggestions
« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2012, 12:26:28 PM »
I'm sure it's a recommendation of the review, but It won't do jack actually.

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Re: Fare incentives for the shoulder peak - suggestions
« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2012, 12:37:16 PM »
I'm sure it's a recommendation of the review, but It won't do jack actually.
+1.

Look at Melbourne.

Offline Derwan

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Re: Fare incentives for the shoulder peak - suggestions
« Reply #9 on: June 22, 2012, 04:25:03 PM »
Fare incentives won't work because during PEAK hour people pay more already anyway. If people are willing to pay MORE to sit on a crowded train, that tells you that the issue probably isn't fares.

It's interesting talking to Dan the timetable man about this.  He's very switched on when it comes to public transport.  I'm sure if he had his way, we'd be running frequent services all day.

Anyway - one of the key issues around peak usage is that the very nature of timetabling (i.e. very frequent services for a short period of time) actually encourages and even drives usage patterns.  (Demand is driven by frequency, rather than the other way around.)  People will catch a train at a time when it doesn't really matter if they are a few minutes late because there will be another service.  People don't want to be bound by timetables.  They want to be able to arrive at and leave their destination when they want, rather than watching the clock and having to leave at a certain time.  Sticking to the peaks makes that easier.  You can stay another 5 or 10 minutes to finish something off and not have to worry about having to wait another 20 minutes because you missed the train.

There are other matters as well, such as whether workplaces have the flexible arrangements to allow people to work outside the traditional hours.  Also, the city shuts down by about 6pm.  There is no incentive to stick around and do a bit of shopping or grab dinner at one of the food courts.

It will be interesting to see if the Ferny Grove 15-minute off peak services change the usage patterns for that line.  (Actually it'd be interesting to see if the Darra - City usage patters have already changed.)  Unfortunately I don't think the 15-minute services will continue after the evening peak on the Ferny Grove line?  This would effectively defeat the potential to encourage travel outside of the main peak period.

Another point about off-peak is that many would have to change their departure times significantly to receive a discount.  If we had a tiered discount (shoulder-peak and off-peak), it would still encourage those currently travelling on shoulder-peak to change to off-peak - and those currently travelling during peak to change to shoulder-peak - without significantly changing their daily routine.  This could effect a shift away from peak periods.  But it really needs the frequency to have any chance of working effectively.
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Offline ozbob

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Re: Fare incentives for the shoulder peak - suggestions
« Reply #10 on: June 22, 2012, 04:32:31 PM »
The network is heading to meltdown,  all options are in as I see it, as as the ' expert review panel ' recommendations are in, no doubt they will come to pass.

Forget about whether it should or should not they are going to do I reckon.

Make off peak 30%, shoulder 15% ?  this assumes that the go card can handle it ( I think it can ).
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Re: Fare incentives for the shoulder peak - suggestions
« Reply #11 on: June 22, 2012, 04:40:13 PM »
I am against two levels of off peak discount.  I think there would be too much confusion with that.  A narrower band in the PM peak?  Fine.

Offline ozbob

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Re: Fare incentives for the shoulder peak - suggestions
« Reply #12 on: June 22, 2012, 04:45:25 PM »
I am against two levels of off peak discount.  I think there would be too much confusion with that.  A narrower band in the PM peak?  Fine.

Maybe so, but you are missing the point they are probably going to do it.  What should the levels be?
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Offline #Metro

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Re: Fare incentives for the shoulder peak - suggestions
« Reply #13 on: June 22, 2012, 04:49:13 PM »
Pricing discounts will not do anything! People are already willing to pay top dollar to sit on a packed train so long as they are guaranteed to get to work on time.

It has already been tried in Melbourne and it doesn't work, the value of time is too high ---> http://news.theage.com.au/national/early-train-commuters-to-travel-for-free-20080307-1xug.html

And remember the Melbourne trial had the price reduced to ZERO. We aren't considering that - so the impact here in Brisbane will be even LESS. Now unless we are going to have negative fare pricing (i.e. Pay people to go to work early), this is not going to do much and use up tens of millions of dollars that could be better spent on all day frequency.

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Offline ozbob

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Re: Fare incentives for the shoulder peak - suggestions
« Reply #14 on: June 22, 2012, 04:51:27 PM »
Yes, we know all that TT.  The expert panel has made their recommendations, what levels do you think?
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Offline ozbob

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Re: Fare incentives for the shoulder peak - suggestions
« Reply #15 on: June 22, 2012, 04:55:17 PM »
Trains are overflowing in Melbourne on weekends.  $3.30 flat fare.   Seniors free.  10 minute frequency.

Sort of the opposite of Queensland logic ...
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Offline Derwan

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Re: Fare incentives for the shoulder peak - suggestions
« Reply #16 on: June 22, 2012, 04:55:49 PM »
Pricing discounts will not do anything! People are already willing to pay top dollar to sit on a packed train so long as they are guaranteed to get to work on time.

I agree that pricing alone won't help.  It HAS to be coupled with more frequent services during the shoulder-peak - and preferably during off-peak as well!  But we've already seen in another thread that that isn't going to happen.

I believe that what this government is looking for is a magic wand.

If a tiered discount was introduced, I think the 15/30 would be a fair discount.  If they're desperate enough, perhaps they should consider 20/35.
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Re: Fare incentives for the shoulder peak - suggestions
« Reply #17 on: June 23, 2012, 02:42:54 PM »
I am against two levels of off peak discount.  I think there would be too much confusion with that.  A narrower band in the PM peak?  Fine.

Maybe so, but you are missing the point they are probably going to do it.  What should the levels be?
Perhaps we should speak against it.

Offline Golliwog

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Re: Fare incentives for the shoulder peak - suggestions
« Reply #18 on: June 23, 2012, 02:52:09 PM »
I am against two levels of off peak discount.  I think there would be too much confusion with that.  A narrower band in the PM peak?  Fine.

Maybe so, but you are missing the point they are probably going to do it.  What should the levels be?
Perhaps we should speak against it.
Perhaps, but I think there is a high chance it would only be seen as whining if all we had to say was "Don't do it" without suggesting an alternative when we don't really have one seeing as their already suggesting pretty much everything you can do (more shoulder peak services, signalling changes, reducing seating, turn backs).

I think the best way to speak against it would be wait until they announce the implementation of one or more of the short term capacity solutions and point out that the other solutions would do much more than the fare based solution.
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Offline Derwan

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Re: Fare incentives for the shoulder peak - suggestions
« Reply #19 on: June 23, 2012, 06:03:40 PM »
Perhaps we should speak against it.

Why would we speak against something that would potentially help spread the peak load?

Perhaps we should just focus on the main thing(s) we believe will truly help, such as increased frequency of services.  Without this, fare strategies will do next to nothing.  I think this should be our line.
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Offline Jonas Jade

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Re: Fare incentives for the shoulder peak - suggestions
« Reply #20 on: June 23, 2012, 06:06:56 PM »
Could it be introduced in the form of a peak hour "surcharge" where anyone exiting inner city stations in clearly defined "peak" is charged an extra amount on top of the regular fare?

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Re: Fare incentives for the shoulder peak - suggestions
« Reply #21 on: June 23, 2012, 06:14:11 PM »
Perhaps we should speak against it.

Why would we speak against something that would potentially help spread the peak load?

Perhaps we should just focus on the main thing(s) we believe will truly help, such as increased frequency of services.  Without this, fare strategies will do next to nothing.  I think this should be our line.
:-t

That was more what I was thinking.  I just didn't articulate it very well.

Offline ozbob

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Re: Fare incentives for the shoulder peak - suggestions
« Reply #22 on: June 24, 2012, 04:04:33 AM »
It is axiomatic that pre and post peak frequency would need boosting if shoulder discounts are to be implemented.  This might be a successful aid in managing peak congestion done properly.  Simply introducing discounts without consideration to frequency is going do little indeed I agree.

I think all options will need to considered as we move into a period where peak capacity has an absolute cap.

It is good though to have a measure on what people think would be an appropriate level of discount.   TransLink if directed to implement would be unlikely to consult with the wider community though, haven't really done it before.  All fare structures have been surprise - secret state policy initiatives.
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Offline wbj

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Re: Fare incentives for the shoulder peak - suggestions
« Reply #23 on: June 24, 2012, 10:06:41 AM »
Firstly, perhaps we should define the timeshift which we are trying to achieve and then assess what might be sufficient financial incentive to make a significant number of people undertake it.  I assume that more services are not needed in the shoulder period otherwise these existing services would already be full and fall into the peak period range.

So, are we trying to get people to shift their travel time by 30 minutes?  If so, it's hard to think of a large enough financial incentive to induce that change.  Maybe free travel.  Personally, $3 discount (50%) to start work 30 mins early or finish 30 mins late wouldn't do it for me.

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Re: Fare incentives for the shoulder peak - suggestions
« Reply #24 on: June 24, 2012, 07:09:09 PM »
IIRC in Melbourne there was no measurable difference in the peak overcrowding.  However there was increase in PT use before 7am.  So it promoted some new PT trips but didn't move existing trips.  When you put it that way it sounds successful, and people heading home in the PM are still paying.

Offline #Metro

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Re: Fare incentives for the shoulder peak - suggestions
« Reply #25 on: June 24, 2012, 09:46:49 PM »
Quote
Pricing discount to the point it was free had little effect in Melbourne, but I want to know what was meant by "Little". On some services if you got 30 people to change their plans, it would make a difference. Not much but ever little bit helps. Getting a small number of people to change their plans, and you might save $100m's?

Agree with discounting, not everyone can do it but when your back is against the wall give it a go. Perhaps those who catch trains out of the known real peaks get their extra ride after 8 trips, not 9?

I think the effect was that 400 people moved. Not sure - there's a link in this thread somewhere, best to read that. Doesn't even fill half a train!
Remember, this was when the price was ZERO. We're not even doing anywhere near that - so it's going to be even LESS for us.

Quote
IIRC in Melbourne there was no measurable difference in the peak overcrowding.  However there was increase in PT use before 7am.  So it promoted some new PT trips but didn't move existing trips.  When you put it that way it sounds successful, and people heading home in the PM are still paying.

Total and utter waste - upping peak hour fares would achieve exactly the same effect with ZERO of the costs associated with the Melbourne scheme, PLUS we'd have some more funds which could be spent on off peak services which would double patronage.
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Offline #Metro

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Re: Fare incentives for the shoulder peak - suggestions
« Reply #26 on: June 24, 2012, 10:39:25 PM »
Quote
Increase the cost of peak fares and you might loose 400 people to cars, so in reality you could be 800 people worse off. Just look at QR's 2011 loading survey to see how people are voting with fare increases without service improvement.

I don't think it is such a bad thing - especially if you're desperate and are going to run out of capacity. After all, the price of something should be some way related to how scarce that good is, no?
Quote

Just look at QR's 2011 loading survey to see how people are voting with fare increases without service improvement.

Isn't this just actual proof that if you increase peak hour pricing, crowding will decrease? How is this a refutation of the effectiveness of increasing the price to get people off the peak?

Peak hour on the roads is spreading, and there you don't have the geometric constraints that the rail system has with trains running in fixed blocks. Many people can afford - even if they swear blind they couldn't - they all travel at peak hour because they have a JOB to go to that pays them MONEY. And if they work in the city, chances are that job is a well paid job too.

UP the price for peak hour fares. Then use that money to pay for more off peak services. The beauty of all day off peak services is that you can dispense with car ownership entirely if you live next to one of these services.

Not what people want to hear, but it's the truth and it will work.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2012, 10:44:32 PM by tramtrain »
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Offline Gazza

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Re: Fare incentives for the shoulder peak - suggestions
« Reply #27 on: June 24, 2012, 11:50:24 PM »
Quote
I don't think it is such a bad thing - especially if you're desperate and are going to run out of capacity.
It's a bad thing due to the costs to society of people shifting off trains and onto the roads.

Offline #Metro

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Re: Fare incentives for the shoulder peak - suggestions
« Reply #28 on: June 24, 2012, 11:56:04 PM »
Do you want to decongest the train system or not? Zero sum game here...
Shoulder discounts will barely scrape 1% change I would think
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Offline Gazza

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Re: Fare incentives for the shoulder peak - suggestions
« Reply #29 on: June 25, 2012, 12:12:12 AM »
Quote
Do you want to decongest the train system or not? Zero sum game here...
Oooh, loaded, leading question. go TT go!  ::) :-t

The end game is suitable transport for the city, not replacing one problem with another, or looking at a single problem in isolation "Decongesting the train system".

Obviously putting the prices up makes people stop taking public transport. TL have already done that, and while its good for them in that they don't have to run so many services, its bad news for the city.

Contrary to what a lot of people/CM bloggers etc say, we can fit plenty more on peak hour trains IMO...
It will be a build up, and people will adapt to standing much closer together...We're nowhere near the sort of overcrowding seen in world cities.
In short, people here are kinda pussies on this matter.

I've never found a train I couldn't board.

Here's what people will learn to do:


Side point, we also need the departure chime seen in this video to encourage people to move a bit quicker when boarding/leaving.


Offline #Metro

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Re: Fare incentives for the shoulder peak - suggestions
« Reply #30 on: June 25, 2012, 12:19:47 AM »
Quote
Obviously putting the prices up makes people stop taking public transport. TL have already done that, and while its good for them in that they don't have to run so many services, its bad news for the city.

Paying millions of dollars of people's money on a scheme that doesn't cause much modal shift at all is bad news too. At least with higher peak hour fares you can afford to put more services elsewhere which assists all day patronage. And it works.

I don't agree that ripping out seats or shoving people into long distance Gold Coast line services is the way to go. On shorter line services (30-45 minutes) I might be swayed, but not something like GC.

What's your alternative solution?
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Offline #Metro

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Re: Fare incentives for the shoulder peak - suggestions
« Reply #31 on: June 25, 2012, 12:22:23 AM »
If people can't board the train they will start driving anyway. Pointless. And in that scenario there is no money for extra services either.

Then people will say that 'oh, it's bombay'.

Quote
The end game is suitable transport for the city, not replacing one problem with another, or looking at a single problem in isolation "Decongesting the train system".

Uh-huh... and so you write this - create an overcrowding and congestion problem. How is this not a contradiction in terms?

Quote
It will be a build up, and people will adapt to standing much closer together...We're nowhere near the sort of overcrowding seen in world cities.
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Offline Gazza

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Re: Fare incentives for the shoulder peak - suggestions
« Reply #32 on: June 25, 2012, 12:29:23 AM »
Quote
What's your alternative solution?
On fare measures specifically, do nothing is my position (As quoted right at the start of the thread)

Focus the funds on practical measures.

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Re: Fare incentives for the shoulder peak - suggestions
« Reply #33 on: June 25, 2012, 12:56:18 AM »
In short, people here are kinda pussies on this matter.

Yep. Some people need to harden up by eating a giant sack of cement. Gold Coast trains are becoming Bombay express trains.... oh please. Whenever a peak hour train comes past that is crowded around the doors because they hate asiles I just smile and get in formation with fellow passengers... crouch down... touch... pause... engage! A couple purses might go flying 2cm backwards, someone cops a sweaty armpit in the face and some old lady can't finishing knitting her queen size quilt but atleast I'm on the train with enough space around me to set up a small BBQ.
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Offline #Metro

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Re: Fare incentives for the shoulder peak - suggestions
« Reply #34 on: June 25, 2012, 07:45:18 AM »
Making long distance commuters stand for a very long time isn't something I support on long distance lines. Short distance lines I could understand, long distance, no.
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Offline Derwan

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Re: Fare incentives for the shoulder peak - suggestions
« Reply #35 on: June 25, 2012, 08:00:17 AM »
Contrary to what a lot of people/CM bloggers etc say, we can fit plenty more on peak hour trains IMO...
It will be a build up, and people will adapt to standing much closer together...We're nowhere near the sort of overcrowding seen in world cities.

If we had trains every few minutes and still had an overcrowding issue, I could accept that.  But when (on some suburban lines) there is a train every 20 minutes (on average) during the PEAK period, there is no way I would accept extreme overcrowding.

We need to maximise the frequency first.
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Offline Golliwog

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Re: Fare incentives for the shoulder peak - suggestions
« Reply #36 on: June 25, 2012, 12:19:19 PM »
TT, have you read what your comments are saying?

From what I can tell, you want the peak fares to be increased to encourage people NOT to use peak hour trains. If that's that case then what do you think will happen? All I can see is more people driving cars to work, leading to more people demanding 'improved' roads seeing as the mode share split shows less people using PT.

I'm with Gazza on this. I think they need to have a look at whether the extra costs of providing a shoulder peak discount is more or less of a cost compared to having those people drive and having worse road congestion, more crashes, etc. There is absolutely nothing to be gained from looking at the train network in isolation and saying "Well, we upped the fares and got rid of our overcrowding issue, crisis averted." if people are driving more and more cars, and getting stuck in more and more congestion, wasting more and more time and money.
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Offline HappyTrainGuy

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Re: Fare incentives for the shoulder peak - suggestions
« Reply #37 on: June 25, 2012, 01:03:03 PM »
It's going to have to be a big encentive for people to go work early/leave later too. I could hang around for an extra hour.... but I miss my connecting bus. I could hang around a little later... but I don't want to wait 2hs each day for a $2 saving. Or I could drive.
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Offline #Metro

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Re: Fare incentives for the shoulder peak - suggestions
« Reply #38 on: June 25, 2012, 01:11:21 PM »
Quote
From what I can tell, you want the peak fares to be increased to encourage people NOT to use peak hour trains. If that's that case then what do you think will happen? All I can see is more people driving cars to work, leading to more people demanding 'improved' roads seeing as the mode share split shows less people using PT.

My suggestions aside; Shoulder peak discounts aren't likely to work. If the price is ZERO (100% discount) and the response to that is next to nothing, what hope have you got with a 20% discount?
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Re: Fare incentives for the shoulder peak - suggestions
« Reply #39 on: June 25, 2012, 01:11:55 PM »
I think shortening the period of peak fares is something which could be considered in preference to having a separate rate for shoulder peak.  Peak until 7pm?  Get real.

 

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