Offer a more extensive and tailored range of transit passes, Berlin-style
We spent a month in Berlin, Germany and purchased a month-long transit pass that allowed us to travel only AFTER 10 am.
The pass cost significantly less than a normal transit pass (good for 24 hours) and because we were not commuting, we were not inconvenienced in the slightest.
Also, in New York, we bought week-long passes.
These sorts of discounted pass options make sense for locals and visitors alike and make it easier to convince people to get out of cars or cabs. I would like to see a greater range of transit passes available at several different price points.
This is a great idea, but outside the city’s jurisdiction. This is something TransLink could consider, perhaps in conjunction with the SmartCard rollout expected in 2013, which will enable new and more equitable pricing schemes.
Chemical Hypersensitive commented
I grew up not too far from Berlin and for the last 50plus years I wished that Vancouver would have such efficient transit system connecting the heart of the city with the suburbs… Let us assume that ‘Berlin system’ in Vancouver…
There would be an above ground Ring-train circling around the Vancouver boarder, from where one does catch a Fast-rail leading into all directions; to places like Port Coquitlam and beyond; most likely as far as Hope and connecting the communities along the way…
Streetcars would be going in every which direction in Vancouver; with connections to North and West Van and Burnaby, and then these communities would have their own, well timed, transportation system.
Vancouver also would have a complete Underground-rail system leading to major points within the city and to Richmond, Surrey and Burnaby.
Such would be a complete transportation network ‘Berlin style’ in Vancouver… There would be no need to take the car out and such would eliminate pollution… Berlin style transportation systems exist in all major cities in Germany; so do across country Railway systems and they all do work well, are synchronized and when I was there last (1992) they were still manpower operated with a conductor checking your ticket, to make sure you have caught the right train! Tickets needed to be purchased at the station from an attendant and then it had to be shown and stamped (marked) before entering any public transportation system. This also did work well; there was no attempt to cheat the human eye. Transit passes were flexible as well.
Berlin does have a great transit system. When I was riding the subway there a few years ago I was surprised to see how they enforced fare purchases. Just after the leaving the station a plain-clothes attendant (who looked like any other passenger) pulled out a transit system badge, showed it to the car, and asked everyone to produce their tickets. So, people had no choice to 'duck out' when they saw the transit police coming. I haven't seen this in any other city but it seemed to work. Could this be a way to encourage more people to pay? Maybe, maybe not. But think of how much revenue is lost from those who choose to 'risk it'. Revenue that could be used to expand our entire transit system.
Drew Snider commented
That's what our SmartCard/Faregate project is about: making a more reasonable fare structure. Thing is, we already offer no fewer than 20 different types of fares -- counting monthly FareCards, BC Government-issued passes, DayPasses and plain old buy-from-the-cashbox transfers. That's a lot for our staff to try to keep track of. Don't forget, too, that Berlin and New York are JUST a bit bigger than Metro Vancouver (last I checked, we have about the same population as just one of NYC's five boroughs -- Brooklyn). When I was in NY 3 years ago, I paid $21 (US) for a 7-day unlmited-ride MetroPass. A great deal, but I'd suggest that economy-of-scale helps keep the price down. I didn't see the ref. to the "after 10am" pass on the Berlin transit website, but I did see that a full day pass to cover the entire service area -- all 3 zones -- is 19 Euros. We charge $9 for a DayPass. So while we're certainly looking at a more efficient fare structure, there are fare options like DayPasses, FareSavers and (tax deductible!) FareCards that are very convenient.