Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Token blues.


The TTC launched a new token last month, it's dual alloy which is suppose to be harder to counterfeit, it's also 2.5 times heavier so apparently they've had to hire more people to deliver them to all the subway stations. I can understand the need for more effective counterfeiting but what I can't understand is why we still use tokens at all, this seems like really old technology, I think the only other place I've ever been with tokens is NYC. Why can't the TTC (which is always complaining about lack of funds) come up with anything new or even just keep up with the times and move to easier payment methods that might get more people riding, especially casual riders. For example, because of the oddities of where I live I don't actually ever go main TTC station, which means that I can't easily buy a monthly metropass because they're only sold at stations and certain select locations (which sell out in 1 day). Now, it isn't a big deal going to a station but for someone who takes public transport at least twice a day you'd think I'd be able to easily pay for a pass.

There are some great examples of efficient payment for transportation. In Eesti as long as you had a national id card (which almost everyone does) you can buy transit passes over the internet or with your mobile. In London you can get an Oyster card and load up money on it various ways and use whenever you want (I think I still have a couple of pounds on my card which is packed away somewhere).

So what are the reasons for Toronto's ancient transit payment? Is it lack of money (the standard excuse) to implement new technologies or could it be that local unions fear loosing a few jobs because a machine can sell passes as opposed to a well paid union member? A 29 year old city councilor recently took charge of the TTC, lets see if some young blood can bring new ideas to a old system.

1 Comments:

Anonymous kerho ukkonen said...

The paradox with the North America is, that they are both modern and old/conservative at the same time. There are people with the vision for the future at the same time than a large portion of the population drags their heels to avoid anythin new. Sometimes I wonder if the vast resources are the thing that keeps them afloat?

4:54 AM  

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