Monday, August 9, 2010

News Updates

The first story is from the CBC and talks about the benefits of an in-house smart card payment system as well as an open-payment system like MasterCard Paypass or Visa payWave for tap-and-go transit. While an open-payment system is good, at the moment it doesn't offer the same flexibility of an in-house smart card system that can load transit pass for example. I am sure that transit agencies could probably work on someway of doing that with only a person's credit card, but many people may not be able to get a credit card in the first place.
A Presto system, he said, would require transit authorities to set up their own proprietary system to handle payments and deal with security issues. The open payment system, on the other hand, would use infrastructure already set up by banks and credit card companies.

"It simplifies it and therefore keeps the cost down. We're talking tens of millions likely versus hundreds of millions," said Giambrone.
An interesting column in the National Post called "Urban Scrawl: Toronto needs more transit not new tolls"
Usually I’m all in favour of tolls and user fees, but not when it comes to road tolls in the GTA. We already pay for the roads through our taxes, and for transit through a combination of taxes and user fees.
The columnist is basely whining about having to be like transit users and pay both a user fee and taxes, but there is one valid point that he brings up and is critical to any road pricing system: you need to give people a carrot. Pricing roads without improving transit is likely to only upset people as they don't have any alternative.

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