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Old 11-08-2014, 10:44 AM
 
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In NYC the pricing is a form of social redistribution by a government agency, not an attempt to "accurately" allocate the costs of maintaining the system among riders. The availability of the monthly cards advantages residents, who are better off with one, over commuters, for whom individual rides are cheaper. The same-price-for-any-ride setup advantages lower-income people living on the edges of the system over higher income people in Manhattan and the closer-in parts of Brooklyn and Queens.

Those sort of factors are even bigger when you talk about transit modes -- the subway is priced pretty close to cost, tolls are massively above what is actually needed and subsidize everything else, buses are hugely subsidized and you pay less than half the operating cost if I remember correctly. Public transit agencies don't need to and often don't price by operating costs, but rather by political factors.
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Old 11-08-2014, 07:27 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ALackOfCreativity View Post
In NYC the pricing is a form of social redistribution by a government agency, not an attempt to "accurately" allocate the costs of maintaining the system among riders. The availability of the monthly cards advantages residents, who are better off with one, over commuters, for whom individual rides are cheaper. The same-price-for-any-ride setup advantages lower-income people living on the edges of the system over higher income people in Manhattan and the closer-in parts of Brooklyn and Queens.

Those sort of factors are even bigger when you talk about transit modes -- the subway is priced pretty close to cost, tolls are massively above what is actually needed and subsidize everything else, buses are hugely subsidized and you pay less than half the operating cost if I remember correctly. Public transit agencies don't need to and often don't price by operating costs, but rather by political factors.
One of the political factors involves charging higher fares for trips from the airport. The reasoning is no doubt that most of the riders are visitors who don't vote in local elections. I don't buy the lower income argument since many of them don't travel far. I bet many South Bronx residents have never even been to Manhattan.
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Old 11-08-2014, 10:10 PM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

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Location: Long Island / NYC
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Originally Posted by pvande55 View Post
One of the political factors involves charging higher fares for trips from the airport. The reasoning is no doubt that most of the riders are visitors who don't vote in local elections. I don't buy the lower income argument since many of them don't travel far. I bet many South Bronx residents have never even been to Manhattan.
Maybe. However, those riding the subway long distances (say from the Bronx to Manhattan or even Queens or Brooklyn) are on average poorer those riding the subway short distances within Manhattan. Certainly there is a high volume of riders from the Bronx into Manhattan.
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Old 11-09-2014, 01:17 PM
 
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Originally Posted by pvande55 View Post
One of the political factors involves charging higher fares for trips from the airport. The reasoning is no doubt that most of the riders are visitors who don't vote in local elections. I don't buy the lower income argument since many of them don't travel far. I bet many South Bronx residents have never even been to Manhattan.

Oh c'mon, we go to "the city" just like the rest of you.
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Old 11-09-2014, 01:21 PM
 
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Originally Posted by nei View Post
Maybe. However, those riding the subway long distances (say from the Bronx to Manhattan or even Queens or Brooklyn) are on average poorer those riding the subway short distances within Manhattan. Certainly there is a high volume of riders from the Bronx into Manhattan.

A subway trip from the South Bronx to Manhattan is not a long distance.
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Old 11-10-2014, 12:17 PM
 
Location: Pasadena, CA
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Personally I think it should be on a per-trip basis, mainly because distance-based fares hurts lower-income riders who cannot afford the central city (looking at you BART).

Right now LA is trip-based with a 2-hour transfer window. There is a strong contingent who want to see it shift to distance-based, especially considering the breadth of the system - when the regional connector is finished, the Gold and Blue lines will respectively have nearly 30 and over 40 miles of tracks per-line. So I can see where people are coming from, who think it is unfair someone to be able to travel from Azusa to Long Beach for the same price as it costs to go from Grand Park to 7th/Metro.
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Old 11-11-2014, 04:02 AM
 
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Originally Posted by munchitup View Post
Personally I think it should be on a per-trip basis, mainly because distance-based fares hurts lower-income riders who cannot afford the central city (looking at you BART).

Right now LA is trip-based with a 2-hour transfer window. There is a strong contingent who want to see it shift to distance-based, especially considering the breadth of the system - when the regional connector is finished, the Gold and Blue lines will respectively have nearly 30 and over 40 miles of tracks per-line. So I can see where people are coming from, who think it is unfair someone to be able to travel from Azusa to Long Beach for the same price as it costs to go from Grand Park to 7th/Metro.
On the other hand, Metrolink, like most commuter rail, is distance based. And some don't even travel 30 miles.
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Old 11-13-2014, 04:45 PM
 
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Originally Posted by munchitup View Post
Personally I think it should be on a per-trip basis, mainly because distance-based fares hurts lower-income riders who cannot afford the central city (looking at you BART).

Right now LA is trip-based with a 2-hour transfer window. There is a strong contingent who want to see it shift to distance-based, especially considering the breadth of the system - when the regional connector is finished, the Gold and Blue lines will respectively have nearly 30 and over 40 miles of tracks per-line. So I can see where people are coming from, who think it is unfair someone to be able to travel from Azusa to Long Beach for the same price as it costs to go from Grand Park to 7th/Metro.

I agree, also because distance pricing can be difficult to enforce and sometimes can even be unfair. Portland's regional transit system once had trip-based fares, then went to a 'zone' system (e.g. 3-zone trips cost more than 2-zone trips, while many 3-zone trips were actually shorter than 2-zone trips, depending on where you're going), then went back to trip-based fares. As for enforcement, you could board with a 2-zone pass and the driver would never know you stayed on the bus and went 3 zones.

Can you also get to Anaheim or Rancho Cucamonga for that same price?

"All aboard, train leaving on track 5 for Anaheim, Azusa, and Cucamonga!" - Daffy Duck to Porky Pig in "Daffy Duck Slept Here" (1948)

(OMG, now YouTube is charging $1.99 to watch the video? Good luck with that.)
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Old 11-13-2014, 04:54 PM
 
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Originally Posted by pvande55 View Post
On the other hand, Metrolink, like most commuter rail, is distance based. And some don't even travel 30 miles.

That works fine if there are discrete and enforced entry and exit points. For instance the Ohio Turnpike has discrete fares for each possible distance; you get a ticket where you enter (to identify your entry point and time) and then you pay a distance-specific toll at your exit point. (I always stopped for a meal along the way to make sure 'speeding' was not an issue at exit. Maybe I was just paranoid, I dunno.)

When I board a bus, it is hard to collect a distance-specific fare.
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Old 11-15-2014, 02:43 AM
 
Location: Philly, PA
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I'm guessing the post is referring to Commuter Railroads ? .... I have rode SEPTA, NJTRANSIT, AND LIRR and those three that i know of are Zone Based....I never thought of it that way. I've grew up seeing ZONE 1,2,3,4 , ZONE 15 so its regular to my eyes.
But it's usually the farthest you travel the higher the zone fare/ticket is. I'm sure for those agencies that's where their money comes in at charging zone fares and plus on top of that when you factor weekly , or monthly zone passes which can run from $42-$200 per week or month
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