Fare Machines

In response to Can Pay Stations for Parking be used as GoTo card readers for bus pre-boarding? Charles Carlson sends this along from Metro Transit:

We see definite application in arterial BRT/rapid bus corridors.
We’ve been discussing this sporadically for a couple months and are actually prepared to release an RFI on this concept to gauge industry interest. New York City Select Bus service did use a repurposed parking meter, but it was more like the kind you find at Minneapolis Parks parking lots and only issued a paper receipt, with significant down time/reliability problems. And whether you used cash or a Metro card, you still needed a receipt for Select Bus only … not an elegant system. In subsequent applications NYC has used the more traditional TVM model. But they also have 50,000+ users/day on Select Bus corridors, so the comparable usage isn’t quite there to justify a big machine everywhere.
Here are a couple pictures:


We’re looking at something closer to the new Minneapolis meters. These units are much more limited in functionality than full-scale TVMs, but offer a number of advantages (cost being a primary one, if these ended up at $5k-$10k vs $80k-$90k for big TVMs).
Our concept is that the meter would issue a pre-encoded paper “smart ticket” for validation and subsequent transfer. We anticipate parking machine limitations mean only 1-2 types of tickets would be possible to issue, so coordinating a consistent/predictable customer experience with broader regional fare policy may be challenging. Coordination meetings with Minneapolis Parking show some initial promise on the machines, but significant re-engineering is probably needed to issue compatible media to avoid duplicative or parallel infrastructure. We’d encourage coin/credit card users to obtain a GoTo card (or its successors) if they want a more advantageous pricing structure.

Can Pay Stations for Parking be used as GoTo card readers for bus pre-boarding?

GoTo ParkingPay

Minneapolis and other cities have been putting up pay stations so that people can pay for parking via credit card. It seems to me those same technologies could be used to have pre-boarding payment for buses. If the meters could read a GoTo Card or accept payment for transit, they could be easily used along major bus routes and speed boarding. The same meters could be used where there is also on-street pay parking, but at least the same technology could be used elsewhere if not the same device, which should have synergy.
Is there any example of parking payment systems accepting transit payment (like GoTo Cards)?
I doubt it because of the institutional issues, and the general lack of coordination between parking and transit agencies, but it seems a simple opportunity for transit pre-boarding payment to piggyback on an infrastructure for collecting and transmitting money, rather than constructing their own.
Image from Bob Ingrassia

Linklist: July 2, 2012

Bruce McCall @ NYTimes: How to Stop New York City Traffic: “”

Alex Tabrrok @ Marginal Revolution: Slow Speed Rail and the Infrastructure Deficit

The Canta is a small (45km/h) neighborhood car (allowed on bike paths) in the Netherlands. It is aimed at the disabled. Wikipedia article, Metafilter article.

Stephen Smith @ Market Urbanism: Why do condos even exist?

Derecho revealed dependencies

James Fallows @ The Atlantic: American Infrastructure Report: D.C. Storm Edition writes about the sad lack of resilience of America’s Infrastructure after the recent derecho. My mom has electricity, my sister does not. Lot’s of people say “cut your whining”, people used to regularly suffer heat without air conditioning, etc.
This of course is true, people suffered worse in the past. A key point to remember is that in the past, the system had not become dependent on air conditioning, electricity, refrigeration, etc. (Or in the case of winter disasters, electric and gas heating, and cleared suburban roads). We abandoned a series of old adaptations in order to embrace new technology. We no longer have ice boxes with large blocks of ice keeping things cold, daily milkmen, front porches, supplies in the cellar, and so on. So by moving from that technological state, to a new one, we became dependent on the reliability of the material and energy flows of the new system. So when the new system fails, we are in a worse position than we were before it existed, as we don’t have the more reliable, but less efficient systems of yore.
There is no easy solution. The best solution would be weather control.