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Arc Smart Fare System

I have not followed this one as much as I could have, but can somebody please enlighten me on how this POS/ticketing/Fare system that has been used around the world for over two decades by far more complex systems than ours, often with various private/public lines and millions of users a day in some cases isn't a plug and play for a system as simple and small as ours? What am I missing here?
 
I have not followed this one as much as I could have, but can somebody please enlighten me on how this POS/ticketing/Fare system that has been used around the world for over two decades by far more complex systems than ours, often with various private/public lines and millions of users a day in some cases isn't a plug and play for a system as simple and small as ours? What am I missing here?
I know one area that makes it more complicated is the regional aspect of this. There's seven participating municipalities I believe, and each one has their own local + commuter fare structures. So the system needs to be able to dynamically calculate a lot of different fares for you if you're travelling throughout the region, and my friend who works as a transit planner in the region says it's really complicated under the hood. I don't know whether it's contributing to the problems they're facing though.
 
I know one area that makes it more complicated is the regional aspect of this. There's seven participating municipalities I believe, and each one has their own local + commuter fare structures. So the system needs to be able to dynamically calculate a lot of different fares for you if you're travelling throughout the region, and my friend who works as a transit planner in the region says it's really complicated under the hood. I don't know whether it's contributing to the problems they're facing though.
The software side can be tricky, but wholly solvable since they aren't integrating with existing legacy payment systems. They are building from scratch.

The biggest issues in my opinion are with the hardware. It takes too long to scan the card, if you tap immediately after someone else it might not recognize the card at all. Which is a shame because the hardware is also the hardest part to fix.
 
The software side can be tricky, but wholly solvable since they aren't integrating with existing legacy payment systems. They are building from scratch.

The biggest issues in my opinion are with the hardware. It takes too long to scan the card, if you tap immediately after someone else it might not recognize the card at all. Which is a shame because the hardware is also the hardest part to fix.
Agreed, it's a big shame. They partly fixed it by keeping the scanners on even when the buses are moving, so there's no delay to board/alight while waiting for the machine to register the doors opening. But that delay between scans is a pain. I wonder how they can find a balance between letting people know that their scans worked (and if they did not work, why they didn't) while quickly letting the next person scan as well. It could be a time delay they manually set? If so, perhaps they can keep the delay, but allow it to be overridden by the next person who scans. That could allow things to happen organically, where someone has the message if they need it, but if the next person scans, that probably means the first person's scan went through and they moved on from the scanner.
 
I know one area that makes it more complicated is the regional aspect of this. There's seven participating municipalities I believe, and each one has their own local + commuter fare structures. So the system needs to be able to dynamically calculate a lot of different fares for you if you're travelling throughout the region, and my friend who works as a transit planner in the region says it's really complicated under the hood. I don't know whether it's contributing to the problems they're facing though.
Yeah but this exists in most cities. Many to a MUCH larger extent.
The software side can be tricky, but wholly solvable since they aren't integrating with existing legacy payment systems. They are building from scratch.

The biggest issues in my opinion are with the hardware. It takes too long to scan the card, if you tap immediately after someone else it might not recognize the card at all. Which is a shame because the hardware is also the hardest part to fix.
Indeed, the unique mix of software and hardware platforms are often where the issues lie.
 
The software side can be tricky, but wholly solvable since they aren't integrating with existing legacy payment systems. They are building from scratch.

The biggest issues in my opinion are with the hardware. It takes too long to scan the card, if you tap immediately after someone else it might not recognize the card at all. Which is a shame because the hardware is also the hardest part to fix.
Are they building from scratch? I thought they were locked in with a vendor, which may be part of the delays.
 
During my tour of the Valley Line, the City of Edmonton folks said that the hope is for Arc's adult fare to launch at the same time as the Valley Line. But they aren't affiliated with the Arc team so they could not say how likely that is.
 
So only 1 single smart card reader?

I'm hoping there's going to be a few more of those, especially with pedestrian traffic coming down from the street and existing pedways
It's been disappointing to see how few readers have been installed at the LRT stations so far. McKernan only has two sets, Corona only has a handful, etc. And their placement is often horrible. It wouldn't be as terrible if the pillar with two readers were right by entrance at a place like McKernan, or in the centre of the area at the top of the escalators at a station like Corona. But instead, they're either further along the platform, or off to the side of the room, meaning the vast majority of people need to go out of their way to use it.
 
tap, move on.
Sure, I can tap my card. But oh wait, I'm getting out of the front car, and the only scanner is halfway down the platform  behind me.

Like honestly, it's such a simple thing that can make a huge difference in the user experience. I'm just saying they should be placed in spots that help mask their relative scarcity. I'm not asking for friggin planters and benches beside each one. If anything, I just want to move on faster.
 
Sure, I can tap my card. But oh wait, I'm getting out of the front car, and the only scanner is halfway down the platform  behind me.

Like honestly, it's such a simple thing that can make a huge difference in the user experience. I'm just saying they should be placed in spots that help mask their relative scarcity. I'm not asking for friggin planters and benches beside each one. If anything, I just want to move on faster.
Exactly this. Any city with a successful smart card system makes it easy. There should be at least one scanner at every single entrance / exit to the platform. Full stop, if you have to go out of your way to scan out, you're already handcuffing your system from day 1.
 
Like even if you don't have actual fare gates, you've got to at least put multiple tappers next to the entrance and exit - so you can tap on your way in and out without a detour. Though really it would've been the perfect time to put in fare gates - as they did in Vancouver when they brought in their tap cards.
 
It's been disappointing to see how few readers have been installed at the LRT stations so far. McKernan only has two sets, Corona only has a handful, etc. And their placement is often horrible. It wouldn't be as terrible if the pillar with two readers were right by entrance at a place like McKernan, or in the centre of the area at the top of the escalators at a station like Corona. But instead, they're either further along the platform, or off to the side of the room, meaning the vast majority of people need to go out of their way to use it.
McKernan/ Belgravia is a very low use station. Do you think it needs more?
I imagine that as Arc rolls out further and paper tickets get discontinued, the ticket validator pedestals will be changed to card readers.
Now which ones are you talking about being out of the way? VLSE LRT? That maybe so, I haven't looked yet in detail where the card readers will be, but I haven't seen any card readers installed yet, only the Arc vending machines, so it might be a bit premature to complain about VLSE LRT card reader placement.

On the rest of the existing LRT line I have no complaints about card reader placement and I am assuming more will be installed.

Any concerns about crowding for tapping could be contingent upon if tapping off is retained. I could see that being eliminated except for cross municipal boarder travel.
 

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