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ETS Bus and General Transit Improvements

What a waste of time and resources for the most part. Put in fare gates and call it a day.

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Transit peace officers have given out many more tickets and warnings for fare evasion in the first few months of 2023 compared to the previous four years, especially on the LRT system. Between January and March of this year, officers handed out 157 tickets and 2,798 warnings, compared to 17 and 92 during the same period in 2019. Steve Bradshaw, president of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 569, told CBC the drastic increase is part of a deliberate effort by the city to address safety and social disorder. Nearly 60% of tickets went to people who are homeless or who provided no fixed address. Coun. Ashley Salvador said fining homeless people for fare evasion is “absolutely concerning” and intends to question administration about the issue in mid-May. Erick Ambtman, executive director of EndPovertyEdmonton and chair of the Edmonton Police Commission, said people who don’t appear in court to pay a ticket can be subject to a warrant, which can lead to an arrest the next time they interact with police. “It ties up that officer’s time. It ties up the justice system’s time,” said Ambtman.

 
What a waste of time and resources for the most part. Put in fare gates and call it a day.

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Transit peace officers have given out many more tickets and warnings for fare evasion in the first few months of 2023 compared to the previous four years, especially on the LRT system. Between January and March of this year, officers handed out 157 tickets and 2,798 warnings, compared to 17 and 92 during the same period in 2019. Steve Bradshaw, president of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 569, told CBC the drastic increase is part of a deliberate effort by the city to address safety and social disorder. Nearly 60% of tickets went to people who are homeless or who provided no fixed address. Coun. Ashley Salvador said fining homeless people for fare evasion is “absolutely concerning” and intends to question administration about the issue in mid-May. Erick Ambtman, executive director of EndPovertyEdmonton and chair of the Edmonton Police Commission, said people who don’t appear in court to pay a ticket can be subject to a warrant, which can lead to an arrest the next time they interact with police. “It ties up that officer’s time. It ties up the justice system’s time,” said Ambtman.



and not just any fare gates, but fare gates that you can't jump over. Roger's Place style gates would be my preference
 
and not just any fare gates, but fare gates that you can't jump over. Roger's Place style gates would be my preference
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These would be great.
 
How do fare gates address the problem of people loitering at the entrances to LRT stations or sleeping on the mezzanine level? Fare gates are an expensive solution that doesn't deal with the underlying problem. If the City can spend hundreds of millions to install access controls throughout the system, I would prefer instead they put that money into things that actually address the problem of disorder.

Also, I wonder how wise it is to put even more money into fare collection when many cities around the world are trying to move towards free transit. Seems not to be very forward looking.
 
How do fare gates address the problem of people loitering at the entrances to LRT stations or sleeping on the mezzanine level? Fare gates are an expensive solution that doesn't deal with the underlying problem. If the City can spend hundreds of millions to install access controls throughout the system, I would prefer instead they put that money into things that actually address the problem of disorder.

Also, I wonder how wise it is to put even more money into fare collection when many cities around the world are trying to move towards free transit. Seems not to be very forward looking.
What is going to solve the loitering issue is having shelters and safe-usage sites in sufficient quantity and well staffed, and that will help address the issue in the city as a whole. The fare gates do increase the safety inside the paid-fare zones and trains, on top of significantly reducing the area that needs to be patrolled by security/peace officers/EPS, and makes it easier to enforce the loitering bylaw.

Also, fare gates are not nearly as expensive as it's played out to be. A quick google search will show you that you can get fare gates (albeit ugly ones, similar to the NYC ones) for around $5000, and that is if you are buying as an individual, not a transit system making a bulk purchase. Hundreds of millions is one VERY big overstatement on the costs of it. Maybe a couple of million, depending on our choice of gates. I will bet that the amount of fares we'd recover would offset these costs in a couple of years, at most.

And as for many cities moving towards free transit, these are a minority, and the context in which this movement is happening is VERY relevant.
 
What is going to solve the loitering issue is having shelters and safe-usage sites in sufficient quantity and well staffed, and that will help address the issue in the city as a whole. The fare gates do increase the safety inside the paid-fare zones and trains, on top of significantly reducing the area that needs to be patrolled by security/peace officers/EPS, and makes it easier to enforce the loitering bylaw.

Also, fare gates are not nearly as expensive as it's played out to be. A quick google search will show you that you can get fare gates (albeit ugly ones, similar to the NYC ones) for around $5000, and that is if you are buying as an individual, not a transit system making a bulk purchase. Hundreds of millions is one VERY big overstatement on the costs of it. Maybe a couple of million, depending on our choice of gates. I will bet that the amount of fares we'd recover would offset these costs in a couple of years, at most.

And as for many cities moving towards free transit, these are a minority, and the context in which this movement is happening is VERY relevant.
Being in a leadership role requires making choices. Financial resources are not unlimited, so the City is going to have to decide how best to use its limited revenues. Claiming that it can invest more in shelters and staffing, at the same time as installing infrastructure thought the LRT system to control every entry seems a bit unrealistic. 5 minutes of googling doesn't make something true.

The other thing I think you are missing, IMHO, is that in addition to being expensive fare gates will not solve the problem of disorder. Systems with fare gates still have problems with violence and even murder within the paid fare zones. I know it feels like an easy 'win' to fix the safety problems within ETS facilities, but it will not work and will waste huge amounts of money. The City should focus on initiatives that will actually solve the underlying problem and not just try to move the disorder around.
 
How do fare gates address the problem of people loitering at the entrances to LRT stations or sleeping on the mezzanine level? Fare gates are an expensive solution that doesn't deal with the underlying problem. If the City can spend hundreds of millions to install access controls throughout the system, I would prefer instead they put that money into things that actually address the problem of disorder.

Also, I wonder how wise it is to put even more money into fare collection when many cities around the world are trying to move towards free transit. Seems not to be very forward looking.
It is not just a matter of social disorder there are many people who just don’t bother paying. Fare gates are a fixed cost for the most part employing many people to enforce is an ongoing cost. Making people pay also has a return on the capital outlay. Having free transit brings its own problems as we are well aware of otherwise we wouldn’t be having this discussion.
 
What is going to solve the loitering issue is having shelters and safe-usage sites in sufficient quantity and well staffed, and that will help address the issue in the city as a whole. The fare gates do increase the safety inside the paid-fare zones and trains, on top of significantly reducing the area that needs to be patrolled by security/peace officers/EPS, and makes it easier to enforce the loitering bylaw.

Also, fare gates are not nearly as expensive as it's played out to be. A quick google search will show you that you can get fare gates (albeit ugly ones, similar to the NYC ones) for around $5000, and that is if you are buying as an individual, not a transit system making a bulk purchase. Hundreds of millions is one VERY big overstatement on the costs of it. Maybe a couple of million, depending on our choice of gates. I will bet that the amount of fares we'd recover would offset these costs in a couple of years, at most.

And as for many cities moving towards free transit, these are a minority, and the context in which this movement is happening is VERY relevant.
Also you don’t have to install fare gates at every station in fact it would be extremely expensive and impractical to install at some stations. The main destinations like the university and downtown would control a vast majority of fare evaders
 
Also you don’t have to install fare gates at every station in fact it would be extremely expensive and impractical to install at some stations. The main destinations like the university and downtown would control a vast majority of fare evaders
Basically, all of the underground stations and some of the at-grade stations would be feasible.
 

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