|Fare gates at an MBTA station in Boston. (Dan4th Nicholas/Flickr)|
As part of a new fare "control strategy", OC Transpo recommends the installation of fare barriers at Confederation Line and O-Train stations. In a report to be debated at the Transit Commission meeting next week, the implementation of fare-related equipment including fare gates, fare vending machines, and customer service communication posts, is estimated to cost between $20 and $25 million.
Physical fare barriers at O-Train stations, which are to be sheltered with "weather-protected enclosures", will be tested in 2016 before the Confederation Line opens. The decision between automated gates and turnstiles has not been made yet. The advantage to automated gates is that anyone can go through them including those who use wheelchairs or strollers.
In addition to acting as fare collectors, fare gates can be used for crowd control purposes like on Canada Day or during an emergency. The plan is to have them monitored and controlled by OC Transpo control centre. The remote ability to lock the gates is useful when there is an expected or unexpected service shutdown, for example. No one wants to pay their fare only to find out that train service isn't running.
With this method of fare collection, there is no need for POP (proof-of-payment) checkers on board any train. While it's not stated in the report, double-deckers and articulated buses will presumably continue to be inspected under the POP system.
I read "with the high number of customers who will be riding...,it would be impractical to carry out fare inspection on buses without a very large inspection staff, which would result in high operating costs." Therefore, it looks like technology will have some people collecting unemployment benefits rather than fares !
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