Friday, November 05, 2004

Ideal Subways

My classmate Waddling Thunder has a list of characteristics of the ideal subway on Crescat today. My thoughts:

Catchy names: good. Food: excellent. Especially doughnuts. His escalator arrangement seems far more rational than what we have in Boston (where the subway stop for the hospital is not handicap accessible). All of his suggestions for more line information, maps, and schedule information are great.

But why come out in favor of flat rate pricing and tokens? A card is much easier to carry in a wallet than a pocket full of tokens. Tokens do make variable rate pricing practically impossible (although Boston does have variable rates on some Green Line trains). But variable rate pricing is more efficient. You can charge peak and off peak fares, as well ash gouge the suburbanites for taking up a seat on the train for ten stops while cutting city riders a break, since they only went one or two. What gives, WT? Or is my economics way off?

An additional note: turnstiles. The ideal subway should have non-dedicated turnstiles (usable as both entrance and exit). It's terribly frustrating to have to line up at one set of exit turnstiles while the others are vacant. However, my friend Danielle Pilon suggests that some turnstile may be constructed to only go one way (I suspect this is a setting that can be adjusted, albeit inconveniently). Is this another example of rigidity in public transit infrastructure?
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