Thursday, November 25, 2010

Distance Based Fares

I have to say - whoever who thought of this idea must have thought himself (or herself) to be really smart.

But really, I beg to differ.

I think distance-based fares is the silliest thing I've heard of. Okay, so maybe I exaggerated. It is probably not the silliest, but it is close.

Public transport is to provide a means of transportation to the general public at a reasonable price. So on the surface, there isn't anything wrong with distance-based charging - the longer you ride, the more you pay. Fair system, yah?

But the general public travelling on public is doing so most of the time to get to work. And many people people work downtown. And in most cities, the further you stay from town, the more reasonably priced your property is.. or the lower your rent is.

And so.. people who stay further from work, who already have to put up with spending more time on the road to get to work will now have to end up paying more as well.

Where then, is the benefit of all this?

Also, elderly or retired folks who travel by public transport may not find it easy or convenient to make multiple transfers so that their travelling costs can be minimized. They don't care as much about travelling longer distances because they have more time. Why should they be penalized by choosing to make less transfers?

Public transport should have relatively flat pricing - 1 flat rate, or a few categories of flat rates at most for really long distance travelling.

Distance-based fares are not as "fair" as they sound to be.. and with all various the errors popping up in the system, they are proving to be complex as well as silly.

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