Comment 108785

By myrcurial (registered) - website | Posted February 06, 2015 at 11:26:54

Not that they are any great paragon of how to do things right, but when I was a teenager in Guelph (cough, the 80s), Guelph Transit was recording the fare type utilized for each passenger who got on a bus.

The fare box had a "telephone style" keypad and the driver pushed a different number for each fare type (ticket/cash/transfer, child/student/adult/senior). Even allowing for ridiculous overpricing and design/build for abusive use, we could have the data collection system in place for less than $200/bus. It would require the cooperation of the driver in actually doing the data entry, and I understand that bus driver is not the easiest job in the public service, but I would think that the bus drivers are as keen as we are to show the value that they bring to this city. As for collecting the data, the buses all have to go through a depot sooner or later, wireless data collection is (now) trivial. Processing the data? Even easier - open it, let all of us blogsites and usual suspects take care of that for you. Heck, that's a cool idea. I should probably write it up. Not that anyone would go for it. Sometimes being ambitious is a kick in the pants.

If we had only that much data, we'd be in a position to manage the transit we have more effectively. If we include data for strollers, drive-bys, non-fare-paying riders... well, we could actually talk about transit facts instead of guessing about transit realities and leaving us in the position of it being a "my strongly biased stats are better than your differently biased stats" war between councillors.

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