The rules of public transport (I)

In most of the countries, public transport is not for free. There are several reasons for that:

  • True  (real)  costs for agencies are important and the municipalities cannot afford to pay for all of them.
  • Some transit lines do cover big distances and fuel consumption is consequent.
  • The agencies  adapt their offers of transportation to the needs of the passengers. Therefore, it is important to have metrics and the simplest way to measure them is the travel pass.

Related imageHowever, there are offenders in every city. Isn’t it better if it’s for free ? No matter how stupid the question is, how uncivil it might seem, there are people who believe it. Tailgating hasn’t been invented yesterday.  How can a company fight this ? Well, there are many ways and today I’ll write a bit about a anti-tailgating techniques. There has even been a campaign made by the Paris transit agency several years ago, targeting all the uncivil people.. The pictures are funny, but the real thing it is not. And I think no one would like to pay for his ticket, just to provide a tailgater  access to the subway. At least no one who is civil. In fact, there are some countries where the rules are respected. No physical barriers are needed, because everybody follow the rules of the game. Alas, one can count the number of those countries with the fingers of one hand.

Image result for ratp bestiaire des animauxNo matter how unthinkable it looks, I have already seen people jump like the frog-headed guy in this picture. Not only it requires a good physical shape, but it shows a certain level of insolence. Where people put their hand, this guy steps upon. Unfortunately, the teams responsible with ticket controlling are too few for a big subway network. The good news is that technology follows.

There are more and more solutions to tailgating. For example, Building.Com has identified 10 such strategies, among which:

Image result for subway security guardsThe use of security guards. One subway company added guards to all the entries in its stations and saw the number of daily passengers skyrocket from 170k to more than 600k.




Image result for subway  turnstileThe use of turnstiles. A big 2m vertical turnstile with enough space for just one person is a secure solution to tailgating, when manpower is not enough. After all, bigger is better. Stadiums have used turnstiles for decades. Subway networks  could follow.







Image result for subway  tailgating camera analyticsCamera analytics. Computing power gets cheaper every day, while image processing systems become smarter than ever. We are still far from the eye scanner from Minority Report, but the gap is closing, slowly.



Image result for metro sas de passageMan traps. Like turnstiles, man traps are made to deter abuses when crossing a border. Employed mostly for people with luggage or in wheelchairs, it might be a solution to tailgating.



All these are investments, and might seem expensive. Unfortunately, not all the players  respect all the rules of the game. And the game must adapt to its players



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