Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Trimet and ethics Part 11

The Globe Sherpa phone app!
Who can criticize the phone app right? It's such a wonderful thing!
Trimet brags 'we are the 1st transit agency anywhere to allow it on everything'.
Most advanced transit agency's have fare gates where you prove you have the correct fare and don't need this sort of technology in the first place.
Trimet in its infinite wisdom created a 'walk right in' system which requires riders to show fares to fare inspectors  

But my criticism is this: minimum purchase required!
I have never seen, anywhere, a public transit agency requiring a minimum purchase to make a transit fare. 
And the cell phone app clearly violates equity  because riders that pay reduced fares are
now pay up to 5 times more than if they just bought a cash fare


Jason McHuff said...

Every one using the app pays the same price per fare. Yes it requires Honored Citizens using single tickets to buy 5 at once, but most if not all riders will be able to use those fares over time (at least if they don't have troubles with the app).

Permitted or not, there are definitely businesses out there (and remember that you're really buying from Globe Sherpa and not TriMet) that require a minimum purchase to use a credit card.

That being said, I do wish they had accounts you could add money to instead of having to purchase tickets directly.

Max said...

"I have never seen, anywhere, a public transit agency requiring a minimum purchase to make a transit fare. "

Seattle requires a minimum of $5 to load onto an ORCA card. Oh wait, maybe you've never been to Seattle?

Al M said...

Ok I didn't remember

Anonymous said...

You know, I can buy parking time at a Portland meter in 15 minute increments that are way under a dollar in cost, on my debit card. There should be no illusions that there is some huge technological reason for this multi ticket purchse. It's just for the extra dollar volume they can extort. Certainly not rider friendly.

And, yes, while you're buying from Global Sherpa, Trimet promotes it to take full credit. Well, that means Trimet should take responsibility for its shortcomings.

Max said...

Don't know how the city gets around it, but the issue is the credit card charges. Still, $5 minimum is a lot better than the previous option - the 10 ticket book.