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Fresh from London, new MTA chief eyes 'distinctly different customer experience'

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LONDON - New (MTA) chief Jay Walder stood on the platform of the Waterloo Tube station the other day and liked what he saw - and heard.

 

An electronic message board told him underground subway trains would arrive in two, four and six minutes. Public-address speakers posted near the ceiling every 15 feet broadcast clear service announcements, including the ubiquitous "Mind the Gap."

 

Passengers waited calmly in the clean, well-lighted area, not bothering to peer from the platform edge into the pitch-black tunnel for the light of an approaching train.

 

Walder, a London transit executive and management consultant for the past eight years, wants to bring this "distinctly different customer experience" to New York.

 

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/2009/10/05/2009-10-05_new_man_at_helm_fresh_from_london_aims_for_different_customer_experience_here_th.html#ixzz0T3qq1vKa

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I think all the execs from the (NYCT) Should go on a world tour, visit subway systems from other places and come up with ideas to improve ours.

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We probably don't have enough money for all this. So, much of the proposed reforms will remain a pipe dream.

 

I am not sure about the urgency to replace MetroCards with RFID-chip devices. Those things will cost a lot to produce and riders will probably need to pay for replacements if lost. Present MVMs will have to be replaced or upgraded if they are to be able to handle such cards. To me it seems there are better things to spend money on than new-fangled fare cards. Unless they become widely used as debit cards in different commercial settings (like Hong Kong's Octopus), the need for a dedicated smart-card for the subway seems needless.

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We probably don't have enough money for all this. So, much of the proposed reforms will remain a pipe dream.

 

I am not sure about the urgency to replace MetroCards with RFID-chip devices. Those things will cost a lot to produce and riders will probably need to pay for replacements if lost. Present MVMs will have to be replaced or upgraded if they are to be able to handle such cards. To me it seems there are better things to spend money on than new-fangled fare cards. Unless they become widely used as debit cards in different commercial settings (like Hong Kong's Octopus), the need for a dedicated smart-card for the subway seems needless.

 

I just came back from London, and let me tell you the Oyster card is absolutely wonderful. You don't even have to take it out of your bag, people would just plop their bag onto the reader and it would register! If you lose it, you just pay a small administrative fee to stop the other card and receive a replacement.

 

The MetroCard technology is out of date and is a pain in the ass to use. Cards constantly getting warped, people having to swipe over and over again because the card can't be read (the lovely 'swipe again" message)...and cards that expire! I found out the hard way coming home from JFK on the AirTrain that my $14 MetroCard that I had for emergencies expired in August! Oyster cards never expire and never lose value.

 

I fully support Jay Walder's plan and I have every intention to talk to the higher-ups at the union and tell them to support it.

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I think all the execs from the (NYCT) Should go on a world tour, visit subway systems from other places and come up with ideas to improve ours.

 

They've done that many times. That's why you're called a "customer" and not a "passenger."

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as much as ive read about the Smart Cards, i have never read anything about an Unlimited Ride Smart Card. they always say how its linked to your debit or credit account and it will deduct money every time you tap it. i fear the worst for our unlimited ride metrocards and if no one can find something that mentions it, im going to complain to Gene Russianoff over at the Straphangers Campaign befor the MTA can say "oh we've already spent too much money upgrading the new system!"

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as much as ive read about the Smart Cards, i have never read anything about an Unlimited Ride Smart Card. they always say how its linked to your debit or credit account and it will deduct money every time you tap it. i fear the worst for our unlimited ride metrocards and if no one can find something that mentions it...

 

Yup that is my big problem with it. Give me a pay as you go SmartCard that I "refill" at a station, or how about just send me a bill in the mail every month, or let me fill up an "unlimited ride" card once a month that's all fine with me but I don't want BANKS (not even my own) doing ANYTHING with my money.

 

*I* want to pay my bill, not have someone else do it for me with my money. My view has always been I don't expect a thing for free, I pay my bills, but it's MY money KEEP YOUR HANDS OFF, and I stand by that...

 

Otherwise I have no problem with it and it would be a welcome change...particularly on buses and in crowded subway stations

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I wish the (MTA) luck, I'm not doubting them or anything but it seems as if these things always fail in NYC.

 

I did like those electronic signs at some bus stops in Manhattan that said when the buses would come and the time and temperature, they need to expand this throughout the whole city.

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as much as ive read about the Smart Cards, i have never read anything about an Unlimited Ride Smart Card. they always say how its linked to your debit or credit account and it will deduct money every time you tap it. i fear the worst for our unlimited ride metrocards and if no one can find something that mentions it, im going to complain to Gene Russianoff over at the Straphangers Campaign befor the MTA can say "oh we've already spent too much money upgrading the new system!"

 

If you had been doing your homework instead of having others doing it for you, you would have gone to the Transport for London website and checked it out for yourself. If you had done so, you would have seen that TfL offers not only unlimited monthly Oyster options, but also unlimited annual Oyster options too (buy 10 months, get the last two free.) All one has to do is either go online, go to a station agent, or go to a machine and select the unlimited option, which automatically switches the card from a pay-per-ride to an unlimited. Yes it can be switched back later. There is zero chance that the MTA will eliminate the unlimited option.

 

Yup that is my big problem with it. Give me a pay as you go SmartCard that I "refill" at a station, or how about just send me a bill in the mail every month, or let me fill up an "unlimited ride" card once a month that's all fine with me but I don't want BANKS (not even my own) doing ANYTHING with my money.

 

That's optional. You can always manually refill your cards if you like, and apparently you like.

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Yup that is my big problem with it. Give me a pay as you go SmartCard that I "refill" at a station, or how about just send me a bill in the mail every month, or let me fill up an "unlimited ride" card once a month that's all fine with me but I don't want BANKS (not even my own) doing ANYTHING with my money.

 

*I* want to pay my bill, not have someone else do it for me with my money. My view has always been I don't expect a thing for free, I pay my bills, but it's MY money KEEP YOUR HANDS OFF, and I stand by that...

 

Otherwise I have no problem with it and it would be a welcome change...particularly on buses and in crowded subway stations

 

I have the same views. I do not like someone automatically deducting money from my account. The Pay-per-ride Express Pay Metrocards will automatically deduct $45 from your account whenever the balance runs below $20. The "bottom" $20 never gets used unless you willfully stop payment and run down the card's balance. This is inconvenient since I do not always want to refill by the same amount. I am a student and I often have very low bank balances and the thought of a $45 debit without my knowledge is troublesome since it might cause me to incur overdraft charges. Basically the current system of linking your MetroCard to one or more bank accounts is too inflexible and not user-friendly.

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