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BrooklynBus

Subway Fare Sign is Unfriendly to Tourists

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I agree that the sign can be redesigned to be clearer, especially for minimum purchases and single rides, as well as using full terms instead of employing the respective acronyms (MVM). However, I agree with VG8's points about people not taking the time to read and process. OTOH, it can also be said that since the (MTA) is a public transit agency, public notices should be clear enough for an 8 year old to understand (save maybe the percentages thing).

 

A couple of things I think you (Brooklyn Bus) could've added to help the discussion: one, some pictures or explanations as to how other systems convey their fare information; is there another system that does it better? and two, in relation to one, the method which the (MTA) displays the fare information, which currently is only at the booths. I know that SEPTA, MTA (Maryland), and CTA, all have advertisement sized areas on the walls or boards outside the fare zone devoted to system and fare information. This makes the information available whether one has access to a booth or not. This is a problem in our Subway, especially since not all major entrances have booths, and the TA removed booths a few years now from certain locations, including major ones like the 35 St entrance at the Herald Square Station. Plenty of tourists there, some I've had to save from the dreaded HEET money-losing maneuver.

 

And therein lies the problem. the machine should have been self-explanatory. You should not have required help.

 

 

Regarding this specific action, this is something that doesn't occur often (maybe increasingly more with the bonus changes) and that people wouldn't know about unless they were stuck in that particular situation. Here is where employee help or a poster on MVMs would be more useful.

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The only displayed fare information I am aware of are the Transit Tips on some bus shelters and Guide a Rides. As you say, posters like that should be very visibly posted in high tourist locations like Penn Station, Times Square and Grand Central. Also when you get off the AirTrain. But the fact that the MTA doesn't do that just proves they do no think that much about helping tourists, only providing necessary legal information on the booths. And I am sure more useful information could be provided on the MVMs too.

 

In fairness to the MTA, they do define MVM on the sign, but that requires you to read every word, not just look at the bottom. That's why it is more like a legal contract than a public information notice which as you should be understood by an 8 year old.

 

The MTA needs to take a closer look at how it disseminates information. Even their newly designed website leaves much to be desired. You have to know where to look to find many things and often links are broken and there is contradictory information given, when one link is updated and another still displays outdated information.

Edited by BrooklynBus

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And I'm sure you know every system well enough before hand when using them,eh? "Sorry not everyone knows everything beforehand and it's best to laugh or insult them."

 

 

Well, yeah, I do. Although many do not. Part of the reason I'm on this forums is when I get to New York someday (either as a 'tourist' or to go and live there) I want to know how it works. Well, at least up to some point. Of course one can not know everything about a travel system. Even in my country I'm still learning things from the travel system even though I'm a traveler and using public transport for years.

There is so much more to life than only traveling and using public transport that you'll never know it all, not even in your own country/city. But IMHO you have to at least know a thing or two about the system in your own country/system or in another city you're gonna visit (for example as a tourist in NY). Just that: a thing or two.

Edited by Vistausss
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they need to bring back the one day unlimited, that thing makes it very easy for tourists to get around, most other cities have a similar thing, Boston has one, San Francisco even had a 3 day unlimited MUNI pass which made it very easy to get around the three days I was in SF last summer, also Philadelphia has a 1 day unlimited as well that even works on commuter rail.

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Well, yeah, I do. Although many do not. Part of the reason I'm on this forums is when I get to New York someday (either as a 'tourist' or to go and live there) I want to know how it works. Well, at least up to some point. Of course one can not know everything about a travel system. Even in my country I'm still learning things from the travel system even though I'm a traveler and using public transport for years.

There is so much more to life than only traveling and using public transport that you'll never know it all, not even in your own country/city. But IMHO you have to at least know a thing or two about the system in your own country/system or in another city you're gonna visit (for example as a tourist in NY). Just that: a thing or two.

 

well of course, but the way he stated it it sounds like you have to know every little thing. Of course a person should do their homework before hand, but you can't be faulted for making a mistake. I'd like to think that if I needed help on another transit system, that someone would be kind enough to give me some help than to just give me grief over it. Edited by Grand Concourse
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Since when are you allowed to combine cards at an MVM? I remember years ago they took that feature(and the transfer funds from expired card) out because some has figured out how to 'trick' the software and were able to receive $100 Metrocards from them! (Gotta love Windows!).

 

Tourists go up to S/As and ask for "trips" and not dollar amounts. Some even ask how much to what station they are going to. We NYers are spoiled in a way that we pay one price per trip regardless of distance and are use to dollar amounts and not trips. Granted, there should be some signage but in all honesty, brochures at key points like airports in multiple languages should be available. Tourists do indeed grb a handful when arriving in NYC. Most Native NYers already know the basics enough to get my.

 

As far as the back doors, there are a number of various versions on the road and even I, who has even ridden the old fishbowls with No A/C vents on the top rear in my youth(showing my age lol!) Still went to push open a back door on an LFS/A. Some habits are hard to break!

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....but what annoys me is that folks assume that the doors on the bus just automatically open when it says "Touch Tape to Open Door" right in front of them. <_<

 

---

On a side note, I'm really curious as to why you can't add odd amounts or combine amounts on to your MetroCard at a MVM?? I mentioned this a while back and it's quite annoying because you have to go to a token booth clerk, which means that you're basically out of luck if you lose the card because they have no way to trace the card, whereas if you use a MVM machine you can pay with a credit card or debit card (though personally I think it's wiser to use a credit card for reasons I've mentioned before) and you can get your money back should you lose the card.

 

1) With me, it's not so much the people thinking that the doors will open automatically... But on the LF's, what I find annoying is the figuring out of people on how vigorously or how lightly that "touch tape to open door" strip should be pressed - and I don't fault the passenger for that..... Personally I'd rather have it to where either [the back doors open automatically (like on the ex bee lines)], or [you wait for the green light (like on the RTS') to push the back doors open as hard or as soft as you want (that, or pressing the tape to have the doors open for you)]...... Don't get me started on pushing the bar to open the back doors like on the newer buses.....

 

2)...thing is, there's no guarantees either that the s/a will combine amounts onto an MC for ya - I find that it's dependent on the individual s/a...... I have seen more than my fair share of arguments at West 4th alone (back when I used to take the train in the morning) with the drunks, homeless, etc. tryna do that & the s/a there denying them....

 

When I realized how much of a hassle combining values of multiple MC's onto one card was, I just said to hell w/ it.....

(It's kinda like how NJT (the company) gets over with their odd fare amounts; for example, a 3 fare zone is $2.90 on the locals.... most people just throw in $3 [myself included].... On one occasion I had a b/o that had someone chuck in their fare (sans 10 cents), and asked that person to give the .10 to me instead of her putting it in the farebox.... The b/o put his hand up in the air (as if to say I'm lookin out for ya), and I did the same, as if to say thanks..... That's one thing I do like about NJT b/o's....)

 

Anyway (back to NYC), This is one reason why I re-use & re-fill the same MC until around the expiration date..... If you have money left over on a card that's about to expire, what'll happen is the MVM will prompt you if you want a new card (that's what happened w/ this MC I got now; the previous card I had, expired around halloween IINM).... You do so, and it'll keep the expired card in the machine & give you a new card w/ the same amount the old/expired one had......

 

 

Anyways, to the tourist thing, I've been asked questions similar to B35 via Church's post. I've felt like needing the purple vest too. I've even gotten to the point where if I see someone confused with the subway map, I ask them if they need any help to get where they're going. Sometimes they are still going to be confused, no matter how clear you make it. Could the MTA do better? Yes. Will it help in the long run? I don't know.

Same.

 

I don't stand there & hover over no subway map to give directions, and for damn sure I'm not dragging my fingers on the thing (I eat on the run a lot)..... If I'm in the mood, I ask people where it is they're trying to get to, and I tell them what train to take & where they can catch it at......

 

 

Some people think a vacation is an excuse to not read, write, or do anything that involves work and thinking.

...and that "vacation" lasts 365 days a year too !

Edited by B35 via Church
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1) With me, it's not so much the people thinking that the doors will open automatically... But on the LF's, what I find annoying is the figuring out of people on how vigorously or how lightly that "touch tape to open door" strip should be pressed - and I don't fault the passenger for that..... Personally I'd rather have it to where either [the back doors open automatically (like on the ex bee lines)], or [you wait for the green light (like on the RTS') to push the back doors open as hard or as soft as you want (that, or pressing the tape to have the doors open for you)]...... Don't get me started on pushing the bar to open the back doors like on the newer buses.....

 

2)...thing is, there's no guarantees either that the s/a will combine amounts onto an MC for ya - I find that it's dependent on the individual s/a...... I have seen more than my fair share of arguments at West 4th alone (back when I used to take the train in the morning) with the drunks, homeless, etc. tryna do that & the s/a there denying them....

 

When I realized how much of a hassle combining values of multiple MC's onto one card was, I just said to hell w/ it.....

(It's kinda like how NJT (the company) gets over with their odd fare amounts; for example, a 3 fare zone is $2.90 on the locals.... most people just throw in $3 [myself included].... On one occasion I had a b/o that had someone chuck in their fare (sans 10 cents), and asked that person to give the .10 to me instead of her putting it in the farebox.... The b/o put his hand up in the air (as if to say I'm lookin out for ya), and I did the same, as if to say thanks..... That's one thing I do like about NJT b/o's....)

 

Anyway (back to NYC), This is one reason why I re-use & re-fill the same MC until around the expiration date..... If you have money left over on a card that's about to expire, what'll happen is the MVM will prompt you if you want a new card (that's what happened w/ this MC I got now; the previous card I had, expired around halloween IINM).... You do so, and it'll keep the expired card in the machine & give you a new card w/ the same amount the old/expired one had......

 

When I first rode those LFS's I was concerned about whether or not I would have a problem opening those back doors, but it isn't that big of a deal provided that your hands aren't full... On the M15SBS they automatically open anyway which is great.

 

As for the Metrocards, I just refilled my 7 Day Express Bus Plus Card and my Pay-Per-Ride card... Put $20.00 on the Pay-Per-Ride since I had a few bucks left on that one to use for two days so that I start my next 7 Day cycle on the weekend sometime whenever I decide which week that'll be. I actually have two other 7 Day Express Bus Plus cards that I'm keeping this way I won't get hit with the $1 surcharge when the fares go up in March. I'm sure I'll use them too because I usually like to put additional refills on both this way I don't have to be bothered refilling for a while.

 

I find that with me mainly using the express bus though that my card doesn't get as dirty like in the past. Could be that they maintain the fareboxes better... That's interesting to note on the Pay-Per-Rides though... I usually just cut them up or recycle them if they have stupid small amounts on them that I know I can never really get off of the card.

 

In any event, I guess I get peeved at the idea because the (MTA) already taxes enough from us as it is with those annoying surcharges and I just hate the idea of being ripped off. If anything I'm usually the one getting over... I'm the type of guy that gets free glasses of wine (and I do mean plural) with my food or grappa after dinner... :lol:

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8

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Some people think a vacation is an excuse to not read, write, or do anything that involves work and thinking.

 

 

Well, they better think when crossing the street or they won't last too long here.

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When I first rode those LFS's I was concerned about whether or not I would have a problem opening those back doors, (Work on the muscles there! Maybe a little body push, if your hands are full) but it isn't that big of a deal provided that your hands aren't full... On the M15SBS they automatically open anyway which is great.

 

As for the Metrocards, I just refilled my 7 Day Express Bus Plus Card and my Pay-Per-Ride card... Put $20.00 on the Pay-Per-Ride since I had a few bucks left on that one to use for two days so that I start my next 7 Day cycle on the weekend sometime whenever I decide which week that'll be. I actually have two other 7 Day Express Bus Plus cards that I'm keeping this way I won't get hit with the $1 surcharge when the fares go up in March. I'm sure I'll use them too because I usually like to put additional refills on both this way I don't have to be bothered refilling for a while.

 

I find that with me mainly using the express bus though that my card doesn't get as dirty like in the past. Could be that they maintain the fareboxes better... That's interesting to note on the Pay-Per-Rides though... I usually just cut them up or recycle them if they have stupid small amounts on them that I know I can never really get off of the card.

 

I don't think the farebox would require much maintenance anyway, in terms of cleaning it.

 

In any event, I guess I get peeved at the idea because the (MTA) already taxes enough from us as it is with those annoying surcharges and I just hate the idea of being ripped off. If anything I'm usually the one getting over... I'm the type of guy that gets free glasses of wine (and I do mean plural) with my food or grappa after dinner... :lol:...Italians...

 

 

Yeah, those surcharges are a little ripoff... A flimsy piece of plastic costs like a cent to make.

Edited by Quill Depot

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Well, they better think when crossing the street or they won't last too long here.

 

LOL.... They seriously are lucky because I've seen people fall plenty of times in the street here. Too busy yacking or in la la land to pay attention and trip over a pothole or the sidewalk. Some chick fell right in the middle of 42nd street and Madison. Luckily for her nothing was coming because she would've been done.

 

You always have to pay attention when you're walking in the city esp. because the streets are a mess. I can't believe how run down Park Avenue is... Craters all over the place.

 

Yeah, those surcharges are a little ripoff... A flimsy piece of plastic costs like a cent to make.

 

The push isn't the issue... It's having to put both hands fully on the door tape so that the sensor realizes someone is trying to get off and then opens the doors. If you have bags in your hands that can be a bit of a challenge.

 

As for the farebox yeah that depends on how heavily they're used... The Grand Central turnstiles constantly have to be worked on because of the amount of people swiping.

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8

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When I first rode those LFS's I was concerned about whether or not I would have a problem opening those back doors, but it isn't that big of a deal provided that your hands aren't full... On the M15SBS they automatically open anyway which is great.

 

As for the Metrocards, I just refilled my 7 Day Express Bus Plus Card and my Pay-Per-Ride card... Put $20.00 on the Pay-Per-Ride since I had a few bucks left on that one to use for two days so that I start my next 7 Day cycle on the weekend sometime whenever I decide which week that'll be. I actually have two other 7 Day Express Bus Plus cards that I'm keeping this way I won't get hit with the $1 surcharge when the fares go up in March. I'm sure I'll use them too because I usually like to put additional refills on both this way I don't have to be bothered refilling for a while.

 

I find that with me mainly using the express bus though that my card doesn't get as dirty like in the past. Could be that they maintain the fareboxes better... That's interesting to note on the Pay-Per-Rides though... I usually just cut them up or recycle them if they have stupid small amounts on them that I know I can never really get off of the card.

 

In any event, I guess I get peeved at the idea because the (MTA) already taxes enough from us as it is with those annoying surcharges and I just hate the idea of being ripped off. If anything I'm usually the one getting over... I'm the type of guy that gets free glasses of wine (and I do mean plural) with my food or grappa after dinner... :lol:

 

Well maybe not to you, but people have a time pressing & re-pressing & re-re-pressing that touch tape to open doors strip/sticker on the LF's, regardless if they have belongings or not..... If you press it too hard, it wont open... Same if you do so too lightly.... It's like you have to press it w/ the right "touch" & at the right spot.... Damn all that, I find it annoying & tend to sympathize w/ any rider that also finds it so..... If I'm on an empty enough LF, I find myself walking to the front more to get off to save myself the trouble.....

 

As far as MC dirtiness/cleanliness, I haven't noticed.... I don't have near as much trouble w/ poorly read metrocards like some people do on here.... But if they are maintaining the fareboxes better, the efforts are appreciated..... I don't remember the last time I had to swipe more than about 3 times or so, and with as many buses I go on, it's usually about 1 or 2 dips & I'm straight.... When I see people dipping 5, 6,7+ times, I just smh & shrug my shoulders (like, c'mon already).....

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Well maybe not to you, but people have a time pressing & re-pressing & re-re-pressing that touch tape to open doors strip/sticker on the LF's, regardless if they have belongings or not..... If you press it too hard, it wont open... Same if you do so too lightly.... It's like you have to press it w/ the right "touch" & at the right spot.... Damn all that, I find it annoying & tend to sympathize w/ any rider that also finds it so..... If I'm on an empty enough LF, I find myself walking to the front more to get off to save myself the trouble.....

 

As far as MC dirtiness/cleanliness, I haven't noticed.... I don't have near as much trouble w/ poorly read metrocards like some people do on here.... But if they are maintaining the fareboxes better, the efforts are appreciated..... I don't remember the last time I had to swipe more than about 3 times or so, and with as many buses I go on, it's usually about 1 or 2 dips & I'm straight.... When I see people dipping 5, 6,7+ times, I just smh & shrug my shoulders (like, c'mon already).....

 

Well with those LFS's you have to basically put your hands on the tape and hold it there and then the sensor reacts... That's what most people aren't used to and that's why it's even more annoying when you have bags or better yet are in a rush. With the RTS's you could just tap the yellow tape and that was it. They really screwed up with that... I mean to have so many different types of buses and to expect folks to remember how each door opens is rather ridiculous. For what they pay per bus you would think they could have that customized to their liking... <_<

 

As for the Metrocards, it's been much better, but then again most of my problems were with Staten Island local buses anyway so I'm too surprised, since they aren't known for the greatest maintenance... lol

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They should have a button to open the doors instead. In my country, in some cities we have those buttons and doesn't LA also have them? You just push the button and the door opens. Way easier.

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Since when are you allowed to combine cards at an MVM? I remember years ago they took that feature(and the transfer funds from expired card) out because some has figured out how to 'trick' the software and were able to receive $100 Metrocards from them! (Gotta love Windows!).

It's not really the fault of Windows. Rather, it's the lousy quality that Windows software developers are known for.

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Not to say you are wrong, but I think people get confused due to the different exit doors. Not all the buses open automatically when you touch the tape, only the newer ones. On the older ones, you have to exert pressure by pushing the door a little to engage the hydraulics. Then many times, the hydraulics are broken and you have to use full pressure to open the doors. It's also impossible to tell the driver it is broken because you are already off the bus, and to tell him before, it is awkward to just yell when you know you can still get out. They really need to test those doors themselves periodically so fewer are broken in service because I have this problem about 30% of the time on the RTSs.

 

===============================================

 

Oh, wow. I was under the impression that on the RTSs & O7s, you had to push with full force to get the thing to open. Well, that was a lot of wasted energy! When they had buses where you just tap the door, I just couldn't get used to it.

Edited by checkmatechamp13

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Oh, wow. I was under the impression that on the RTSs & O7s, you had to push with full force to get the thing to open. Well, that was a lot of wasted energy! When they had buses where you just tap the door, I just couldn't get used to it.

I think when the RTSs first came out, that was the case. You needed full force. But on newer models they added the hydraulics without telling anyone. I think I figured it out once by accident when I touched the door and accidentally let go and it opened anyway or I saw the person ahead of me not really pushing the door hard to get it open. After that I just push a little and if nothing happens, then I push with full force. It's a little like driving without power steering if you've ever one that.

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Oh, wow. I was under the impression that on the RTSs & O7s, you had to push with full force to get the thing to open. Well, that was a lot of wasted energy! When they had buses where you just tap the door, I just couldn't get used to it.

I just push with full force even after pushing the tap/bar. Force of habit and impatience. Either way not a big deal especially if I'm the only one getting off (ie: don't have to worry about the doors slamming in someone's face) I haven't rode the nova lfs enough times to deal with the rear doors.

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A side note about the LFS's:

 

Up here on the LFS's, you wave your hand, and the doors open. That took some getting used to. The first time I was on one, I kept pushing the door in spots along the center trying to figure out where to push it, until somebody finally showed me. 

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Here in LA, LA Metro has just switched to 100% TAP cards and we are having a tough time. I had to constantly help people when we had paper tickets. Now that infamous beeping can be heard regularly at each station.(It beeps when there is inactivity warning that it will cancel the transaction, common when people are trying to figure out what do)

 

I've seen people miss several trains trying to figure out how the machines work.

Edited by C40LFR

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