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Jul. 23rd, 2007 @ 01:15 pm Tap or be trapped
Why is it now required to tap the breeze card in order to exit from any station even if no transfer is needed? The fare has already been paid upon entering, but now customers will be trapped in the station if they do not tap again to exit.

Is Marta now tracking every move of every customer? Isn't there a safety issue with requiring to tap in order to exit the station? What if you loose your ticket while riding the train or if the breeze ticket malfunctions? Is this some scheme to trap people who skipped on the original fare while inconveniencing the vast majority of riders?

I just think it's ridiculous to require tapping the ticket in order to exit..

EDIT: According to Marta Customer Service:
"to better track customers, where and when the stations are the busiest, where does service need to be added" ... "was modeled after a couple of transit systems, with one being in Washington, DC."

This means they will track your moves and that there is a possibility of starting distance-based fare pricing (like Washington D.C.).
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Date:July 23rd, 2007 07:51 pm (UTC)
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What is really incredible about this is the fact that there still arent breeze vending machines inside the faregates now that customers have to tap to get out. So what happens if someone loses their card and there is nobody at their destination station to let them out? What happens if joe-crawl-under-the-gate gets caught at his destination by a breeze agent? Will the station agent let him/her out to get a card, only to watch him/her take off like a streak of lightning rather than cough up $1.75? I cant count on both hands how many people I brought this up to before implementation.

As far as distance based fares go, well yeah, that's where its at. Bring it on, its only fair.
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Date:July 23rd, 2007 11:07 pm (UTC)
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I agree with distance based fares.. but Marta can do a better job notifying people (in advance) of this change and that they need to hang on to the tickets or else you'll be trapped. Imagine all the infrequent or first-time users, visiting this nice city, being trapped in a Marta station of all places.

I use the monthly/unlimited pass but I would have tossed a one-time-use ticket (since there is no value left in it) once I used it to enter the station. I think there should still be an option to exit the station without tapping. Collecting data, ok, do it for a month or two (surely plenty of data there), but stop it unless they are really going for distance-based fares.
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Date:November 12th, 2007 09:28 pm (UTC)
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You can walk out of the handicap doors without tapping. I learned this form a friendl;y MARTA guy.
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Date:July 23rd, 2007 10:18 pm (UTC)
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Tap out was implemented so they can get data on usage patterns. Not tapping out (there is at least one fare gate at stations that connect to GRTA, GTC, or CCT that opens without a tap) only hurts you because MARTA is going to use the data to figure out where to run trains more frequently and maybe even new routes such as North Springs to Doraville or a train that runs continuously between Arts Center and Five Points. It all depends on what the data shows are the trips that are made the most. Also stations with more usage might get more resources when it comes to security, gate agents, and cleaning crews.

Your usage patterns are protected by law and can not be released by MARTA except by court order. MARTA can use the data internally for improving service but can't sell your information to outside marketers without your express permission. If you're really worried about privacy, just don't register your Breeze card.

Distance based fares are possible. MARTA has said they have no plans for it at this time but I think that is mostly a political thing since the people taking the train from North Springs to the airport will scream bloody murder if they have to pay more than someone going a quarter of a mile from Five Points to GSU. I suspect they are going to wait until next time there is a proposed fare increase and that distance based fares will be the "compromise".
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Date:July 23rd, 2007 11:41 pm (UTC)
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I thought many European systems use ticket verification rather than fare gates, which would seem to make distance based fares difficult, though not impossible.