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quinntopia

Mass Transit Blues

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disturbman

For sure. Mass transit is more efficient when there is a mass to transport. ;)

 

Rail transport will be even more profitable or logic in high density area. That's one of the reason it works so well in Japan, the Netherlands and Switzerland. That's also why the only efficient corridor in the US is located on the East Coast.

 

In France the only IC relations that are profitable are the TGVs. The HSLs have a way to massifies fluxes bconcentrating them on a very small number of corridors (5) and by taking people out of planes and cars. Important fluxes that need to pay a higher fee than a normal IC. That's one of the reason it's allmost impossible to take normal train if you are taking a IC. They will put the focus on the TGVs since they make more money with it. If you ant to take a slower train you will have to go your local station or selling point.

 

The more stupid thing about public transportation versus private transportation is that road are very higly subsidies both in Europe and the US... but nobody sees that. Everyone thinks roads are free, which they are not. Far from it. They are even more subisidies than other means of transportation. I think at least it will be more honest to make people the real price for the use of train, plane and cars. It will surely change many things. Money has so much power on people.

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Mudkip Orange

RE: TGVs being profitable, there's an odd phenom in transport where the more (subsidized, money-losing) local services you run, the better the return on the trunk/mainline services are.

 

Bogota Columbia provides free neighborhood shuttle buses that connect to their core BRT system. Space on the core BRT system is leased to private operators, who turn a profit.

 

SNCF runs local trains everywhere, and the TGVs make an impressive return on farebox revenue.

 

On the flipside, trunk routes in Britain that were profitable before the "Beeching Axe" are now money-losers, in the absence of the myriad local connecting services that once existed.

 

Moral of the story is, it's easier to subsidize a bunch of minibuses or diesel railcars and see your mainlines profit, then it is to subsidize your mainlines (and all the myriad associated expenses those entail).

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bikkuri bahn
That's one of the reason it's allmost impossible to take normal train if you are taking a IC.

 

Sorry, disturb, I'm a bit confused.  Is it in France there is no integrated through ticketing between Intercity/HSR services and local/regional trains (i.e. you must buy the local tickets at point of sale like train stations, etc)?

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disturbman

I'm not sure I quite understand you bikkuri. In France there is no real integrated through ticketing between HSR/IC/Regional and urban trains... or should I say urban transportation (tram/bus/metro). Meaning everything that is not SNCF. It starting to change under population and politic pressure but it's taking time. When you buy you ticket on Internet and in stations your ticket shows all the train you are going to take. I allready had a ticket with four different trains on it.

 

What I wanted to highlight is that the Internet reservation system doesn't allow you to reserve a seat on every existing train. There is a high design limitation. I'm pretty sure the system was designed with the aim to sell TGV and TER (TER is the label for regional train) tickets. These two types of ticket being the most asked and sold. Then I think there is a real, voluntary or not, programing flaw. It's not normal that you can't buy certain tickets. For exemple it's really hard to buy normal IC ticket when there is a TGV instead. It's impossible to ask to just take regional train to do the same journey. It's also very hard to come up with certain trains when you don't put Paris in the equation. The last time I tried on Internet the search didn't come up with any train. Even though I knew these trains existed.

 

It's very well known among train fans in France that if you need to take an IC or a region to region treck it's better to go directly to the stations. There they can sells you everything, you just have to ask.

 

@Mudkip: that's not at all an odd phenomenon. It's very well known phenomenon and it's call the "network effect". usually it's taken in account when you open a new route, a new means of transportation. And it's also the big problem with the idea of implementing HST in the US. There is allmost no network there and then no incentive for people to let their car at home, take a local/suburban train until the mains tation and then jump in their HST. It's a big turn down. And an issue that needs to be adressed efficiently if US are really willing to construct a wide and profitable HST network.

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bikkuri bahn

Thanks disturb, now I understand.  I see how the internet service limits your choices.  I've never tried internet ticketing in Japan, I always reserve/buy at the station.  I think there is a service (ekinet), but you have to pick up the tickets at the station, as normally tickets have a magnetic backing in order to get through the automatic turnstiles.

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Guest ___

I'll tell ya what I grew up in Pittsburgh, but after 25+ years living in the rural farm community, there's no way in on my Uncle Burt's emus ranch, I'd ever live in the city again. Hell, if I had the money, I'd find a nice 50 acre lot in the mountains, and build a place there.

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disturbman

Sometimes I think Aaron is on acids...

 

Thanks disturb, now I understand.  I see how the internet service limits your choices.  I've never tried internet ticketing in Japan, I always reserve/buy at the station.  I think there is a service (ekinet), but you have to pick up the tickets at the station, as normally tickets have a magnetic backing in order to get through the automatic turnstiles.

 

True, there is automatic turnstiles everywhere in Japan. In France the internet ticketing allows you to either pick up the tickets at the station until the train goes or to receive it by mail. But the latter option is really dangerous, I tried one time and never received my ticket... There is also some sort of low cost TGV service that allows you to print yourself your ticket.

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Guest ___

Sometimes I think Aaron is on acids...

 

What? My uncle farms emus.  :

 

PS- people do acid to act like I do normally. this is why my stand up act is always a sucess on open mic night.

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