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Old January 28th, 2015, 01:48 PM   #541
M-NL
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The SJ X40 is a train with a weird specification is you think of it: It is intended for regional commuter service, yet has a maximum service speed of 200 km/h and only 252 seats in a 3 car double deck train.
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Old January 28th, 2015, 07:42 PM   #542
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It is also being used for long distance services...
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Old January 28th, 2015, 08:30 PM   #543
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I know. It's a great example of the fact that you can get a train in pretty much any configuration. Not all, to use a ridiculous example: something basic like air tight double blade doors still don't exist, thus a high speed (230+ km/h) commuter train will probably not happen anytime soon.
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Old March 10th, 2015, 11:46 AM   #544
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There are talks going on in Belgium about introducing variable pricing on train
travel, depending on the time the travel is made. This is see both as a way
to partialy reduce the debt of the belgian railways, and to reduce the
congestion of the network at peak times.

It made the TV news yesterday, the subject featured a discussion about how
it was already done in other countries, completly ignoring that most examples
they gave were about long-distance traffic, while most of the belgian network
is just used for commuting.

Today, the belgian ticketing system is made to sell tickets valid for a given journey
(origin-destination) and a given date (date of the sale by default, but
can be changed). No notion of hour. Same for season tickets.

There are no details known yet about how they want to implement that. Fixed
peak-time surcharge, variable price, noone knows.

What I would like to know is whether this has already been implemented
elsewhere, on a commuter network (London comes to mind, but not sure),
how it worked, what were the pre-requisite (ticketing system changes, fares
structure changes, etc) and if it was successful.

Many thanks in advance,
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Old March 10th, 2015, 11:53 AM   #545
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcVD View Post
There are talks going on in Belgium about introducing variable pricing on train
travel, depending on the time the travel is made. This is see both as a way
to partialy reduce the debt of the belgian railways, and to reduce the
congestion of the network at peak times.

It made the TV news yesterday, the subject featured a discussion about how
it was already done in other countries, completly ignoring that most examples
they gave were about long-distance traffic, while most of the belgian network
is just used for commuting.

Today, the belgian ticketing system is made to sell tickets valid for a given journey
(origin-destination) and a given date (date of the sale by default, but
can be changed). No notion of hour. Same for season tickets.

There are no details known yet about how they want to implement that. Fixed
peak-time surcharge, variable price, noone knows.

What I would like to know is whether this has already been implemented
elsewhere, on a commuter network (London comes to mind, but not sure),
how it worked, what were the pre-requisite (ticketing system changes, fares
structure changes, etc) and if it was successful.

Many thanks in advance,
What about Netherlands, just north of the border? It doesn't have an official peak fare, but it has very cheap subscription plans (from €50/year) that give substantial discounts for off-peak travel, which in practice means that anyone who travels more than 550km per year is better off with at least the 40% off-peak discount plan.

UK has a lot of "off-peak" fares as well, usually in the form of a return fare that costs as much as a single as long as the journey is completed off-peak. A common complaint is that it makes trains immediately after the end of afternoon peak very crowded, as passengers want to save money.
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Old March 10th, 2015, 01:18 PM   #546
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
What about Netherlands, just north of the border? It doesn't have an official peak fare, but it has very cheap subscription plans (from €50/year) that give substantial discounts for off-peak travel, which in practice means that anyone who travels more than 550km per year is better off with at least the 40% off-peak discount plan.
So that would mean, practically, to increase significantly the existing prices
and make those prices suitable for travel any time of the day, and offer
discounted prices for travel outside peak hours only. For simple tickets, that
should be easy, but what about season tickets ? In Belgium most commuters
are using this formula... How can this be solved without using some form of
on-line checkin/checkout that does not exist in Belgium for the time being ?
It might certainly be desirable to implement this, but their objective is to
implement this fare difference for the begin of 2016... Was this off-peak
fare system implemented on NS before the availability of the OV-chipkaard ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
UK has a lot of "off-peak" fares as well, usually in the form of a return fare that costs as much as a single as long as the journey is completed off-peak. A common complaint is that it makes trains immediately after the end of afternoon peak very crowded, as passengers want to save money.
Yes but that is only implemented for long-distance travel, right ? You can't
really commit to using only a specific train when you are commuting...
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Old March 10th, 2015, 01:38 PM   #547
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcVD View Post
So that would mean, practically, to increase significantly the existing prices
and make those prices suitable for travel any time of the day, and offer
discounted prices for travel outside peak hours only. For simple tickets, that
should be easy, but what about season tickets ? In Belgium most commuters
are using this formula... How can this be solved without using some form of
on-line checkin/checkout that does not exist in Belgium for the time being ?
It might certainly be desirable to implement this, but their objective is to
implement this fare difference for the begin of 2016... Was this off-peak
fare system implemented on NS before the availability of the OV-chipkaard ?
There are different season subscription option.

Right now, you could pay € 99/month to travel only during off-peak (so no travel between 6.30-9.00 and 16.00-18.30), or pay € 325/month to travel during peak hours throughout the network.


Quote:
Yes but that is only implemented for long-distance travel, right ? You can't
really commit to using only a specific train when you are commuting...
No, you have certain off-peak fares that are valid for all trains off-peak, even for commute distances like Milton Keynes - London
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Old March 10th, 2015, 02:31 PM   #548
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NS has had a off-peak discount pass for years, the so-called Voordeelurenabonnement. The rules were pretty simple: you are not allowed to board any train that leaves before 09:00 if you have a discounted ticket. You could travel during the evening peak though.

Now with the OV-chipkaart, the validators determine the fare that you will pay.
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Old March 10th, 2015, 02:48 PM   #549
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcVD View Post
So that would mean, practically, to increase significantly the existing prices
and make those prices suitable for travel any time of the day, and offer
discounted prices for travel outside peak hours only. For simple tickets, that
should be easy, but what about season tickets ? In Belgium most commuters
are using this formula... How can this be solved without using some form of
on-line checkin/checkout that does not exist in Belgium for the time being ?
The "Voordeelurenkaart" in the Netherlands existed long time before they had the Chipkaart. Implementing something like that does not require "check in/out".
But what it would require is making passes that are always valid more expensive too. Public transit is generally to cheap in Belgium as it is anyway.
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Old March 10th, 2015, 02:48 PM   #550
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Hopefully SNCB ultimately adopts OV-Chipkaart

It would be interesting to have the OV-Chipkaart system expanded to Belgium, and then Luxembourg, and then maybe some day to Denmark and Switzerland
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Old March 10th, 2015, 02:56 PM   #551
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
Hopefully SNCB ultimately adopts OV-Chipkaart

It would be interesting to have the OV-Chipkaart system expanded to Belgium, and then Luxembourg, and then maybe some day to Denmark and, the promised land, Switzerland
Switzerland is working in a Chip card for public transit. It will however not be based on "check in/check out" but "be in/be out". In other words, the system that is envisaged will only require you to have the card on your body. The vehicle then detects your presence and charges you accordingly. This will even make it possible to make a last minute decision to travel first class for example.

One thing that will never happen in Switzerland is abolishing the open access regime. Installing gates at stations will just not happen.

This summer the "Swiss Pass" will be introduced, which is going to be chipcard that will be used in a first phase to store passes. People that for example both have a Halbtax and a Unlimted Travel Pass for a local transit company can then have both of them loaded on the same card. But it will also be possible to load for example ski passes on the card. Especially that could be very useful...

See http://www.voev.ch/de/Medien/Mediendetails?newsid=85


What I would like to see in the Netherlands is that they make the OV Chipcard system compatible with contactless creditcards. If they make it possible for me to just Check in/out with my MasterCard then all will be forgiven :-)
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Old March 10th, 2015, 08:05 PM   #552
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What I would like to see in the Netherlands is that they make the OV Chipcard system compatible with contactless creditcards.
They are working on that for Dutch debit cards. It may even work for all contactless Meastro cards with SEPA/IBAN account numbers. Who knows that someday even credit cards will be supported.
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Old March 10th, 2015, 08:31 PM   #553
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
Hopefully SNCB ultimately adopts OV-Chipkaart

It would be interesting to have the OV-Chipkaart system expanded to Belgium, and then Luxembourg, and then maybe some day to Denmark and Switzerland
The Belgians are already working on a variant of the OV-chipkaart: MOBIB. From a technology point it's based on Calypso (a French standard) and it has some nice things that the Dutch OV-chipkaart does not currently have.
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Old March 11th, 2015, 10:26 AM   #554
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The Belgians are already working on a variant of the OV-chipkaart: MOBIB. From a technology point it's based on Calypso (a French standard) and it has some nice things that the Dutch OV-chipkaart does not currently have.
Lets hope that all these systems are compatible on the physical layer, so that making them all work together is only a matter of software. It would really be great if I could use my "Swiss Pass" as a MOBIB in Belgium and an OV Chipkaart in the Netherlands.
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Old March 11th, 2015, 08:39 PM   #555
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Having a public transport smart card which works throughout Europe would be brilliant, indeed. Unfortunately all transport operators, agencies and governments are working seperately so that we now have Oyster, OV-chipkaart, VDV-KA, Calypso, MOBIB, ITSO, Pass Navigo, and so on...
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Old March 11th, 2015, 10:24 PM   #556
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The "MOBIB" card is already the standard card given to all rail-subscribing passengers, except that the passengers never get to use the technology themselves because unlike the French and the Dutch (who simultaneously implemented the whole system of cards AND card-reader infrastructure) Belgian Rail decided instead to hand out only the technology-equipped cards without any concrete plan to setup the check-in/upload infrastructure at the stations/trains. So only the Belgian railway personnel (ticket sellers and on-board controllers) get to enjoy the fruits of RFID currently
.

Last edited by the Ludovico center; March 11th, 2015 at 11:59 PM.
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Old March 11th, 2015, 11:38 PM   #557
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MIVB/STIB does use the MOBIB card's functionality for access control and to have people pay for their trips, and I know that De Lijn in Antwerp is working on introducing the system as well.

I think NMBS/SNCB will introduce the smart card ticketing aspect at some point in the future, but when is to be seen.
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Old March 12th, 2015, 10:43 AM   #558
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MOBIB is the format used by SNCB for season tickets because some of those
are a combination SNCB+STIB and SNCB wanted to use one format only. But
there are indeed no plans to introduce MOBIB validating machines on the
SNCB domain. The focus for the time being is more on the MOBIB integration
for STIB/TEC/De Lijn.

In any case, to come back on the original question, this peak/off peak
fare differentiation is to be in place for 2016 so it will certainly not depend
on the deployment of any kind of validation hardware, which would never
be ready in time. It will have to rely only on the classical paper ticketing
infrastructure that is in place today, plus the usual on-board verification of
the tickets. In order to expect any tangible results, this will certainly have to
be strenghtened (currently only 30 to 40% of the tickets are really checked).
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Old March 13th, 2015, 10:34 AM   #559
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Quote:
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Having a public transport smart card which works throughout Europe would be brilliant, indeed. Unfortunately all transport operators, agencies and governments are working seperately so that we now have Oyster, OV-chipkaart, VDV-KA, Calypso, MOBIB, ITSO, Pass Navigo, and so on...

One would hope however that at least on the physical layer (the RFID radio) the systems are compatible. So that it's all a matter of software to link the systems.
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Old March 25th, 2015, 08:21 PM   #560
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Expected suburban network service around Brussels for the end of this year.
At that time the new tunnel in the east of Brussels should open.

http://www.belgianrail.be/fr/corpora...5F04944C8.ashx

A serious progress compared to what exists today, even if all the
infrastructure works going on around Brussels are not finished yet.
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