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Old September 29th, 2015, 11:45 PM   #2961
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Another option is to work together with the universities and other schools to change their schedules. If all the students travel later it will already ease the number of passengers on the busiest hours. As a bonus it will stretch the rush hour, resulting in a more effective use of the rolling stock. All the extra rush hour capacity could be parked later. It's already happening a bit, but again its difficult to change this on a larger scale.
This would be a win-win situation... especially for students

But seriously, it would be a very efficient change.
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Old September 29th, 2015, 11:46 PM   #2962
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I hear from the Dean on a meeting that the government had suggested that universities and technical higher education institutions shifted the bulk of "instruction hours" for something like 10.00-20.00.

Staff didn't like the suggestion at all, namely because of impacts on daycare for smaller children and arrangements for the older ones.

This is less of a problem in Tilburg, but in Amsterdam and Utrecht there is a severe shortage of student rooms, hence they want to institute a policy whereby shifted instruction hours make it feasible for students to live slightly further away if need be, without putting them at the "morning superpeak" which I hear to be between 7.30 and 8.15.

Of big Dutch universities, only Wageningen doesn't have a somehow close-by train station within 3km radius.
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Old September 30th, 2015, 08:53 AM   #2963
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Is there such a thing as "too low" ticket prices as long as the operator is making enough money to cover costs and improve services/infrastructure?
If the operator would make more money, he would also have the means to further improve the service.
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Old September 30th, 2015, 09:16 AM   #2964
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The UK is of course the place to go if you want to see peak pricing, and it isn't pretty. It can be more than four times as expensive to travel at peak times. On certain long distance routes, peak travel is only affordable for rich businessmen and celebrities. Some companies do not allow employees to travel on peak hour trains unless they get a cheaper advance purchase ticket.

In the evening peak, the first train after the peak if often overcrowded and the last peak train can be empty.

To give you some idea, London to Manchester return can be as much as 329 GBP but off-peak it is 81.60 GBP return (walk on). Advance purchase singles can be less than 20 GBP.
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Old September 30th, 2015, 10:34 AM   #2965
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In Netherlands, the premium to travel during peak time (6.30-9.00;16.30-19.00) is 40%.
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Old October 3rd, 2015, 04:17 PM   #2966
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For the discussion about yield management follow this thread. I've moved the posts there:

http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=1045155
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Old October 5th, 2015, 08:06 PM   #2967
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The Dutch system and the UK system are not really the same.

Only card holders in holland get the discount and this is fixed amount and the prices are walk up.This is of no benefit to casual travellers but very convenient for regular travellers.

In Holland it is also possible to get a discount card which covers peak times again offering a fixed discount for walk up fares on all trains (except thalys) at any time. As far as I can see all discount cards in the UK have time restrictions and exceptions on them

The advance discount fares in the UK are available without any sort of subscription card and are available for anybody but of course they are train specific and not much use to regular users.

It would therefore appear that the UK system is designed to squeeze the maximum amount of money out of its passengers while the Dutch practice is to discount regular travellers and encourage regular train use even at peak.
I for one far prefer the Dutch model as it stands. I see the whole Fyra debacle as a retrograde step. The Dutch economy and society depends on an accessible transport system moving a lot of people around. And with HSL zuid rather then build infrastructure for the good of the country in terms of connectivty and ease of movement it was created with the goal of profit for the HSA.

It is a fallacy to think that business and society should modify themeseles to suit the railways. Railways, especially commuter ones have evolved to serve the economy. The notion of staggered business times has always been put about but it will never really take hold. Stuffed trains during peak and empty ones off peak has always been a reality operaters have to deal with.
Most business's want to talk to other business when they are open. There is nothing worse than sitting in the office waiting for offices in other timezones to open, casn you imagine if your local suppliers and customers had substantsially different operating times. Productivity would plummet as the first and last hours of the working day would become useless. Production work where operatives don't need to communicate outside their immediate enviroment already use different times but their support teams and management still keep regular hours. Consider countrys often discuss changing time zones to align their business hours with trading partners.

Which brings us back to the circular argument about how introducing metro like frequencys is needed as a cost effective way of moving more people at peak times



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Old October 6th, 2015, 08:01 AM   #2968
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It is a fallacy to think that business and society should modify themeseles to suit the railways. Railways, especially commuter ones have evolved to serve the economy. The notion of staggered business times has always been put about but it will never really take hold. Stuffed trains during peak and empty ones off peak has always been a reality operaters have to deal with.
Allowing "stuffed trains during the peak" is just an alternative way of making train travel more expensive during the peak hours. I think quite a few of those stuffed in the train at peak hours would be willing to pay more in order to not be in a stuffed train...
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Old October 6th, 2015, 10:15 AM   #2969
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Trains filled to the gills impose a heavy cost in terms of comfort and health. It also decrease performance and/or increase costs. Take a peek at one of those heavily overloaded systems in developing countries like Sao Paulo metro or Mumbai commuter railways...

A railway shouldn't be operated on basis that people are herded in conditions that would be deemed animal cruelty if we were talking about cattle, sheep or cats. I have a very hard time believing that, absent some unpredictable catastrophe, people should travel with room barely enough to breath and swing arms at a 20-degree angle. We don't allow slums, we even control occupancy of discos or concert halls, why should trains on a relatively wealthy country be such an horrendous experience at peak time?
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Old October 6th, 2015, 10:24 AM   #2970
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Well, it is simple. People who do not like it travel earlier or later to avoid it. Or they use another mode. Why do you need to impose financial incentives? If people really don't like it they can just alter their behaviour, I do. I travel at times to avoid peak travel as I hate it too.
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Old October 6th, 2015, 10:55 AM   #2971
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I travel at times to avoid peak travel as I hate it too.
Most people would prefer that, but unfortunately, most people don't have a choice. They can't determine their working hours themselves and also aren't keen on lengthy commutes.
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Old October 6th, 2015, 11:17 AM   #2972
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Most people would prefer that, but unfortunately, most people don't have a choice. They can't determine their working hours themselves and also aren't keen on lengthy commutes.
Then to me it seems all the more cruel to financially penalise them because they are locked into travelling those hours. Those that can avoid peak travel usually do.
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Old October 6th, 2015, 11:27 AM   #2973
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Well, it is simple. People who do not like it travel earlier or later to avoid it. Or they use another mode. Why do you need to impose financial incentives? If people really don't like it they can just alter their behaviour, I do. I travel at times to avoid peak travel as I hate it too.
I thought you didn't want to plan your travel around limits imposed by the railways?
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Old October 6th, 2015, 11:31 AM   #2974
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Most people would prefer that, but unfortunately, most people don't have a choice. They can't determine their working hours themselves and also aren't keen on lengthy commutes.
Actually, people have more choice than you think. In another thread it was mentioned that companies in the UK now increasingly forbid their employees to travel during peak hours. That's the oposite of forcing them to travel during peak hours.
Anyway, it's not true that people are "forced" to travel at a particular time. If travel during peak hours were more expensive, employers that insist on their employees travelling during these times would have to increas the wage they pay. otherwhise they will have trouble attracting employees. You see that very clearly in London, where employers pay higher wages then in the rest of the country. Simply because of the higher costs of travel and living. If they didn't do this, they would not be able to fill all positions.
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Old October 6th, 2015, 12:41 PM   #2975
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I thought you didn't want to plan your travel around limits imposed by the railways?
And you think that putting yield management on my metro commute will solve congestion? Genius ideologue at work here.

Don't misconstrue what I say or attempt to twist my words. This is not me planning my life around a financial limit imposed by railways, this is me choosing, for my comfort, to travel at another time. If I don't want to get up super early to avoid the rush, or cannot go in later to avoid the rush, I catch it at rush hour, but I pay nothing more. It's simply about whether I want a seat to work or not, not "darn, I cannot do that because if I travel then I pay more".

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Actually, people have more choice than you think. In another thread it was mentioned that companies in the UK now increasingly forbid their employees to travel during peak hours. That's the oposite of forcing them to travel during peak hours.
Anyway, it's not true that people are "forced" to travel at a particular time. If travel during peak hours were more expensive, employers that insist on their employees travelling during these times would have to increas the wage they pay. otherwhise they will have trouble attracting employees. You see that very clearly in London, where employers pay higher wages then in the rest of the country. Simply because of the higher costs of travel and living. If they didn't do this, they would not be able to fill all positions.
Dear Lord... Of course people are forced to travel by most employers who do NOT pay for a rail pass for workers (some employers do and then they might say "off-peak only"). Most employers will not have trouble attracting employees as many high profile employers exist only in London, and for the good of their CV many are willing to take a cut in living standards (or disposable income) to work for them. So of course they are slaves to travel time. Equally, even paying peak weighting on train passes is cheaper to most than paying rents or a mortgage in London, so they just end up commuting from further away so they can have a more decently sized and cheaper house. Does that make it right to have a peak weighting to help buoy up the railways profits? That's the more questionable debate.
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Old October 6th, 2015, 03:14 PM   #2976
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Dear Lord... Of course people are forced to travel by most employers who do NOT pay for a rail pass for workers (some employers do and then they might say "off-peak only"). Most employers will not have trouble attracting employees as many high profile employers exist only in London, and for the good of their CV many are willing to take a cut in living standards (or disposable income) to work for them.
It is a demonstrably true fact that wages are higher in London then in the rest of the UK for similar jobs. Even for low skilled jobs like bus drivers. This obeservation proves that in order to attract employees you need to be prepared to pay more when you're based in London than when you're based in say, Inverness.

You are asuming that workers have no bargaining power. The observations seem to indicate that this asumption is wrong.

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So of course they are slaves to travel time. Equally, even paying peak weighting on train passes is cheaper to most than paying rents or a mortgage in London, so they just end up commuting from further away so they can have a more decently sized and cheaper house.
Again proving that the railway is not to expensive...

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Does that make it right to have a peak weighting to help buoy up the railways profits? That's the more questionable debate.
What's wrong with profits?
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Old October 6th, 2015, 04:04 PM   #2977
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What's wrong with profits?


Railways in Holland are built using public funds.

The road network is not expected to turn a profit, society can't do without it. Why shold the rail network be treated differently.
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Old October 6th, 2015, 09:01 PM   #2978
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Railways in Holland are built using public funds.

The road network is not expected to turn a profit, society can't do without it. Why shold the rail network be treated differently.
Fuel taxes collected 260% more money than all expenses in the car infrastructure of the road network, so that argument is somehow moot.
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Old October 6th, 2015, 10:52 PM   #2979
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Don't fuel taxes also get paid by other fuel users such as lawnmower users, ship owners, diesel locomotive owners?
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Old October 6th, 2015, 11:36 PM   #2980
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Which is like 1% of the total fuel use. To make the roads pay for themselves you can have 62% of the fuel not used for road vehicles, a number that is much lower in reality.
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