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Jun 18, 2012

City Pass To Make Changes To Light-Rail Ticketing System

I don't know if this is good news per se, but it can't be bad news. City Pass, the operator of the Jerusalem Light-Rail, is going to be changing its ticketing system, according to News 1, because of all the problems with the system.

According to the report, the main problem is that the ticket-selling machines could not stand up to the demand, and there was not enough change held to be distributed to people buying tickets. The new equipment will, supposedly, have larger change boxes for giving change, as well as having a more user-friendly interface.

City Pass is also considering putting ticket machines on the trains themselves. This will improve the situation from two perspectives:

  1. when a train shows up and the lines was still too long and you did not have a chance to buy the ticket - you can now get on the train anyway and buy it there.
  2. when buying the train ticket before the train arrives, you are losing minutes available from using the ticket for the 90 minute transfer. Buying the ticket on the train will save those transfer minutes.
Another great feature, the report says, is that they are considering a system that would not require the passenger to pass his ticket by a machine. The system would scan the passengers getting on by the door, and it would automatically read the tickets, even if it is in the persons wallet. 

I like that feature, except for the fact that if someone bought a packet of tickets how would the system know to only read one of them? And how would the passenger know if the reader successfully read the ticket or if there was a failure that needed to be addressed?

Overall, changes to the system will hopefully be good and beneficial. It would be hard for them to be worse than what is currently in place!

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  1. Um,the second "advantage" of the new system doesn't make any sense because the 90 minutes start only after the card is stamped inside the train.

  2. I am not so sure you are correct. the card is not stamped, but scanned. Maybe the scan marks it in some way digitally, that the next buses can read upon transfer. I do not know.

  3. Why do they happen to announce this only after the knesset passes a law against their laissez faire attitude about the problems until now?

  4. a, the ticket is only good for a day, so you can't stock up
    I don't like the "magic scanning." I keep thinking that I'm losing rides on my buses which have two types of ticketing, the Jm and long distance. When I pay the longer one I wonder if the card has gotten "scanned" and billed at the same time, read through my bag.

  5. Yaaaaay, now were all going to stand in line ON the train! The when the inspectors come, they'll fine us all!!
    LUCKY US!!!

  6. As noted previously, when you purchase a single-ride ticket, you still need to activate it on the train. It is then stamped with a time stamp, validating the card for the next 90 minutes.

  7. If it automatically reads your ticket, even in your pocket, what sort of equipment is it using, and is the equipment truly harmless? Is it radiation?
    I ride the train only late at night because of the crowds. And I read that the City of Jerusalem is subsidizing Citipass because they're getting only half as many riders as they wanted. Where would they put the rest of them?

  8. If I was a programmer for the ticketing system, I would check the time stamps of when a ticket was purchased, and if any of them have the same time stamp, I would only count one of them as being used that ride.
    If they have a camera however, you could double check that and compare to the number of people walking into the train.

  9. and how would the passenger holding the tickets know which one was used (in the case of a packet of tickets, which should be discarded), how many he had left, if it worked or not (will he get fined because the system failed to read the card correctly)...

    the camera option sounds tedious..

  10. And what if you're only going two stops and there's a line on the train to purchase tickets so that there's not time to buy yours. Also, does user friendly, mean English will be available on the machines. I'm sticking to the buses.


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