Discussion relating to the past and present operations of the NYC Subway, PATH, and Staten Island Railway (SIRT).

Moderator: GirlOnTheTrain

  by gprimr1
 
I was in NY this weekend and I noticed no options to buy the day pass.

But I was also using Suphtin Ave/Jamaica, far from the touristy areas.
  by R36 Combine Coach
 
The 1-day card was discontinued around the time of the last fare change in large part to "swipers"- fraudsters who would jam turnstiles or vending machines and "charge" passengers who attempted to enter, by selling "swipes" off unlimited cards, especially at unmanned entrances.
  by kitn1mcc
 
those guys were the worse
  by gprimr1
 
That is sad, those were nice for tourists.
  by Rbts Stn
 
You could use an unlimited day pass multiple times at the same station within moments of each swipe? (At least that sounds like what these "swipers" were doing).

So I could have bought one and swiped 6 times for me, my wife, and my four kids (note: I do not have 4 kids).

Seems to me they could have salvaged the product by making it usable only once every 30 minutes or so at a particular station, instead of abandoning it.
  by Patrick Boylan
 
I find it hard to believe that the swipers could have been such a widespread problem. Each extra pass they needed to buy in order to have enough to get around the time limit would bite into their potential profits. $8.25 pass, 18 minute time limit, $2 fare, they'd have to be working that station, and collect the entire fare from each of their customers, for more than an hour for each pass before they saw $1 profit, repeat the next hour. Who works for less than $1 an hour? If they had 10 of those cards, their cost $80.25, and got 40 customers, they'd lose 25 cents that 1st hour, and if they repeated that business they'd make $80 profit each additional hour, or 20 cards $160.50 and got 80 customers, lose 50 cents 1st hour, make $160 each additional hour.
This sure sounds like an enforcement issue to me, not a flaw in the pass system, if the cops couldn't spot a swiper who needed to man his post for at least 2 hours.

Either they were doing it under full view of the station attendant, or they were doing it at unmanned entrances, which should have been unmanned BECAUSE they were low patronage, therefore less opportunity for the swipers to make money.
  by chuchubob
 
Patrick Boylan wrote:I find it hard to believe that the swipers could have been such a widespread problem...
It was a common practice.
  by Patrick Boylan
 
Then I'm going to reiterate, since they had to be active at their stations for hours straight in order to make any money then it's an enforcement issue. The cops should have been able to identify and arrest them. It's not a flaw in the passes.

We're not talking about drug pushers on a street corner who can see cops coming from half a block away. We're talking about folks loitering in an enclosed spot where absolutely everyone else is moving, and a spot which in this day should have cameras, again assuming it's an unmanned, and therefore low traffic, entrance. And even the stations with an attendant should have cameras, not to mention an attendant who should be calling the cops when they see somebody hanging out for more than 2 hours. Plus the same machinery that enforces the 18 minute swipe timer should also have been smart enough to tell when a card got swiped 3 times at the same station, and alert a cop to check out what the camera sees. You don't even need someone monitoring the cameras.

I think it's a poor excuse for doing away with the 1 day passes. And was the problem 1 day passes? Wouldn't the profit margin be greater with weekly or monthly passes?
  by Patrick Boylan
 
And Bob, I'm not trying to say that you're wrong and it wasn't a common practice, I don't know one way or the other. I just don't believe that the best solution to solve the problem was to do away with the passes.
  by lirr42
 
Patrick Boylan wrote:I find it hard to believe that the swipers could have been such a widespread problem. Each extra pass they needed to buy in order to have enough to get around the time limit would bite into their potential profits. $8.25 pass, 18 minute time limit, $2 fare, they'd have to be working that station, and collect the entire fare from each of their customers, for more than an hour for each pass before they saw $1 profit, repeat the next hour. Who works for less than $1 an hour? If they had 10 of those cards, their cost $80.25, and got 40 customers, they'd lose 25 cents that 1st hour, and if they repeated that business they'd make $80 profit each additional hour, or 20 cards $160.50 and got 80 customers, lose 50 cents 1st hour, make $160 each additional hour.
They might not have been selling swipes off their card at the $2 face value...If I was a criminal I wouldn't be a "nice" one, and I'd probably assess a small fee on top of the $2 for my troubles. If you're selling swipes at $3 or even up to $5 then that dramatically increases profit.
Patrick Boylan wrote:This sure sounds like an enforcement issue to me, not a flaw in the pass system, if the cops couldn't spot a swiper who needed to man his post for at least 2 hours.

Either they were doing it under full view of the station attendant, or they were doing it at unmanned entrances, which should have been unmanned BECAUSE they were low patronage, therefore less opportunity for the swipers to make money
There isn't a police officer stationed in front of each bank of turnstiles in every single station--that's just not piratical. And most stations in the system see at least one person entering every 18 minutes during daylight hours (if it was serving 2-3 people an hour, I doubt trains would be stopping there)
  by lirr42
 
Patrick Boylan wrote:I think it's a poor excuse for doing away with the 1 day passes. And was the problem 1 day passes? Wouldn't the profit margin be greater with weekly or monthly passes?
Short of tourists, there was no real market for 1 day passes. Other than tourists, there aren't too many people who make 5 trips on one day every now and then. Commuters, students, local residents will go with the longer period passes, which offer better value.

(This was also the reason for eliminating the 14-day passes, there wasn't a big market for those, they'd either go with 7-day or 30-day passes)
  by Patrick Boylan
 
lirr42 wrote: They might not have been selling swipes off their card at the $2 face value...If I was a criminal I wouldn't be a "nice" one, and I'd probably assess a small fee on top of the $2 for my troubles. If you're selling swipes at $3 or even up to $5 then that dramatically increases profit.
If you know a stereo's stolen, do you pay extra for it?
I can't imagine there'd be much demand for passengers to pay the swiper a premium. In fact I think they'd insist on a discount. All the prospective customer has to do is alert the station attendant who presumably would at least arrange some way for the customer to enter at regular fare, and at most SHOULD get cops on the scene.
If it's an unattended entrance surely the prospective customer would know to turn around and walk the block or so to the staffed station entrance.
lirr42 wrote: There isn't a police officer stationed in front of each bank of turnstiles in every single station--that's just not piratical. And most stations in the system see at least one person entering every 18 minutes during daylight hours (if it was serving 2-3 people an hour, I doubt trains would be stopping there)
But how many of those entrances have cameras? And as I mentioned, if the turnstiles monitor the 18 minute rule, surely the machinery can alert somebody that the same card got swiped 3 or more times at the same station, which should then prompt a cop to go look.

You're also mixing entrances and stations. How many STATIONS have no staff at prime swiping times? I'm imagine there are entrances with no staff, but don't the stations that have at least 1 attended entrance. What stations have no attendants, other than late at night?
lirr42 wrote:Commuters, students, local residents will go with the longer period passes, which offer better value.
(This was also the reason for eliminating the 14-day passes, there wasn't a big market for those, they'd either go with 7-day or 30-day passes)
Lemme paraphrase what I meant to say. Have they eliminated the problem? As you say, the big market's in 7 and 30 day passes. Have the crooks who supposedly used 1 day passes decided it's not worth it to invest in a stack of 7 day passes? If the profit margin with 1 day passes was attractive, surely 7 day passes, which you say OFFER BETTER VALUE, are even more attractive. Yes, the cost if they get caught is greater, I assume the cops would confiscate the stack, but you're implying that enforcement's not practical. Maybe they should use some of the pirates you mentioned :)
  by truck6018
 
Patrick Boylan wrote:How many STATIONS have no staff at prime swiping times? I'm imagine there are entrances with no staff, but don't the stations that have at least 1 attended entrance. What stations have no attendants, other than late at night?
Regardless if there's staff at the station or not, are they in the vicinity of the turnstiles? Take for example Grand Central 42St. There is a 24 hour staffed window by the turnstiles @ the entrance from Grand Central Terminal and 42nd St. None of the other turnstiles have attendants including the turnstiles to access the shuttle.
  by lirr42
 
Not every bank of turnstiles is staffed. Very few are staffed 24/7. Even in stations with an agent, 98% of the time there is an unstaffed entrance someplace else out of view of the staffed entrance. And you'd be surprised the amount of traffic these out-of-the-way entrances get (if they got no traffic--there wouldn't be an entrance there)