Title

HUMAN FACTOR CONSTRAINTS ON TRANSIT FAREGATE CAPACITY

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

2001

Subject Area

operations - capacity, technology - ticketing systems

Keywords

Trade off analysis, Time, Ticket transport systems, Throughput, Technology, Swipe readers, San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District, New York City Transit Authority, New York City Transit, Human factors, Field studies, Faregate capacity, Fare collection, Comparison studies, Alternatives analysis

Abstract

Factors that affect faregate transaction times and hence the capacity of transit station faregates are described. These include both technological factors, such as the type of ticket processing mechanism (e.g., swipe readers versus ticket transport systems), and human factors, such as the extent of a customer's interaction with information displayed at the faregate. Fieldwork conducted at the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) and New York City Transit systems has provided empirical data. The purpose of the research was to help BART assess alternative technologies for modernization of its 30-year-old fare collection system. As part of this assessment, BART was interested in obtaining higher throughput per faregate to minimize the number of new faregates that would be needed to meet expected increases in demand. The research suggests that although swipe readers are ultimately capable of higher throughput rates than ticket transport systems, human factors limit the actual throughput that can be obtained with either of these systems.