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Ticket Barrier Lane System

Speed up the throughput of passengers coming through ticket barriers
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For many tube/subway travellers, getting through the ticket barriers before leaving the station can be a real pain. The main problem is the long time it can take to get through the barriers because unlike regular travellers, tourists and the elderly find it difficult to operate the barriers and thus cause a large delay for all those behind them in the queue.

This idea seeks to rectify this problem and speedup the overall throughput of passengers through the ticket barriers at busy (rush hour) times.

Quite simply, there will be a new lane system. Each lane will cater for passengers of varying ticket barrier operating finesse. For those that use the tube/subway system every day, they join the 2 second lane. Those that use it less frequently join the 4 second lane. If you travel infrequently or are new to the system (such as a tourist) you would join the 8 second lane. The elderly and those with a nervous disposition would join the 20 second lane.

For each lane, you have X seconds in which to insert your ticket into the ticket slot and pass through the barrier, where X is either 2, 4, 8 or 20, depending on the lane you are in. If you fail to pass through the barrier within the time limit, a trap door opens below you revealing a chute that drops you down onto a conveyor belt. The conveyor belt leads to the start of the next (slower) lane along until the 20 second lane where the conveyor belt simply takes you to the back of the queue. The advantage in all of this is a speedier and happier exit from the station! This system would eradicate the huffing and puffing of regular travellers as they wait 20 seconds for their less-frequently travelling colleagues to pass through the barrier.

ccaamgw, Jul 12 2000

queueing http://www.halfbakery.com/idea/queueing
The queueing problem in general... [egnor, Jul 12 2000, last modified Oct 04 2004]

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       "You took 20 seconds of my life away and I want it back! ... oh, I'd probably just waste it anyway."
centauri, Jul 12 2000
  

       Why not do something similar to what occurs at some tollbooths... carry some sort of device that has your ID or a certain amount of money in it, and simply pass through a gate that reads from the device and makes the appropriate transaction. I imagine such devices could be made small enough to fit in one's wallet or something.   

       If the device were cheap enough, everyone could use it. Otherwise the frequent users could use the "express" gates, while retaining the regular faregates for the infrequent passengers without the device.   

       This systems would make it easy for the fares to change based on time of day, or for discounts based on volume (ride 10 times, get one ride free, for example)
billh, Jul 17 2000
  

       I never know just how seriously the contributors take their own ideas or whether I am supposed to offer something fantastical to match. I recollect the Robert Heinlin varying speed walkways. Weren't they quite tricky especially when sabotage was afoot or if you missed your exit and tried to go back.   

       On the question of the rush hour ticket barriers, the best are those manned by humans of strong character. They only fail when some overbearing Thatcherite so reduces pay and removes status/strength that the system fails through lack of qualified personnel. Remember that Mrs Thatcher tied to cover her total ignorance with that impressive single mindedness and "We'll sort them out!" gungho that all but shut Britain down.   

       Two or three tiicket collectors of pleasant but firm disposition can unload and load a train far more efficiently than any automatic barrier system.   

       Similarly, for mass and rapid transport, despite Eric Laithewaite's linear motors now being developed by the Japanese, there is and always will be nothing more effective than two parallel metal rails with connected pairs of metal wheels running on them to provide affordable transit. Virtually all of the "monorail" systems actually require many more than two rails for guidance and many more than the simple pairs of wheels.   

       I believe it is something to do with gravity, and its less ruley cousin - inertia - that is the deciding factor.
Kenneth Munn, Jan 25 2001
  

       The problem is delays for regular commuters, right? The problem is solved for cars and toll booths - EZPass in NY and FastLane in MA. Also solved in building security systems and the Mobil Speed-pass. Give speed-passes to frequent commuters together with a fast-lane that picks up your pass whereever you have it (in your pocket or wallet or handbag) and debits your account. No buying of tickets, no ticket exit lane congestion.
lee, Jan 25 2001
  
      
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