Fare Cards – no more cutting for shared use

Here’s one more twist in fare card use, courtesy of an email thread via Barbara Brenner about cutting ferry fare cards so that, for example, several people in one family can use a single card.

—–Forwarded Message—–

From: BBGUN1010@aol.com
Sent: Jan 22, 2011 10:43 AM
To: BBGUN1010@aol.com
Subject: Fwd: Question re: 25 count punchcard

FYI from Council Member Brenner. Please scroll down to bottom to read from start.
Please send all correspondence to my county address, bbrenner@co.whatcom.wa.us for retention of complete public records.Thank you. 

Barbara Brenner


From: BBGUN1010@aol.com
To: FAbart@co.whatcom.wa.us
CC: NHanson@co.whatcom.wa.us, MBlakely@co.whatcom.wa.us, DBrown@co.whatcom.wa.us, MEngels@co.whatcom.wa.us, JPaulson@co.whatcom.wa.us, council@co.whatcom.wa.us, BBrenner@co.whatcom.wa.us, SCrawfor@co.whatcom.wa.us, CWeimer@co.whatcom.wa.us, KMann@co.whatcom.wa.us, BKnutzen@co.whatcom.wa.us, KKershner@co.whatcom.wa.us, TLarson@co.whatcom.wa.us
Sent: 1/22/2011 10:39:33 A.M. Pacific Standard Time
Subj: Re: Question re: 25 count punchcard

Frank,
I am not sure what you mean by “slice/dice”. It sounds like a cooking term. The islander to whom I spoke has more than one vehicle. He also has other family members. He has been cutting his card so other family members can use the card on other family vehicles. I see nothing wrong with that. I looked at the attachment and still don’t understand why this practice can not be continued at least until the task force comes up with its recommendations. To make a change like this now seems like an unnecessary blow to islanders.
I would appreciate having this issue discussed in the council’s February 8 public works committee. I am copying this e-mail to Dana to place it on the February 8 agenda.
Please send all correspondence to my county address, bbrenner@co.whatcom.wa.us for retention of complete public records.Thank you. 

Barbara Brenner

In a message dated 1/21/2011 10:28:51 A.M. Pacific Standard Time, BBrenner@co.whatcom.wa.us writes:

—–Original Message—–
Date: Fri, 21 Jan 2011 10:28:31 -0800
From: “Frank Abart” <fabart@co.whatcom.wa.us>
To: “Barbara Brenner” <BBrenner@co.whatcom.wa.us>,
“Bill Knutzen” <bknutzen@co.whatcom.wa.us>,
“Carl Weimer” <CWeimer@co.whatcom.wa.us>,
“Kathy Kershner” <kkershne@co.whatcom.wa.us>,
“Ken Mann” <kmann@co.whatcom.wa.us>,
“Sam Crawford” <SCrawfor@co.whatcom.wa.us>,
“Tony Larson” <TLarson@co.whatcom.wa.us>
Cc: “Dewey Desler” <DDesler@co.whatcom.wa.us>,
“Nadean Hanson” <NHanson@co.whatcom.wa.us>,
“Pete Kremen” <PKremen@co.whatcom.wa.us>
Subject: Fwd: Question re: 25 count punchcard

Good morning, everyone.  We discovered that some citizens have been cutting up portions of the ferry tickets and distributing them to multiple people for use as Ferry passage.  Apparently this has been allowed for many years, exactly how long is not known.  We discovered this practice as we were having a meeting with Ferry employees and discussing implementation of the Surcharge, problems, solutions, etc.

I have attached a pdf that shows an example of what people have been providing by slicing/dicing the ticket, and an example of a normal ticket.  The new tickets we will begin selling on Sunday will be embossed, stamped and identified so that we can tell the difference between the new tickets (which include the Surchage) and the old tickets which did not include the Surcharge.  If we continued to allow sliced/diced tickets, how would we know who paid the Surchage and who did not?

Clearly we should never have been accepting sliced/diced tickets in the past for a variety of audit, accountability, and possible legal (defaced ticket) reasons, but it will now be absolutely necessary to stop the practice.  It will affect those who have assumed this was acceptable – primarily because we allowed it to happen.  Now that I have knowledge of this practice, it would be irresponsible for me to allow it to continue.

I don’t like to create any additional problems for the Ferry users during this time of increased costs for them but I am open to any suggestions that may come our way as a solution.  At this point, the only suggestion might be to consider amending the Ordinance to allow a ten ride Pedestrian/Passenger ticket option so that it might be easier to afford multiple tickets for the multiple riders in a specific family.  We did offer this ticket type in the past but it was discontinued due to lack of use.

Also keep in mind that more ticket options translate into increased administrative costs to track, monitor, report, audit, etc.

Thanks for your continued support.  Have a great weekend.

—–Original Message—–
From: BBGUN1010@aol.com
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2011 16:51:30 EST
Subject: Question re: 25 count punchcard
To: FAbart@co.whatcom.wa.us
CC: NHanson@co.whatcom.wa.us

Hi Frank,

I just got a call from an islander who was concerned that the punch card
was going to be treated differently than how it has been treated to date. He
regularly cuts his card in half to use on different vehicles, rather than
keeping it with him. It is more convenient to keep it with the vehicle in
case  another family member will be driving the vehicle.

He heard that will no longer be allowed. I do not remember any discussion
regarding making that change. Could you please clarify. The islanders are
already being clobbered with the huge surcharge. I don’t think any other
impacts should hit them while the task force is working on this.

Please send all correspondence to my county address,
_bbrenner@co.whatcom.wa.us_ (mailto:bbrenner@co.whatcom.wa.us)  for  retention of complete public
records.

Thank you.

Barbara  Brenner

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC “-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN”>
<HEAD>
<META http-equiv=Content-Type content=”text/html; charset=US-ASCII”>
<META content=”MSHTML 6.00.2900.6049″ name=GENERATOR></HEAD>

<DIV>Hi Frank,</DIV>
<DIV>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV>I just got a call from an islander who was concerned that the punch card
was going to be treated differently than how it has been treated to date. He
regularly cuts his card in half to use on different vehicles, rather than
keeping it with him. It is more convenient to keep it with the vehicle in case
another family member will be driving the vehicle.</DIV>
<DIV>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV>He heard that will no longer be allowed. I do not remember any discussion
regarding making that change. Could you please clarify. The islanders are
already being clobbered with the huge&nbsp;surcharge. I don’t think any other
impacts should hit them while the task force is working on this.</DIV>
<DIV>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV>Please&nbsp;send all correspondence to my county address, bbrenner@co.whatcom.wa.us for
retention of complete public records.

Thank you.

Barbara
Brenner</DIV>’


 

 

9 thoughts on “Fare Cards – no more cutting for shared use

  1. >From: thetome@lummiislandcable.com
    >Sent: Jan 22, 2011 1:07 PM
    >To: thetome@lummiislandcable.com
    >Subject: c Cutting Ferry punch cards in half.
    >
    >
    >There has been a series of communications between Public Works and County Council personnel about
    >the practice of cutting punch cards in half so each of two cars in a family could have half a card
    >without the outlay of $360 for two cards at a time (or $470 for 2 cards starting tomorrow). I
    >will report this briefly in my own words rather than burden you with all the e-mail traffic on
    >this.
    >
    >Frank Abart, Public Works Director, has never sanctioned this practice of cutting a card in half
    >and was not aware it was happening. He wants the cutting to be discontinued for legal and
    >accounting reasons. Barbara Brenner thinks it is a harmless thing and would like to make it
    >easier for folks with two cars. She plans go take the issue to the Council at their next meeting
    >on Feb 8. I’m sure Mr. Abart will get to express his reasons against the cutting to the Council.
    >
    >In he meantime, I suggest you assume that the cutting of cards will not be allowed and get whole
    >cards for each car before they start to refuse to honor a half card. If I had two half cards, I
    >would magic tape them together again. Public Works may issue a directive to the ferry crew about
    >this, so be prepared. I don’t know what will happen so your guess is as good as mine. And Brown
    >Betty isn’t talking.
    >
    >Paul Davis, Editor; Paul Revere, Horse Rider; and Brown Betty, Horse
    >The Tome of Lummi Island
    >Lummi Island Community Association (LICA)
    >P.O. Box 163, Lummi Island, WA 98262
    >thetome@lummiislandcable.com
    >
    >

  2. Emailed to Councilperson Barbara Brenner:

    I’m a business owner. And as every business owner knows, the more convenient you can make it for a customer to purchase your product the more sales you will have. If the goal of the WCPW is to increase sales from the use of the ferry then they should consider increasing the convenience for punch card usage. I suspect that was the original idea for cutting punch card in half – convenience leading to more usage & increased sales.

    A reasonable solution to this innovative but probably unlawful practice of cutting punch cards is to adjust the 10 trip punch card price to be the equivalent discount as the 25 ride punch card. Using the current surcharge prices, a 10 trip punch card is $10.20/trip and a 25 trip punch card is $9.40. Just adjust the 10 trip punch card from $102 to $94. Make it more convenient and fair and more folks will buy and use it more.

    • John’s suggestion of selling the 10 card punch ticket for the same price of a 25 ride card is a perfect solution….I would hope that Mr. Abart and Council will respond to this request….Why wouldn’t they?????? As purchaser’s and owner’s of a punch card, we as citizen’s should be able to decide how to use them…My only consideration is for the ferry crew as to whether or not this creates difficulty for them when collecting fees

  3. Here’s an email I just sent to the County:

    —–Forwarded Message—–
    >From: Wynne Lee
    >Sent: Jan 23, 2011 4:08 PM
    >To: Frank Abart , Barbara B
    >Cc: “Colleen O. McCrory” , Pete Kremen , Kathy BerG
    >Subject: fare cards
    >
    >Just a quick note to let you know that information and discussion of ‘cut’ fare cards is currently active on the Ferry Forum, at https://lummiislandferryforum.wordpress.com/2011/01/22/fare-cards-no-more-cutting-for-shared-use.
    >
    >It would be great if you would please keep Whatcom County citizens updated on how, when and where this (serious, for some) concern will be discussed or acted upon by County officials. Especially in these hard economic times, it’s really not difficult to understand why Whatcom County Ferry System users have behaved — indeed NEED to behave — as “rational consumers.”
    >
    >Thank you,
    >
    >Wynne Lee
    >Co-editor, LI Ferry Forum

  4. We have cut passes for our kids so they can come out and visit. They grew up here and can’t even visit because of the cost.
    We would buy a 10 punch car/driver cut it in half and give to our kids as a gift.
    I see it as just another way to hurt the islander.

  5. Hi all,

    Below is an email I just sent Frank Abart with my thoughts on the cutting of ferry tickets.

    Hi Frank,

    I agree that allowing people to “slice and dice” tickets to the extent that you provided in your example is a problem and shouldn’t be allowed since at that level of cutting it would be hard to verify the authenticity of the original ticket.

    One possible suggestion – It ought to be relatively easy to design an embossed and stamped ticket with a dotted line across it that would allow the purchaser to cut the ticket in half and still be clearly recognizable. It would have to be made clear that tickets were only allowed to be cut in half along the dotted line, and that any ticket cut differently would be void. This would take care of the additional costs and tracking of selling a ten trip ticket, and would provide ferry riders with some additional flexibility at least until the ferry task force reports.

    The discounts on the 25 trip ticket was based on saving the County the hassle of selling more cash fares or more frequent lower trip tickets. This solution maintains that saving to the County while providing ferry riders who have multiple vehicles a more cost effective alternative. With fares rising substantially, and no real information to predict how increases will affect ridership, I think we should not be doing anything else that might reduce ridership or push people to lower fare options.

    I do not totally understand your audit concerns since my understanding is that at this point the audit is to match the number of tickets sold with the money collected. This would not change that. Correct me if I am wrong but I don’t think there is any audit function that attempts to match actual trips on the ferry to the number of tickets sold.

    My two cents worth.

    Thanks

    Carl

  6. This is a little off the subject of cutting punch cards, however it does have to do with how Public Works is handling the new ticket structure.
    I was surprised to be informed that cash could not be used as additional payment with our new $3 punch cards. I guess if someone has any $3 punches left over after using up their present old rate punch cards, they are left with a useless card that has no value. This seems extremely unfair as Public Works has collected this money, and every $3 punch should in fact be worth $3. If that requires paying cash for the balance to use up your $3 punch card, that should be allowed. As an alternative, any unused portion of a $3 could be credited towards a new full rate punch card.
    I hope the Public Works, and County Council will address this unfair sitiation.

    Thanks- Steve Schneider

  7. I think a compromise solution is to allow cutting the “new” tickets, once and horizontally only. That way the new surchage embossment would show on both halves of the ticket.
    For the older ones, especially those previously cut vertically before the surcharge was enacted, the surcharge would have to be collected. In all cases, at least a part of the County Seal would have to be visable to qualify.

    Just my idea.

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