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the use of information had not been part of the business case for migrating from cardboard tickets to Oyster cards,

These cardboard tickets were also electronic. What data does the Oyster card provide that couldn't have been obtained from the earlier tickets?

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed Mar 17th, 2010 at 08:13:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Oyster allows you to look at all the trips made with a particular card, whereas the carboard ticket just tells you about the single trip it was used for.

The brainless should not be in banking -- Willem Buiter
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 17th, 2010 at 08:20:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I can see how it could help in setting prices, but how would it help for scheduling trains?
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed Mar 17th, 2010 at 08:23:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You can correlate the times of trips there and back? Say, if I take my morning commute half an hour earlier you expect me to take my return trip also half an hour earlier, or something? Or maybe an hour later because I work longer on some weekdays than others?

The brainless should not be in banking -- Willem Buiter
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 17th, 2010 at 08:31:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Note the reference to anonymity.

It is the ability of the card to track real time movements of people collectively - ie the flows past the readers and therefore cardholders' presence shortly after on platforms - which is useful, I think.

I have noticed on the Tube that trains often seem to terminate early (to shuttle back), and re-route on an ad hoc basis - eg at an intersection like Camden Town on the Northern Line - far more than they used to.

I suspect that sophisticated analysis of people flows from Oyster data may be driving this traffic management.

A Diary from Bruce McF or DoDo on this might be interesting.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Wed Mar 17th, 2010 at 10:49:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But you could have done that with the old electronic cards. Your other message about telphone switches makes me wonder whether the problem was more mundane - maybe the old electronic system involved thousands of lines of undocumented code in some obscure dialect of PL/I or COBOL, which you didn't get close to unless it was absolutely neccessary. So the data was there in the old system, but unusable.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed Mar 17th, 2010 at 11:39:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It wouldnt be that much of a problem if it was Written in COBOL, it's a very straightforward language. it has a very undeserved reputation for complexity.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Mar 17th, 2010 at 12:03:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, but they've probably pushed anybody who knows it into early retirement long ago...
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed Mar 17th, 2010 at 12:04:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
there is that(Says the qualified but vastly out of practice COBOL programmer)

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Mar 17th, 2010 at 12:08:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Plenty of practicing Cobol and Fortran experts in Russia though...

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Wed Mar 17th, 2010 at 12:33:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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