Automated Fare Collection System & Urban Public Transportation:
An Economic & Management Approach to Urban Transit Systems
by Dr. Clifford N. Opurum Trafford Publishing

"In general, urban public transportation, otherwise known as mass transit, is the engine that drives the urban economy. Without mass transit, urban economy will be paralyzed."

Dr. Opurum presents a thorough tome on the public transportation system in the New York City. The text is concerned with the Automated Fare System (AFC), which is preferred over the outdated mechanical system of collecting fare. The author stresses that the public transport systems is a vital part of the urban economy, and the AFC is a marketing strategy to increase customer ridership, decongest urban roads, and reduce air pollution. Organized into five detailed parts, Dr. Clifford's book is a product of his doctoral research study from the University of Leeds in England.

Part One deals with the historical background of the NY transit system. Among many other things, it talks about the MetroCard and includes interesting, little-known facts, such as that the MetroCard became the only fare payment medium for the NY City subway in May 2003, or that the NY City's busiest station in Manhattan, called the Times Square Station, serves eleven subway lines. This section also includes a general understanding of the urban transport and economy and the automation of fare.

Part Two presents models of transport pricing (which, according to the author, has been a challenging issue for the industry), while Part Three is about data collection, research methods, and analysis techniques. Part Four includes "the macroeconomic models of aggregation and disaggregate microeconomic models at the individual transit user level," and Part Five has detailed appendices and glossaries, findings of studies and recommendations, surveys, tables, maps and exhibits (such as letters written to the author from the NY City Transit), and an ample list of references.

While the benefits of this detailed textbook are numerous, the reader will need a background in economics and/or business management to fully grasp all of the information, especially in the latter more technical parts. This would be a perfect learning tool for students of economics, business management, professionals with the background in urban planning and policy, university professors, and public transportation managers.

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