I wanted to talk a bit more about my proposal for a standard nationwide farecard system. The main objectives to this, interrelated, are that changing all the transit systems to have a new farecard system would be expensive and that the actual benefits of doing this would be rather modest.
I completely agree. I wasn’t really envisioning a massive outlay to totally change existing systems. But I do think that more uniformity would be better. What I would have in mind would be the creation of a new standard “federal system” that would be based on the existing system of some large city that was willing to cooperate. Then one would hope to see the new standard spread over time. Cities that don’t currently have rail systems but are building them could adopt the new standard, as could any city that for whatever reason is considering changes to its bus or rail network that would involve making the switch.
As I’ll happily concede, the benefits of doing this would be non-enormous. But I think there would be some benefits, and the cost would be low.