SFGADV automatic toll booths

Tuesday, April 3, 2007 5:52 AM
Here is a picture of the new toll booths and the only signs there are.

http://amusementpics.com/SFGAdvNotesSpring07/SFGA07-137.jpg


Thanks,
DMC

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Tuesday, April 3, 2007 7:51 AM
matt.'s avatar

Incidentalist said:
Shall I take it further. I 'could' argue that SF is only implementing the automated toll both in order to save on payroll for the tollbooth attendants. I 'could' argue that point, but I won't. ;)

You could argue that point all you'd like, because as far as I can tell, saving money by replacing a completely useless job with an automated system would actually be...like...you know good for the park.

Like you know, some of us wouldn't consider that a bad thing.

This thread is totally mind-bottling to me....gold star of the day for whoever get's the movie reference first.... *** Edited 4/3/2007 11:53:33 AM UTC by matt.***

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Tuesday, April 3, 2007 7:58 AM
matt.'s avatar Can I ask how many incorrect buttons you have to push to get the $45 option?

And if it's specified there's no way to get a refund if you make the wrong choice?

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Tuesday, April 3, 2007 8:02 AM
phoenixphan :-)'s avatar Keep in mind, you are talking about NJ. LMAO. Sorry, just don't know why everyone always feels the need to complain about Six Flags. Are they the best parks ever, imo not really, but take it for what it is. These parks never seemed to "get it" not will they ever. When you have a large coporate entity that was over-run with non amusement industry execs you can't expect much.

As for the auto toll booths, I think a great idea would be something similar to the EasyPass system for season parking. even if it were implemented to one or two lanes, then have self service kiosks in all but one or two cash only lanes. Not much different than the turnpike/interstate toll booths everyone is used to. To offset the cost of the easypass system there could be a one time charge for the system, and then an annual renewal with your season pass renewal. But what do I know, I am just some dorky entusiass...


Real men ride wood... coasters that is!
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Tuesday, April 3, 2007 8:27 AM
I don't know how many buttons you get to push because the guy did it for me because everyone was having problems. But you put your card in and it seems to the menu comes up with season pass being the first option. You then have to hit the big green botton again to make it change.

You could get a refund but you waste time with the other people getting one in guest relations.


Thanks,
DMC

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Tuesday, April 3, 2007 8:40 AM
matt.'s avatar My guess is that you make your selection unless you want the $45 option, you then push an "OK" button or something along those lines, and then it gives you a rundown of what your charges are that you then you have to review and confirm by pushing a another "OK" or "OK and Make Payment" button.

In other words, if you have a problem using an ATM or getting a bag of Chex Mix out of a vending machine, you'd probably have a hard time with any automated parking system I've seen.

But having not seen the machines, maybe this is extra-super-duper-complicated automated parking. *** Edited 4/3/2007 12:41:07 PM UTC by matt.***

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Tuesday, April 3, 2007 10:10 AM
The problem with the toll booths is that they're located around a curve so it's impossible to see what line you're getting into until you're up close. You also don't know what lanes are opened or closed. In the case of yesterday, it was the 6 lanes on the right which was opened. That leads to people coming around on the left and cutting in at the last minute. We were in the manned lane on the left and I would say our wait was easily doubled by people coming around on the left and cutting in at the last minute.

As to the new signs with wait times, I don't consider them accurate at all. I think the times are inflated. I guess in that case people will be happy because they should get on the rides quicker than what those signs indicate. Also, how can you have signs like that on rides that run multiple trains when the wait times obviously would depend on the number of trains running?


Sue
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Tuesday, April 3, 2007 10:11 AM
Here we go again...All of this aggration and we haven't even got indside the park yet.

I can't wait to sit down by the customer guest relations line and enjoy the festiviites.


Here's To Shorter Lines & Longer Trip Reports!

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Tuesday, April 3, 2007 10:38 AM

Sue said:


As to the new signs with wait times, I don't consider them accurate at all. I think the times are inflated. I guess in that case people will be happy because they should get on the rides quicker than what those signs indicate. Also, how can you have signs like that on rides that run multiple trains when the wait times obviously would depend on the number of trains running?


It all depends on how they are getting their wait time information. If they do it like Disney where they send a person through the line and measure that person's wait to get the time on the signs, it should be close to accurate.

I think Nitro at GAdv has sensors in the queue that tell where the last people are in line and they can judge the wait by knowing how long the line is and how many trains they are running but don't quote me there.


Watch the tram car please....
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Tuesday, April 3, 2007 11:17 AM
HeyIsntThatRob?'s avatar The problem is the signs are very ambiguous. They don't imply anything other than a Full Service lane and Self Service lane, it says nothing about what the signs are for and make it confusing. If you miss the first sign because you're trying to figure out where you are going for the first time, then you have no clue what the signs are for.

As far as alternating the lines, I don't think its a good idea either and I think the best solution would be to split the lanes up right after the exit off the highway. Have two "Full Service" lanes on one side, two "I don't have a clue what choice I want to make, so here's both options" lanes, and two "Self Service" lanes. That's how they do it on the turnpikes using EZ-Pass.

~Rob Willi

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Tuesday, April 3, 2007 11:52 AM
matt.'s avatar

dragonoffrost said:
It all depends on how they are getting their wait time information.

My experience at a different SF park is a person at the ops office calls each ride and asks the operator how long the wait is.

It's not a terribly accurate system in most cases, but it depends on how knowledgeable your operator is.

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Tuesday, April 3, 2007 1:36 PM
The signs in this case are permanent signs throughout the queues that say "the wait from this point is 90 minutes" and so on. That's not exactly accurate since the wait from those points obviously vary based on the number of trains running.
Sue
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Tuesday, April 3, 2007 2:27 PM
matt.'s avatar Ah, I assumed they were just using the approximate wait times they're already gathering for the Qbots.
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Tuesday, April 3, 2007 3:17 PM
Those had those wait signs. How much did they pay for this extra technology? Is it really worth it? They are still using people. At my park, they use a booth for two lanes. It's one person doing two lanes. Cars need to move up anyway. Why do you need a machine?? It should take the same amount of time.

Maybe, it would take longer with the machine because people don't know what they are doing.

Maybe adding another booth, and another lane is a smarter idea than this machine. How about another entrance if SFGAdv only has one way of getting in the park.

They better have a gate, or something. Do they? *** Edited 4/3/2007 7:22:33 PM UTC by Spinout***

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Tuesday, April 3, 2007 4:08 PM
Time to answer a bunch of things at once.

First off, I was a little unclear. The "new approximate wait time" signs consist of signs placed at different points in the queue that say, for instance, "There is approximately a 60 minute wait from this point." This replaced the old wait time signs at the entrance of the attraction which should have, theoretically, been updated regularly but were not.

Gonch, to clarify: when entering the park, you have three lanes that expand to six just before opening up to the tollbooths. A few strategically placed signs would get people to choose the correct lane before the expansion -- and, theoretically, you'd only have to cross one lane (the middle lane would eventually lead to either side) to get whichever option you'd like. I just feel that preemptively directing traffic instead of sending everyone into a Garden State Parkway tollbooth-style fray is ineffective, especially on such a small access road.


Crashmando said:
Nitro Dave I don't know what time you got there but I was about 11:10am and it was chaos. People cutting off other people moving in and out of line.

I arrived shortly after that, probably around 11:20am. The traffic was backed up pretty decently at that point, but I didn't see too many people cutting others off.


matt. said:
But having not seen the machines, maybe this is extra-super-duper-complicated automated parking.

It's not that complicated, it's just that they don't have anything that makes it especially clear. The machines are designed with extreme simplicity, but there are more options and steps required than are immediately obvious; thus the problems.


Richie Reflux said:
I can't wait to sit down by the customer guest relations line and enjoy the festiviites.

As I walked in, the line for Guest Relations extended back to the ticket purchasing windows. Prescient observation indeed.


[Nitro Dave -- Track Record: 231 coasters] [url="http://rapturousverbatim.blogspot.com"]A Rapturous Verbatim[/url] & [url="http://atournamentoflies.blogspot.com"]A Tournament of Lies[/url] -- my blogs...they're blogtastic.
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Tuesday, April 3, 2007 5:31 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Nitro Dave said:
Gonch, to clarify: when entering the park, you have three lanes that expand to six just before opening up to the tollbooths. A few strategically placed signs would get people to choose the correct lane before the expansion -- and, theoretically, you'd only have to cross one lane (the middle lane would eventually lead to either side) to get whichever option you'd like. I just feel that preemptively directing traffic instead of sending everyone into a Garden State Parkway tollbooth-style fray is ineffective, especially on such a small access road.

Oooh, ok. I see. Still not sure I agree with splitting the booths, alternating makes more sense to me, but yeah, signage a little more in advance of the booth could only help.

Best to prepare for and assume the worst, I suppose. The only thing I've learned in the last couple of big discussions around here* is that the public in general is populated by a moron majority.

---

*Making us pay for something and telling us it's free is good, but allowing us to pay for a perk that's entirely optional is bad. Tollbooths are hard to figure out and if you have to push a button on it it's near impossible not to get ripped off. (source: the SF VIP thread, the Magic Springs news item and this thread)

Yeah, I'm to the point where my posts need footnotes. :)


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Wednesday, April 4, 2007 11:06 AM

Incidentalist said:
Shall I take it further. I 'could' argue that SF is only implementing the automated toll both in order to save on payroll for the tollbooth attendants. I 'could' argue that point, but I won't. ;) ...

...But, you do have to wonder why they set the default at the most expensive option. :)


Yeah, It would be a HUGE help hiring 5 or 6 less teenage minimum wage employees so they can save a couple Hundred Dollars a day in payroll.


Lord Gonchar said:

Oooh, ok. I see. Still not sure I agree with splitting the booths, alternating makes more sense to me, but yeah, signage a little more in advance of the booth could only help.


*Making us pay for something and telling us it's free is good, but allowing us to pay for a perk that's entirely optional is bad.


You really think alternating tollbooths are a better setup than one on the left and one on the right? Now I think that you're just siding with SF just to keep the controversy going.

It doesn't matter which booth one chooses; they both sell the same product. If SF believes that the automated booths will be well received, why didn't they put one kind on one side and one kind on the other? People are more likely to choose the less confusing booth, right?

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Wednesday, April 4, 2007 11:16 AM
rollergator's avatar Considering the variation of methods that SF uses for season-parking passes, I can't imagine HOW they could be more messed-up when it comes to implementation.

Can I get a lane for "pre-paid parking of ALL varieties"...no cash-handling at that booth, only free parking vouchers and season-pass parking options at that booth?

LOL, I just thought ANOTHER poorly-marked booth might help speed things along... :)


P.S. Just like the drinks thing, I'm going to argue that my TIME waiting (wasting) to show that I *already* paid for parking also has a value...to me. Just get OUT of my way and let me PARK already! ;)

Maybe I'm just a self-serve kind of guy?

*** Edited 4/4/2007 3:18:07 PM UTC by rollergator***

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Wednesday, April 4, 2007 11:35 AM
matt.'s avatar

dexter said:
Yeah, It would be a HUGE help hiring 5 or 6 less teenage minimum wage employees so they can save a couple Hundred Dollars a day in payroll.


Or, you could take those 6 people and staff 6 single operator rides, or 3 2-person rides, etc.

This is Six Flags, I don't know how SFGAdv is divided up, but adding just one extra person to a division or ride rotation or whatever can make a world of difference, staffing-wise.

And even if you did save the payroll of 5 or 6 low-wage employees and just cut the cost all together, that's a huge savings over several years for the (more or less one time) cost of some self-serve parking kiosks.

My question is when do we get self-serve admission kiosks, too? *** Edited 4/4/2007 3:36:22 PM UTC by matt.***

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Wednesday, April 4, 2007 11:38 AM
^ They're there, they've just been broken for the last however-many years.
[Nitro Dave -- Track Record: 231 coasters] [url="http://rapturousverbatim.blogspot.com"]A Rapturous Verbatim[/url] & [url="http://atournamentoflies.blogspot.com"]A Tournament of Lies[/url] -- my blogs...they're blogtastic.
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