SFGADV automatic toll booths

Wednesday, April 4, 2007 11:59 AM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Dex:
Now I think that you're just siding with SF just to keep the controversy going.

Sometimes that's true (and painfully obvious) - however this is not one of those times.

I really think the alternating booths make the most sense. The idea that no one ever has to shift more than one lane is the topper. Even with the needed additional signage, the alternating booths/lanes keeps it as simple as possible.


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Wednesday, April 4, 2007 12:54 PM

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.


How do you get 5 or 6 more employees at a time? I get another employee at most. There are probably 6 lanes open. There are 2 employees already that would do two lanes at a time. That's 4 lanes. Cars have to move up anyway, get there money out, and pull there window down. In other words, it takes time.

Add another employee, and you get another two lanes. It's not worth it for one more employee not to hire. What about maps or booklets? You can't get your free map from a machine.


*** Edited 4/4/2007 4:55:25 PM UTC by Spinout***
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Wednesday, April 4, 2007 5:53 PM
Spinout, I was responding to Incidentalist, not you. I wasn't talking at all about your idea of having 1 employee for every 2 lanes.

But since you are begging for someone to converse with you about it, I will.

That is a pretty bad idea, imho. doing it the way you suggest only makes someone wait until the customer on the other side gets taken care of, thus making the waits longer. Also, I'd hate to be the employee who has to serve twice as many people in what is supposed to be the same amount of time he/she would be helping one.

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Wednesday, April 4, 2007 6:11 PM
People seem to be taking my post a little too serious. I was only having fun. Gonch likes to take on arguments that he doesn't agree with just because he can. A good debater (which Gonch is) has to be able to argue both sides of an issue. I was just stirring the pot with anti-SF money grabbing conspiracies.

I honestly don't think that SF is trying to pad its' pockets by reducing the parking lot staff. Though, I do hope that they will take the payroll that normally goes to those people to help with the staffing issues inside the park.

I do still find the SP parking option as the default on these things a 'bit' underhanded.


Yeah is Good!
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Wednesday, April 4, 2007 7:48 PM
matt.'s avatar

Incidentalist said:

I honestly don't think that SF is trying to pad its' pockets by reducing the parking lot staff.


It's a business though, there's nothing wrong with arguing that because at the end of the day it's true.

SF isn't trying this out with the expectation to lose money, yah know?

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Wednesday, April 4, 2007 9:41 PM
Maybe they did this to have more staff inside the park?
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Wednesday, April 4, 2007 10:00 PM
I realize that. Sure SF might be trying this as one option to cut some uneeded costs. The machines cost money as well, so it's not like this option isn't costing them something up front. That should definately turn into increased saving over time.

Think of the flexibility that they have now. Other than the morning rush, they shouldn't really need more than one tollbooth operator. Half the lanes should always be open, barring technical difficulties. Until the automated machines accept cash, they will always need one live body, but they can still allow a decent flow of traffic with fewer individuals.

But why did they add these machines? Purely for profit? While nothing wrong with that reason, I honestly think SF is trying to better serve their patrons.

They can consistently keep more lanes open as long as no chronic machine breakdowns occur. That should, in time, allow them to get the guests through the line to enter the parking lot much quicker.

Every car in line has to pay, or has already paid, and the length of time in the line doesn't do anything to increase SF's chance of collecting more from the guests during that transaction. So the quicker guests get through the gate the sooner SF will start getting more money out of peoples pockets inside the park.

So what is their option to get people through the tollbooths faster? Man all of the booths? Not likely, we are still talking about SF after all. Or install a self service option.

This will take time for some people to figure out. No matter how easy it may seem to every single one of us, we are posting on the internet therefore we at least have some familiarity with modern interfaces, there will undoubtedly be those who will slow down the process. Over time this should diminish.

So now I'm at my point of the underhanded tactic of setting the default at the most expensive option. Common sense dictates that the vast majority of parking passes will be your normal rate single day pass. Therefore that should be the default setting. Or at very worst the default setting is a page with all three options, choose one, hit enter, slide credit card, hit enter, end of transaction, enjoy your day.

By not doing so they are increasing the wait time of the people using the self service option. Even if it's only 4 pushes of a button, you still have to read each screen. What is the average time it takes someone to read one of these screens? I don't know, but is 15 seconds unreasonable? Multiply that by 4 screens and then multiply that by every car that is in front of you in that line. It'll add up to a decent wait pretty quick. That's time that you're not in the park where they at least have a chance of getting you to open your wallet for something else.

So why do it? Was it an accident? I don't know, if it was a mistake then it's one more thing showing SF's failure to implement a (possibly) good (for guests and the park) idea. OTOH, it seems like they could make some easy extra bucks from a few rubes here and there.

Please, enlighten me. :)


Yeah is Good!
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Thursday, April 5, 2007 4:37 PM

dexter said:

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.


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.


My first thought was that it makes more sense to do lefties-righties, but then I got to thinking about what Gonch said, and I have to agree with him... with one big, humongous *IF*:

The current set up goes from 3 lanes to 6 booths. It's easy to see what Six Flags was thinking: Each lane chooses between self-serve or full-serve. In theory, there should be no lane-switching at all. For example, let's refer to the lanes coming in by letters A, B, and C. Toll booths by numbers 1-6, full-serve being the odd numbers, and self-serve being the even numbers.

So, in theory, cars in lane A are supposed to choose booth 1 if they want to hand money to an attendant (or use a season pass) and booth 2 if they want to pay by credit card. In no circumstance is lane A supposed to choose booth 3-6. Likewise B should use 3 for full-serve, 4 for self-serve, but in no instance should they use 1-2 or 5-6. In similar fashion C with 5-6, and never 1-4.

Follow so far? As long as those conditions are met, you're *NEVER* switching lanes, because the lanes split and you choose your option at the split.

The problem is that the average GAdv guest is so rude and self-centered that they always want to try and cut in front of as many people as possible, so you have A's trying to go over to lane 4 because it's shorter, B's cutting off people to get to lanes 2 and 6, C's trying to dart over to lane 1 because "I just saw 3 cars pass through in the time it took lane 5 and 3 to do just one car", etc.

What Six Flags needs to do is buy a massive quantity of orange traffic cones (or concrete barriers, but those are hard to move for varying crowds) and close off some lanes on slow days. At some point, you can't be allowed to switch between the 3 lanes (I mean physically with barriers, not just signs because people will ignore signs). If it's a slow day and you're only going to be manning 1 (or 2) sets of booths, close off the other set(s).

This makes more sense then having the left 3 booths full serve and the right 3 self serve, because you'll have to cross at LEAST one lane of traffic (and many people will cross more because they can and are self-serving)


"Life's What You Make It, So Let's Make It Rock!"
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