Speaker:  Richard Hoshino, Quest University Canada, Squamish, BC
Title:  Optimal Pricing for Distance-Based Transit Fares
Date:  Friday, March 2, 2018
Time:  3:30 – 4:30 p.m.
Place:  HP 4351 Macphail Room), Carleton University

ABSTRACT:  Numerous urban planners advocate for differentiated transit pricing to improve both ridership and service equity. Several metropolitan cities are considering switching to a more “fair fare system”, where passengers pay according to the distance travelled, rather than a flat fare or zone boundary scheme that discriminates against various marginalized groups.  In this presentation, we present a two-part optimal pricing formula for switching to distance-based transit fares: the first formula maximizes forecasted revenue given a target ridership, and the second formula maximizes forecasted ridership given a target revenue. Both formulas hold for all price elasticities. Our theory has been successfully tested on the SkyTrain mass transit network in Metro Vancouver, British Columbia, with over 400,000 daily passengers. This research served Metro Vancouver’s transportation authority as they recently decided to switch to distance-based fares, with the full implementation likely to take place sometime in 2019.

(This is joint work with Jeneva Beairsto, a fourth-year undergraduate student).

Short Bio:

Richard Hoshino is a mathematics professor at Quest University Canada in Squamish, British Columbia. Prior to his arrival at Quest in 2013, Richard was a post-doctoral fellow at the National Institute of Informatics in Tokyo (2010-2012), and was a mathematician here in Ottawa with the Canada Border Services Agency (2006-2010). He has published 33 research papers across numerous fields, including graph theory, marine container risk-scoring, biometric identification, and sports tournament scheduling.

Richard has consulted for a billion-dollar professional baseball league, as well as three Canadian TV game shows (Qubit, Splatalot, Spin-Off), and has worked with his undergraduate students to implement automated employee scheduling systems for small businesses in British Columbia. He is heavily involved in high school outreach, and continues to visit dozens of schools each year to share his passion and love for mathematics. Richard is also the author of “The Math Olympian”, a novel that is currently ranked #2 by GoodReads in Best Young Adult Books that Empower.

Richard holds a B.Math. from the University of Waterloo, a B.Ed. from Queen’s University, and an M.Sc. and Ph.D. from Dalhousie University.

For more information please contact Kevin Cheung – kcheung@math.carleton.ca

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