The Anonymous Widower

How To Motivate Your Team

I like this story about paying the footballers from Ghana in cash, which a mate forwarded from Bloomberg.

Perhaps, if we paid ours in cash, they’d have performed better.

June 25, 2014 Posted by | Sport | , , | Leave a comment

INR Results Of A Coeliac Using Warfarin And Taking Terbinafine

This graph shows my INR a period between the 20th of May and the 25th of June.

INR May-June 2014

I should say that I have a degree in Control Engineering from Liverpool University.

My aim here is to keep my INR between two and three, with a target value of 2.5.

Since starting to self test, I normally take around 4 mg. a day of Warfarin, but I have found that five is a better dose for when I’m taking Terbinafine, which has been prescribed by my GP for a fungal infection. The drug is well-known to affect the action of the Warfarin.

So now I take 5 mg. unless the INR is 2.8 or more. In which case I reduce the dose from five to four. On the other hand, if the level is 2.2 or below, I increase it to six.

The average INR value for the period shown was 2.6 with a standard variation of 0.2.

The peak at the beginning of June may have been caused by a B12 injection  or hot weather. Both of which seem to raise my INR.

You will notice that the INR went up around the beginning of June. I can’t be sure, as I don’t have the dates, but this may have been caused by having a B12 injection.

June 25, 2014 Posted by | Health | , | Leave a comment

What Will Be The Effects Of Cashless Buses?

When London’s buses go cashless on the sixth of July, London and the passengers on its buses, will submit themselves to a big experiment.

But as I said in this post, nearly all of the staff and passengers seem to be strongly in favour.

The average London bus driver isn’t stupid, as what employer would allow an imbecile to have control of any £200,000 machine. The biggest problem they have with cash, other than the security one, is the inevitable delay, when passengers go searching for small change. London buses are timed to the minute and drivers seem not to like to miss their schedule.

I haven’t found any actual data on what passengers think about going cashless, but I have seen or heard no complaints in the media. I have heard the odd moan though, when a bus is delayed by passengers searching for small change. Although, that seems to have happened less since it was announced buses were going cashless and contactless bank cards could be used.

There will obviously be some troubles on the sixth, but I suspect TfL will put a lot of extra staff on the buses to smooth things through.

Remember though that according to Wikipdeia, London’s buses are used by six million riders a day and that every touch-in is registered on TfL’s ticketing system. That will generate an enormous amount of data.

When it has all settled down, just by examining before and after data will give conclusions, that will help with the planning of London’s transport system.

Will going cashless speed the buses?

Will the buses be carrying more or less passengers?

Will we be seeing a new group of passengers using a bus for the first time?

Would visitors to London, use their bank card or an Oyster?

Will we see a long term decline in the use of Oyster on buses?

I will not speculate, but let the data do the talking!

But the biggest effects will be felt, if the scheme works well and increases the revenue and profitability of London’s buses.

How many cities seeing how the London system works, would decide to go to a similar system? Many bus systems like Manchester, Liverpool, Edinburgh and Glasgow are not very comprehensible to a visitor without a guide, but London’s simple touch-in once with your bank card system, is probably understandable to everybody familiar with a contactless bank card.

I would also see London using the same system on the Underground, Overground and railways within London.

As Oyster now works on train journeys around London and many stations like Cambridge, Watford and Brighton are gated, would we see pressure to allow the Oyster/bankcard ticketing on journeys around the broader South East of England. Yesterday, when I went to Salisbury, I paid £24.60 for my walk-up Off Peak ticket, which was the same price as if I’d bought it earlier in the day on-line. It would have been so much more convenient to have touched-in at Waterloo and touched-out at Salisbury with a contactless bank card. Especially, as I just missed the previous train to Salisbury, so with a contactless bank card ticket, I’d have got there thirty minutes earlier.

So will we see the creeping of Oyster/bank card ticketing out from London? One problem is Railcards, but I’m sure one could be associated with a particular bank card.

Would it increase the resolve of TfL to introduce cashless ticketing all over the Underground, Overground and trains in the London area?

London’s new ticketing regime is going to provide a lot of answers to questions, some of which haven’t even been thought up yet. It is also going to ask a lot of politicians to bury some of their views. A lot of money will have been proven to have been wasted on systems that can never accept contactless bank cards.

June 25, 2014 Posted by | Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Scaremongering Over Cashless Buses

I travel on London buses regularly and probably every other trip, I hear a message broadcast on the bus saying that from the 6th of July, London buses will go cashless.

Yesterday, when the message was played, I started talking to the young lady sitting next to me. We both agreed that we rarely see anybody pay cash on the 38s or 56s we regularly used, although we did think we’d been held up by a passenger scrambling for small chsnge. Transport for London (TfL) say the number paying by cash, has dropped below one percent for those, who use cash on the buses.

Speaking to one of tail-gunners on a 38 last week, she said that staff were looking forward to the cashless buses, as it should further cut the dangers of dealing with the public.

So it would appear from my small survey, that passengers and bus staff are in favour of buses going cashless. I certainly haven’t heard anybody sounding off on the Dalston omnibus about it being a bad idea.

However, there was this story in the Standard last night, which claimed up to two thousand passengers could be stranded every day in London, due to lost Oyster cards. Here’s the first couple of paragraphs.

Concerns that passengers will be left stranded when buses go cashless in two weeks were raised today as new figures show thousands of Oyster cards are lost or stolen every day.

Figures from Transport for London showed that on average 2,115 Oyster cards were lost, stolen or stopped working every day last year — a total of 770,000. 

The London assembly Green Party, which obtained the figures, said that without an Oyster card passengers won’t be able to pay cash as an alternative and they want bus drivers to be sympathetic and allow them to board, especially schoolchildren and the  elderly.

But notice it is the Green Party complaining.

If this means that 770,000 people are given a free ticket every year at the cash price of a ticket of £2.40, this would cost TfL just under £2,000,000. Compare that with the savings of £24million from going cashless stated in this article on the BBC. The remaining savings would buy a lot of buses or fund other improvements.

You can just hear the rattle in the various canteens in bus garages, as they prepare the teacups for the inevitable storms.



June 25, 2014 Posted by | Transport | , , | 1 Comment