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Mr Samuel Vaile is still patiently proceeding with his task of educating tip the public mind to the point of demanding the adoption upon our railways of the sytem of charging by stages instead of by mileage, and we are bound, in justice to that gentleman to say that he is acquitting himself very well indeed. Point by point he seems to have established his position, and in the latest of the series of letters which he has published on the subject, he addresses himself to 'the crucial question " Will the proposed change pay?" At the outset he argues quite soundly that it would be quite fair to regard railways as ordinary roads are regarded, and lhat traffic thereon should consequently be free, were it the case that on railways as on roads the vehicles and traction power were provided by those using the railways, and that seeing that this is not the case it is only in respect of the cost of rolling stock, traction and management that charges should be made to recoup the cost, of services rendered. Upon this footing (i.e., not taking into, account the interest on cost of construction) the railways already pay ; but Mr Vaile contends that they can be made to piy very much better by the adoption of his proposed methods. He, however, though taking up the position alluded to, does not make it the basis of his cal«ulations,but proceeds to show that upon bis system of charging by stages instead of mileage, with greatly reduced fares, better results, taking the whole cost of the lines as at present calculated into account, can be achieved, the gain which would accrue to the colony being, he asserts no less than £200,000 a year. He writes :—As this matter of the financial result is very important, I may again remind my readers that, all my calculations and estimates in regard to revenue have been carefully examined and reported upon by Messrs W. Conyers (late Commissioner of South Island Bailways), It, W. Moody, J. Stoddart, and T. D Edmonds. These are all railway men of, to say tho least, equal experience with our .Railway Commissioners, and they have all 6igned a statement to the effect that the introduction of my system would lead to an increase of 200 per cent in the passenger traffic ; that my average fare could not sink below one shilling (Is), and that the increased traffic 'would not perceptibly increase tbe working expenses.' Tbis means that £200,000 per annum would be added to the net railway revenue." That Mr Vaile and those who support him are on the right track, appears to be borne out by the, results of the experiment which is being carried cut in Hungary, where we read that the sj stein of " Zonal " railway tickets (a similar system to that proposed by Mr Vaile), is " showing astonishing results and producing quite a sensation. In four months—August to November— the number of passengers has nearly tripled. During four months of 1888 the number of railway tickets issued was 1,616,000, while in the corresponding period of last year 4,800,000 were issued. The tickets are available within a certain radius or zone, No one had dared to hope for such a happy result, yet, notwithstanding a radical lowering of rates, thn receipts have increased from 8,188,000 florins to 3,784,000 florins, This is an increase of 600,000 florins, when a great falling off in the receipts was expected on all hands. No doubt this experiment of the Hungarian Government will make a little noise in Europe, or, indeed all over the world." There is thus evidently more in Mr Vailo's contentions than the incredulous have been disposed to accept, and it will be well that Parliament at its next session should carefully enquire into the whole matter.

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Bibliographic details

MR VAILE'S SYSTEM., Ashburton Guardian, Volume xii, Issue 2395, 8 April 1890

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MR VAILE'S SYSTEM. Ashburton Guardian, Volume xii, Issue 2395, 8 April 1890