Monday, February 9, 2015

SunRail needs to add a cash machine at Church Street station

Customer convenience is a concept that seems to be foreign to some SunRail bosses.
If they knew, or cared about customer convenience, it sure doesn’t show in the design of the SunRail station at Church Street – the busiest rush-hour destination for riders.

Church Street has the worst designed station in the SunRail system. At 11 of the 12 stations the northbound and southbound train platforms are directly opposite each other. But as the accompanying aerial photo shows, Church Street has a split station. The northbound platform is at Church Street, and the southbound platform is at South Street.

Reasons for this weird configuration are complex, and should have been avoided because it creates lots of confusion for riders. On numerous occasions we’ve met SunRail newbies on the northbound platform who really wanted to go southbound. They didn’t realize they needed to walk another block and cross busy South Street to reach the right platform.

Adding to this confusion is the sad reality that SunRail only provides 1 ticket-vending machine per station that accepts cash. The other 3 ticket machines only take cash or debit cards.

All the ticket-vending machines in all the stations should take cash and plastic. It’s downright elitist to assume that everyone has plastic. And anyone who doesn’t have plastic has to walk further to buy a ticket.

We pity the poor soul who runs up to the Church Street southbound platform and all that person has is cash. Hopefully that person can run two blocks and vault over South Street to buy a ticket before the train arrives.

Since the Church Street station already has an inconvenient design you would think SunRail would install a second cash machine on Church Street’s southbound platform. But as seasoned riders know, convenience and common sense are in short supply at SunRail.

SunRail’s official response on the need to add a cash machine on the southbound platform: “As always, FDOT continues to monitor station activities…”

Gee thanks, that really helps. Now, please put a cash machine on Church Street’s southbound platform.

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