Friday, September 16, 2016

SunRail doesn't care about making things convenient for riders

Making things convenient for riders is NOT a priority at SunRail.

Misplaced cash machine at Sand Lake
SunRail has four ticket-vending machines for every station, but only one of the machines accepts cash. There are two machines serving the southbound platform and two on the northbound platform. 

We were told they placed the cash machine where it would be most convenient to riders. But that’s not true. We've previously reported on a similar problem at the Church Street station.

At the Sand Lake Road SunRail station the cash machine was put on the northbound platform, which is closest to the parking lot. That’s convenient for the courier who removes cash from the machine. Not so much for riders.

The cash machine placement at Sand Lake doesn’t make sense because 90 percent of the SunRail trains use the southbound platform for arrivals and departures. That’s because Sand Lake is the end of the line. The only time SunRail uses the northbound platform is when they switch tracks to clear the way for an Amtrak train to pass through.

So here’s what happens. A lady is running late and the SunRail train is already in the station at the southbound platform. She quickly crosses to the southbound side, rushes to the vending machines. Her credit card doesn’t work -- or like some people she doesn’t have a credit or debit card. She whips out some good ole American greenbacks but the train conductor and station Ambassador tell her the cash machine is on the other platform.
Wave goodbye to the train. We’ve seen this happen.

Fixing this requires only a hand truck, two people with strong backs and a technician to swap the vending machines. Or better yet, how about two cash machines – one for each platform?

SunRail ignores this because they don’t care about making things convenient for riders. If they did, they wouldn’t have ridiculous schedules with 2 ½-hour gaps between some trains.

See you on The Rail, or trying to find a cash machine.

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