Saturday, March 18, 2017

Ticket machine meltdown - already!

Be ready to wrestle with the ticket vending machines today at your local SunRail station.

As of 11 on Saturday morning we were getting reports of machine failures at the Longwood station. So, we were told that many people didn’t pay to ride. They’re not fair-beaters. They want to pay, but the machines won’t take their money.

We are not surprised.

And if these problems are occurring at Longwood, it’s a pretty good bet problems are happening elsewhere in the system.

Back a couple of Sundays ago, when SunRail was running to support the first match at the Orlando Lions new stadium, we witnessed and experienced ticket machine problems in Maitland.

We had to use the machines on both sides of the track and change credit cards a couple of times until we could get the machines to dispense a ticket. And we know how to use the machines. Many people at the station were first-time riders.

When we tried to report the problem to SunRail customer service, guess what? There was nobody home. Customer service is only open Monday to Friday during the normal SunRail revenue service hours. Though you would think someone would always be on duty whenever the trains are operating.

But see, here’s the thing. The problems with these ticket vending machines go back to the beginning of SunRail revenue service in 2014. Yeah, that’s right, 2014.

Is the problem that difficult to fix?

Difficult to understand why we haven’t fired the vending machine vendor.

In addition, we were flabbergasted to learn that the vending machines rely on cables to communicate ticket transactions.

Cables? In a wireless world?

Every food truck in central Florida uses a wireless system to handle transactions quickly.

But not SunRail.

Go figure.

Today if you run into problems trying to board the train, please tell the train conductor.
Hopefully the conductors will report the problem and allow those folks to ride. We have been told conductors have been allowing folks to board when there are machine problems. But the conductors are asking riders to buy a ticket when they get off. 

Hopefully the ticket machines are working better at the destination station.


  1. Egads... and of course if you are transferring to SunRail via Lynx or Votran, you STILL cannot use your Suncard in conjunction with a transfer... even though this was pointed out to them in August 2014, they said they would fix it, and it STILL isn't happening.

    1. Neither Xerox nor FDOT has taken any action yet, I feel a lawsuit should be filed against Xerox by FDOT for Breach of Contract.