July 15, 2013

TriMet upgrades ticket vending machines

Photo courtesy TriMet.

Photo courtesy TriMet.

Portland, Ore.-based TriMet upgraded its oldest ticket vending machines (TVMs) on the MAX system.

About one month ago the agency finished replacing its oldest ticket machines — referred to as type 3s — with new, type 6 machines, supplied by Scheidt Bachmann. Now 117 — or more than 50% — of the 213 ticket machines along the MAX and WES systems are new.

The old type 3 ticket machines are headed for the recycling bin. Most of the parts inside were salvaged and sent back to the supplier. The metal cases will be turned into scrap.

Thanks to the culmination of the new machines, software upgrades and fixes, and creating dedicated work groups to identify issues and speed up improvements, complaints about ticket machine transactions dropped 50% in June from the previous 12-month average. That’s the lowest level of complaints in at least the past six years, according to the agency.

“We’re encouraged to see the number of complaints dropping,” said TriMet GM Neil McFarlane. “But we’re focused on continuing to improve the performance of our fare machines whether it is with new hardware, software or preventive maintenance — the end goal is to make it easier for our customers.”

While not the top method for purchasing fares, one-fifth of TriMet’s customers used TVMs in year-to-date FY13:

•    36% purchased at retail outlets
•    22% group passes such as through employers
•    22% paid at the fare box on buses
•    20% purchased at TVMs

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