– Overhaul of SkyTrain ticket machines

Vancouver Sun

By Gerry Bellett

out.of.service

TransLink ticket machine screen graphic. photo stuart matthews

VANCOUVER — TransLink is warning commuters using the SkyTrain Expo and Millennium lines to expect periodic problems with ticket vending machines during the next six weeks.

The machines will accept cash but might not accept credit or debit cards during a major overhaul of the system being carried out by TransLink technical staff.

TransLink spokesman Derek Zabel said Tuesday the work will be done mostly during off-peak hours and weekends to minimize any inconvenience to commuters.

“The system is always live, but it will need to be rebooted from time to time as these upgrades are being done. There is no way we can do that without having intermittent disruptions of service,” he said.

“The system is nine years old and needs this work so that it will last,” Zabel said.

During this period, commuters who normally rely on credit or debit cards to buy a ticket should carry cash as a backup or prepay their fares by purchasing Faresaver cards, a day pass or monthly pass, he said.

Persons having difficulty with the ticket-vending machines should contact a SkyTrain attendant or security staff, he said.

“If they haven’t got cash they will be directed to the nearest ATM machine, or they could get a fare deferment and be allowed to travel to the next station where there is a working machine they can use,” he said.

Asked what would happen to a commuter who couldn’t get a ticket from a machine but needed to travel on the system, Zabel said transit police and security have been informed of the problem.

“I’ve talked to our police officers and I don’t think they’ll be issuing a $170 ticket to someone for not having a ticket if that person can show they were unable to buy one because the vending machines were down,” he said.

gbellett@vancouversun.com

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