Thursday, June 08, 2006

Seniors Smartrider Trial (Old Dear, Old Dear)

The bus I was on stopped to pick up a little old lady.

Except she didn't actually want to go anywhere. But she did want the bus.

'see, she'd forgotten to tag off her Smartrider when she alighted from her bus, and she was afraid of incurring the full default fare as a result. So she'd waited at the bus stop for the next bus to come along so she could tag off.

Only it either didn't work, or she had tagged off before and not realised it, and as a result had tagged on again on my bus.

The driver explained that if she tagged off within a couple of minutes of tagging on, no fare would be deducted from her card. In other words, ma'am, tag off now.

"It's all terribly complicated," the old dear complained as she left, without tagging off her Smartrider.

Boy, I can't wait to see what happens when they get rid of the zone system and charge fares based on actual distance travelled. It'll be the Great Decimal Currency Conversion all over again.


CW said...

I'm in the SmartRider control group, and I did wonder how seniors would take to the new system, and why they were chosen to be the first group (apart from the volunteers) to use the SmartRiders. Maybe a group that could be predicted to possibly have more problems with the cards than other users is a good test!

I haven't had any problems using the new card, apart from malfunctioning readers that just don't read your card. I haven't ever forgotten to tag off, though :) Still, for most it's going to take a bit of getting used to, I reckon. We're all used to just hopping off when we reach our stop. All those people who block the card readers at the doors will have to bloody move out of the way for a start!

ToxicPurity said...

I hear your pain. There's nothing half so fun as the rear card reader that doesn't work because the bus isn't correctly parked in the GPS footprint and you have to battle your way to the front of a crowded bus just to bloody tag off. While carrying groceries and baby.
Apart from that, I love the Smartrider.
Like you, I suspect that the day seniors - as an entity - grok the Smartrider and stop complaining to Transperth, that will be the day they implement Smartrider across the board :)

CW said...

Oh ya, that rear reader problem is a real pain. I don't know if they have increased the size of the footprint or what but recently I haven't had any problems tagging off at the back door. Still a bit leery of using the back door on those mega long articulated buses, though...