AU - Glitch in State Rail Ticket-Vending Machinesgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread
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Title: No Tickets to Ride on Airport Link
By KELVIN BISSETT - THE DAILY TELEGRAPH 17may00
A GLITCH in State Rail ticket-vending machines is among teething problems likely to mar the opening in five days of the new airport rail line.
Passengers wanting to use stations on Sydney's biggest Olympic infrastructure project may have to buy tickets twice to complete their journey because of the bungle.
State Rail confirmed its ticket machines were still not equipped with the software or the buttons for the new International Terminal, Domestic Terminal, Mascot and Green Square stations.
This is despite tunnel construction beginning in 1995.
Other problems revealed yesterday included:
The NSW Fire Brigade has not signed off on the fire safety of the project.
A possible backlash when commuters realise there are higher fares for using the new private stations.
Airport Link conceded there could be stress as airline passengers, burdened with luggage, tried to board packed trains during peak hours.
Signs are going up on platforms across the CityRail network informing commuters of the ticketing problem.
Commuters wanting to get off along the airport line will have to buy a ticket direct from staff at the station booking office when they depart.
But for commuters from the large number of stations now usually unattended, two tickets will have to be purchased.
The first must be bought through the vending machines to either Central or Wolli Creek and then a second before leaving the Airport Link stations.
An Airport Link vending machine will be provided inside its turnstiles to facilitate ticket sales.
A State Rail spokesman said last night: "Initially, CityRail's automatic ticketing machines will not be able to sell Airport Link tickets."
He said a program would begin soon to upgrade all vending machines to make them compatible with the new stations but there was no timetable.
But Opposition transport spokesman Barry O'Farrell described the bungle yesterday as "extraordinary".
"They've had five years since work on the project began to get this right," Mr O'Farrell said.
"I think it's another example of the Carr Government being unable to plan and manage public transport."
The $700 million project stretches from a new State Rail interchange station at Wolli Creek 7km underground to Central.
Airport Link general manager Mark Smith said yesterday he was concerned that at least some of the services using the line during peak hour would already be full of commuters.
-- (Dee360Degree@aol.com), May 17, 2000