SunRail ticket purchasing flaw exposed - FOX 35 News Orlando

SunRail ticket purchasing flaw exposed

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ORLANDO, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35 ORLANDO) - SunRail has a ticketing problem that can only be avoided by paying close attention and reading the signs.  Juan Torres wanted to take his 4-year-old daughter for a train ride this weekend.  He went to the station and bought a ticket, having no idea trains did not run on the weekend.

"I didn't read the schedule, to tell you the truth, when the service was," he said.  "But I assumed the computer is selling me the tickets, because there is service."

There is a sign at the kiosk that reads tickets are only good for the same day as the purchase. There was a not a train available for a while, so Torres went to try again on Sunday buying new tickets. It was only then he realized there is no weekend train, and four tickets he bought that could never be used. Monday Juan Torres called for a refund.

"A very polite lady told me that it was my mistake, because I didn't read the signs. I told her, 'Well you guys have to fix that on the computer, because there is a lot of dumb people like me that they didn't read the signs, and you guys take the money and you don't issue a refund.'"

The kiosks are programmed to sell those one-day tickets, even on days when they are not valid the second they are issued.  Torres understands that he should have paid more attention, but he wonders why SunRail would even sell tickets on days the trains aren't running.

"I think the computer should have stopped me. The computer shouldn't issue tickets -- one day passes -- when there is no service provided."

SunRail said the most pressing problems they have with the ticketing system are being worked on now, and they must bring the ticket validators used by the conductors to check your ticket up to speed first. The Florida Department of Transportation said they will add this problem to the list of concerns with the ticket kiosks, but they will not provide any kind of timetable for changes.  They will not shut down the kiosks on the weekend, because then customers would not be able to reload their SunCards. They may reprogram the machines in the future not to sell same-day tickets on the weekend. 

For now, it is "Let the Buyer beware," and please remember SunRail does not run on the weekends.

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