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Translink’s Go Card stupidness October 7, 2009

Posted by faelix in moron-ocity.
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I recently relented and bought a GOCard for my train travel.
The reason I relented is that I have now become an infrequent traveller.

I used to buy a paper monthly ticket. And although I would typically only travel the 10 commuter trips, I still had the option to also travel on the weekends, or more than those 10 commuter trips.
The monthly tickets cost me $108.80. The same price of 4 weekly tickets at $27.20 each. Which worked out to $2.72 per trip. A single ticket (if you buy it each time you travel) is $3.40, or, if you buy a “daily” (which is a “return” in the old terminology) $6.80.

So, even just buying a weekly paper ticket is a HUGE saving over the course of a year. (Assuming one works 48 weeks of the year – a saving of $326.40)

I would buy monthly tickets because even though they were the same price as 4 weekly tickets, you’d get a few more days than 4 weeks.

The benefit of the paper tickets is that you can travel for more than just the 10 commuter trips and the extra trips are effectively free.

You do NOT get that with the GOCard. You pay for -every- trip you take. Yeah, sure, you get 50% off for any trips over the typical 10 commuter trips, but you’re still paying for it! RIP OFF!

Anyway, back to the GOCard stupidness. I needed to top up my GOCard on my last trip into the city. I knew I had only 60 cents left o it. So, I tagged on (that’s the terminology they use in Perth. The terminology they use here “touch on” is just too wrong) and the machine reported that I had $0.60 available. I proceeded to the “top-up” machine. Aside from its bad design, bad user interface, neglect in taking parallax erros into consideration among other things, it lets you add credit to your GOCard.

It asks you to touch your card to the card reader circle. Then select the amount you are going to top it up with, then you have to insert your money, then you have to touch your card to the reader circle again. If you choose to print a reciept, it will have automatically deducted $5 – the maximum amount it will deduct if it thinks you didn’t touch off at the end of your journey. Of course, this disturbed me greatly the first time it happened. I knew what I had done was not wrong, and I kept the receipt in case I needed to dispute the issue. When I tagged off in the city, the available balance was correct, having deducted only $2.72 off my correct card credit.

Why is it, however, that whomever designed and programmed this made the systems do such a BAD thing? They need a good kick in the head and butt. Why were they so lazy?

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