Crash, ticketing issues reported on first day of paid SunRail use

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ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - Monday was the first day that riders had to pay to use the SunRail trains and it wasn't exactly a smooth day for the commuter rail system.

"It has been an interesting first day of revenue service," said Steve Olson with the Florida Department of Transportation.

It started with a train that was having mechanical issues and had to be swapped out for another train.

"I got on the other train and was 30 minutes late," said rider Jody Barry.

And in the afternoon, a crash involving a SunRail train and a car in Maitland created a traffic mess.

"Everybody rushed towards the window and everybody was in shock and it was very sad," said witness Michelle Grossman.

Fire rescue officials said the driver, who is in her late 20s, was just learning how to drive her new car, which has a manual transmission. She suffered minor injuries.

Also on Monday, riders experienced some issues with ticket-vending machines at a few of the SunRail stations.

"This is the first day we're really spitting out tickets and taking peoples' credit and debit card information and it's put to the test and we need to fix it," Olson said.

FDOT officials said they will continue to work out any kinks that arise until SunRail runs smoothly.