9 Investigates ongoing problems with SunRail ticketing system
Updated: December 29, 2014 - 5:03 PM
9 Investigates has found that SunRail is still having problems with its ticket-vending machines.
Channel 9's Daralene Jones uncovered hundreds of complaints, even since the company promised to fix the problem this past summer.
Daily ridership numbers for SunRail haven't reached the first year goal of 4,300 hundred and Xerox -- the company being paid $10 million to install the ticket-vending machines and validators -- still hasn't worked out the kinks, after seven months.
Jones watched as SunRail passenger Lynn Nelson tried to use two machines.
"It didn't work. (I) went to the next machine, put it the same way, didn't work," said Nelson.
Jones learned, from SunRail figures, that in five months the commuter system has logged nearly 600 complaints about the ticket machines.
In a four-month period the new ticket-vending machines required maintenance nearly 560 times.
"I'm not happy that it's taken this long, but at least we're getting it fixed and we have the attention of the company," said Noranne Downs, Florida Department of Transportation District 5 secretary.
In their complaints, some passengers said they can't get a ticket because some of these machines don't work, or they're so slow they miss their train.
Downs said it is too late to drop the Xerox.
"We've spent a lot of money already," she said.
Records show that Xerox has been paid $2 million so far.
Receipts show that the FDOT stopped payment to the company because of the issues that also make it difficult to keep track of revenue and just how many passengers are really riding.
"We have 50 percent of Xerox down in Florida as we speak to make sure that they fix this contract," said Downs.
9 Investigates reported over the summer that Xerox has also had problems with equipment in Denver, Nashville, Cleveland and Philadelphia.
In Nashville there's a legal fight in court system. The transit agency wanted out of its contract, claiming Xerox didn't deliver what was promised.
Some SunRail passengers seem willing to ride it out and show a little more patience.
"Eventually, baby steps, they'll get it all fixed up, new product," said Nelson/ SunRail officials said the company has promised to have the equipment at 100 percent by early 2015.
Officials said that at that point the state will start adding up what it owes the company, minus fines because it the company failed to meet so many deadlines.
Xerox officials haven't returned Jones' calls for comment.