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Automated Fare Boxes for Winnipeg

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I've been emailing back and forth with my friend Marilynne about her peggo card.  Her card was arbitrarily cancelled earlier this year and she had quite an ordeal getting it replaced. This is her latest saga. Just this week she turned 65 years old so she went to Transit to replace her adult-fare peggo with a seniors-fare peggo.

I am now 65 and so I made the trek to the Osborne Transit Office to get my Senior Transit Photo ID and peggo card.  

 

Once at the Transit office, I waited behind a young woman who had loaded her card online.  The money was charged to her credit card, but not credited to her peggo card.  I wasn't paying much attention, but gathered that the Transit employee was unable to  fix it in the way that she wanted, which doesn't surprise me in the least.  I passed along the advice you had received from a Transit employee about never loading your card online.  She said that this was the second time it had happened to her and that she wouldn't load it online again!

 

I managed to get my photo ID ($3.30) easily enough.  They allow you to smile in the photo if you want.  

 

The whole transferring of the money from old card to new is as convoluted as ever and wasn't helped by some confusion on the employee's part.  He could see that I had $35.60 on my old card, but could only transfer in increments of $5.00 and so he asked if I would be okay with having $35.00 transferred and using the $0.60 as a credit towards the $5.00 card purchase price, which will be rebated when I first use the card after registering it.  I said yes.  So far so good.  Then he thought we had agreed on something different, which confused things for a bit until we went back to the original solution.  So I paid him $4.40 cash.  Things got confusing again.  He thought I had only given him $4.35.  I pointed out that I gave him a quarter, a dime, and a nickel, which added up to 40 cents.  He found the nickel which he had left at the side of the cash register.  Then he entered that I had paid him $4.45, rang it through, and gave me a nickel change.  I pointed out that I had given him a quarter, a dime, and a nickel, which was 40 cents and so he didn't owe me anything.  He took back the nickel and manually altered my receipt because he couldn't change the transaction that he had already entered.  Oh well. 

 

In the end, I actually have three receipts:  one for the photo ID card and two for the peggo card.  The first peggo receipt lists a Senior Card for $5.00 and e-cash for $30.00 for a total of $35.00 for which a Voucher was tendered for $35.00.  The second receipt lists Senior Card for $0.00 and e-cash for $5.00 for a total of $5.00.  Cash Tendered is $4.40 and Voucher Tendered is $0.60.  It all works out in the end, but, strictly speaking, the 60 cents extra from my old card and the $4.40 from my wallet went towards e-cash for bus rides, not the cost of the new peggo card.  Little quibble.

 

As I was getting ready to go, I remembered that I should be able to use a transfer for my ride home.  When I asked, he said "Oh, you didn't tell me."  At that point, I decided it was a lot easier just to pay for my ride home. 

 

Now I'm checking to make sure that the $5.00 is actually rebated.

 

I'm also checking to ensure that the $2.35 I spent getting to the Transit Centre isn't removed from the $35.00 which is currently on the card.  I actually had $37.95 on my card before I took the bus to the Transit office.  For some reason, although the bus hadn't reported in to the garage, the database knew about the trip and the clerk knew that I had only $35.60 on my card.  i.e. the cost of the trip had already been taken out of my account.  How does that work? 

 

My new peggo card works.  Yay!  It now costs me only $1.18 for a bus ride. 

 

Once Marilynne got home she sent me a brief follow-up email...

 

 As part of the process of transferring from a full-fare to a senior's card, the Transit clerk had to mark my old card as "lost or stolen" which generated an automated email message to me.  The peggo system has no appropriate method for cancelling a card which isn't lost or stolen.

 

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I reloaded my Peggo card today and was wondering why can't we specify the amount outside of 5 dollars increments. It would allow the cards to have the exact value of a certain amount of rides. Right now to get 4 rides, you need to put 10 dollars on your Peggo card. The way I think it should work is that you add the amount of 4 rides to your card and its on there right away, That way the card completely runs out instead of leaving 10 cents (in my case) on the card.

 

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WT's Peggo card database does it again...

This past weekend, WT passengers who set up an auto-withdrawal for their Peggo card, found 1000s of dollars missing from their accounts.

How much are DBAs paid anyways?

The story in 34 seconds, courtesy of CTV News Winnipeg...

https://winnipeg.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=1321605&binId=1.1164782&playlistPageNum=1

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March 6, 2019
Infrastructure Planning Office
Automated Fare Collection System - Report 25

http://clkapps.winnipeg.ca/dmis/ViewPdf.asp?SectionId=522177

Second, when the peggo system was initially planned, Verifone technology was chosen for
loading cards at merchant partner locations. This equipment was compatible with the back
end of the peggo system at the time. In the time since that decision was made, the
Verifone technology has reached the end of its life cycle, and replacement parts have
become difficult to source.
In October and November of 2018, Winnipeg Transit undertook testing of a tablet-based
replacement for merchant partner machines for loading peggo cards. These new tablet-
based systems have several advantages:

- significantly faster processing of transactions;
- based on commodity hardware that can be more easily replaced and upgraded;
- easier for merchants to operate and see display;
- remote upgrades are possible.

Winnipeg Transit will be funding the purchase of these new units through the remaining
Council approved budget for this project. In recognition of the fact that no Verifone-based
upgrade alternative was supplied, Garival will be supplying an initial quantity (26,
approximately 25% of the number of units needed) of these tablet-based systems for the
first phase of an eventual rollout to all merchant partner locations

Is there any implementation of this newer tablet based system yet?

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It would nice of Transit to provide more locations where Peggo cars can be loaded. Instead of mostly 7-11's, I would like them to allow reloading at grocery stores. Before Peggo was a thing, Transit promoted the fact that you could buy Transit fare products at Safeway. If they were to implement that now - including other grocery stores - more people would be using Peggo. If they keep paper products around and don't allow grocery stores to sell/reload Peggo cards, maybe they could offer paper tickets shaped like Peggo cards like those offered in Vancouver.

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They should really look into having Peggo “machines” at the new RT stations, like the Compass machines in Vancouver. I know the big concern would be vandalism, but it doesn’t seem to be too much of an issue in BC.

It would be so much easier to load your card where the buses already are, and if you get off a bus knowing your card is low, there’s a machine right there for you to top it up.

The problem with a lot of these stores where you can load up your card is that they’re out of the way for most riders. If you live outside of downtown where frequencies are low, it’s unrealistic to get off a bus, go to 7/11, then wait 45 minutes for another bus. It’s really only realistic for those with cars or bicycles.

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3 hours ago, jhood135 said:

They should really look into having Peggo “machines” at the new RT stations, like the Compass machines in Vancouver. I know the big concern would be vandalism, but it doesn’t seem to be too much of an issue in BC.

It would be so much easier to load your card where the buses already are, and if you get off a bus knowing your card is low, there’s a machine right there for you to top it up.

The problem with a lot of these stores where you can load up your card is that they’re out of the way for most riders. If you live outside of downtown where frequencies are low, it’s unrealistic to get off a bus, go to 7/11, then wait 45 minutes for another bus. It’s really only realistic for those with cars or bicycles.

They should also consider having fare gates at major stations (u of m, downtown, Osborne), to speed up the boarding process

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Another problem with loading peggo cards is that transit shut down the fare loading system after a certain time, lets say someone gets off work at 9 or 10 PM and want to load their peggo cards, they are out of luck. I'm not sure if other transit systems do similar things but that's really inconvenient for some people to get their peggo loaded. something else they should do is that since 7/11 and some shoppers drug mart is open 24 hours they should make a sign saying no peggo card will be loaded past a certain time 

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^^^

WT is undergoing a service review, actually two service reviews. One for the "RT" and the other system-wide. So possibly. We don't know yet or we won't know until at least this Fall / Winter before a Draft is released for the system-wide redesign.

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