Two weeks after its launch, Sun Tran is still working on problems with its new mandatory fare-card system known as SunGO.
Officials with the city-owned regional transit line say they are still working with their contractor, SPX Genfare, on fixing problems with the cards not being recognized on the bus. They are also jamming in the vending machines.
The areas of concern are being addressed systematically, Sun Tran officials said in prepared statement - first by isolating individual problems, finding solutions and then testing them before they are integrated into the new system.
"Our customers are our number one priority," said Kate Riley, general manager of Sun Tran. "A pass, value or transfer loaded on these products is not always being recognized at the fare box. In these cases, we are not collecting an additional fare from passengers to ensure everyone gets where they need to go during this transition."
Customers boarding without a SunGO product, however, should still be prepared to pay the full one-way cash fare.
Sun Tran officials continue to say the system went through rigorous tests before it went online on June 30, with tests being performed on fare boxes, cards, tickets, vending machines, and online purchasing and sales outlet equipment.
Difficulties with properly managing the previous ticketing system - which is roughly 15 years old - forced the transit line to purchase the new smart-card system.
The bus line does not have a timeline for when problems with the new system will be resolved.
Riley is optimistic Tucsonans will forget the temporary headaches once the new system is running properly.
"Once the SunGO problems are fixed, the benefits to the community will outweigh the challenges faced during the transition," Riley said.
Sun Tran officials are encouraging passengers to submit a description of the problem they experienced with the system, contact information and SunGO Card number at (520) 792-9222 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact reporter Joe Ferguson at email@example.com or 573-4346.