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MTA LOCKS OUT many with tap robotized machines and Inadequate Tools for LA PUBLIC rail use

by Tapped Out by MTA, exited. Monday, Oct. 01, 2012 at 3:20 PM

Tap machines set by MTA in rail stations have confusing & frustrating too little info and options. Sr. rates not shown or flick off, Tap card only good for 1 day, has fixed $$$ amts to add fares, LACK OF any real ASSISTANCE or clarity in how to use them plastic cards - so have we turned into robotized plastic obedients who overpay, cant communicate with metal machines, and are Tapped OUT of metro-rail use ? NOT in big LA, but it is ! Someone fix it quick or we'll be locked out of our humanity and intelligent responsiveness and responsibilities too. Tap cards are not a helpful solution required to transport in LA - MTA listen up ! .... but have they ever ?

Looking for info on MTA's website, there was nothing explaining what we had just sweated thru trying to get a Sr. rate 1x fare on a weekend 1 way. No screen was visible on machine, no paper ticket available any more, no access to any human or intelligible discussion or learning. PAY UP or Get lost was the message. Up the fare and go plastic or matter how far.

Researched for where to find out how to work tap cards and be refunded for excess wasted in machine and found site below, where comments are here selected to indicate some experiences & opinions that show what IS HAPPENING or rather NOT happening fairly, conveniently, or functionally either.

“Yes, I am furious , frustrated and now a
definitely NOT smiling person, no more ! I feel cheated, misused and definitely uninformed and with a high educational degree, I know I am not stoopid ...tho the fake-obtuse non-explanatory video with text in those
mechanized machines trying to ROBOTOIZE US ALL has me telling everyone about my awful experience of being cheated. Wanna know what happened ?

I want and always have due to older age purchased a Senior Ticket. NO SCREEN ALLOWED me to do so [at Wilshire/Vermont and Civic Ctr stns]

Finding that I could not purchase a paper ticket as before for the infrequent times I ride the rails, I stood for a long time trying to push buttons and follow directions dutifully and was TOTALLY CONFUSED because there
was no access or Sr. fare available.

A nice young fellow at adjacent machine saw my rising anger, offered to assist me, showed me, explained what he knew and inadvertently helped me buy a “regular” tap card, his not knowing that it was only good for 1 day and not a Sr. card either, so I put in my $1.25 for the ride downtown.

But upon trying to return back tho, there was NO ONE PRESENT at machines at Civic Ctr and as I kept trying to access a Sr. fare back, there was no such display, even after 35 minutes of going “back” and trying all buttons to get to where such info could be hiding. I was sweating, tired, feel dizzy and needed to sit down and could not. There was no way I could do anything right !

I finally thought to “add to Tap” and put on $1.50 more to card, but it was now a cost of $2.50 for what should be a 25c ride on a Saturday for an old lady.

Note that I can not chose how much I want to add, there are defined fixed amounts only, so $1.50 was minimum with $5 the next lowest add on...for a same day use only !

Finally a man came to adjacent machine, and when I asked him for help, he too DID NOT KNOW AND COULD NOT get a screen for any senior fare to come up and stay visible. If it did show up 2x it flicked out immediately,
leaving me with no way to get it back. He too became frustrated both at me not accepting what he did NOT know enough to be helpful, which he wanted to be, and
with my delaying his trip. He finally walked away cursing at the machine. As was I.

If I cannot understand and follow and get the AUTOMATED
MACHINE SYSTEM to give me the appropriate rate and fare and tap of approval for all the efforts, time, work, and emotional distress that resulted from being forced
into a ROBOTIZED interchange, something is very very WRONG ~~~~

....awful, bad enough to get me to write articles, tell everyone how bad MTA is treating us assuming they know what they are doing [tho not how the American Los Angeles Public responds] to what is a set-up for difficulty, failures, confusion and dislike. Of MTA. and then for tourists, dislike of LA itself also.

If this is where we, as a civilized society are going, I am
not. I am exiting sooner than later if I am being forced to not travel within the city because MTA created a LOCKED UP SYSTEM that is only for those regular users who daily travel and learned how to do whatever I cannot seem to fathom
even if I read, write, speak and think in English too ! and the slow video is cumbersome and unintelligible, to the
intelligent too. And the rest are left to learn as best they can, if they can.

And anyone coming into LA w/o an MTA-educated-experienced-helper is stuck with overpaying and finding their tap card is also only limited for that 1 day, no matter if they overpaid or did not want to be buying it for that short day only.

Do we want to get rid of all tourists, foreigners, visitors,
under-educated, and those who don’t Have-To ride these rails ?

The buses are still available to pay cash, which is the
world I want to live in, not a credited-card-tap-or-fail. But they do not go everywhere we want to use pubic [all of us are the Public, not just the workers who have to use this system] transportation.

If they cut out cash payments, we are really sunk, very low, too low already compared to other more friendly-transportation-systems. These are deadly machines that only communicates to those who are inhumanized already = as the govt lords have decreed that we are only to use numbers, computerized documentation, machines that don’t respond and no one is present to trouble-shoot-us or shoo us away from their cold metal surfaces either.
Can you tell how angry I have become, discussing what I feel and think from that 2x attempt to ride the MTA rails ? Yes, and the experiences are not for nought but have now pressured me to act in any small ways an individual can in this continuously-more-impersonal-mechanized LA we no longer recognize as ‘our town’.

Yuk ! MTA is not a system anyone can applaud, like, want to use unless they have no other means to get somewhere else. MTA needs to wake up and find other ways of helping the PEOPLE in LA pay for transportation, not just unintelligible incomprehensible Machines !!!!!” comment by veniceactivE

w/reply by Calwatch : “You need to get one of the senior TAP cards. Originally they were requiring seniors to get the senior TAP card, but now they aren't any more and are using this oddball blue card loophole, to meet FTA requirements on half fare.”


Another commentator Ubrayj02 wrote : “TAP has nothing to do with fare evasion. It has nothing to do with convenience. It has nothing to do with making transit more accessible, nor safer. TAP is a means of funneling federal homeland security money through Metro to hire more college graduates and execute construction contracts.

TAP is a means of tracking, and later selling, our travel patterns to advertisers. It is a means of criminalizing ignorance of an overly complicated, techno-narcissistic, self-serving bureaucracy. Like the hangar full of transportation engineers hired with Measure R money to study and design freeway projects to drive us beyond bankruptcy, TAP is a system that costs more than it saves with the intention of driving us toward austerity.

"The intention is to do to Los Angeles County what all the bond buyers and Wall Street firms have done to numerous third world countries.

"We borrow money, or are granted it, and spend it on huge projects with no return or a negative return. When maintenance bills come due, we borrow to pay them. When we cannot pay our bills anymore, instead of telling our lenders "tough shit, we're broke", we are instead going to be forced to auction off all this infrastructure at bargain basement prices.

"TAP should have been implemented at every freeway entrance in LA County - since nothing has done more to ruin multiple local economies within the county than our car-only investments in intra-urban automobile travel.
I despise TAP, because the people behind it despise me and people like me.”

tapman wrote : “ ….They do force passengers to pass by cameras which are no doubt using all sorts of modern technology (until it breaks) to keep us "safe". Except those cameras and the computers/operators behind them may end up costing a boatload of money. So who's bus line we gonna cut next?”

MarkB also wrote : “…..Remember the original justification? The turnstiles were going to sniff-out bombs as people passed by. It was all in the name of security, so just shut up while we funnel money to Cubic! There are arguments to be made for turnstiles but "homeland security" isn't one of them. The whole botched installation, from beginning to not-yet-in-sight end, is a sorry example of what happens when a question has to be invented to fit the existing answer.”

with Brianmojo adding this : ….. The real problem is the 'pay-per train' model. It's simply not a serious way to charge. You can't have reliable, expected locations for the validation stations because you are expected to tap in the middle of your trip and there's no psychological association to make with that -- it's like exiting a movie theater to use the restroom and paying to return and watch the last half of the film…..”

while Glendale said : “I have traveled all over the world and the TAP implementation seems like reinventing the wheel for some reason. I am constantly helping tourists, elderly, and new riders because it is so confusing. I still don't understand some of the inconsistencies in the system. The menu options on the machines make no sense to those that aren't familiar…..” and “Having to pay for a card (free elsewhere) that expires (most don't elsrwhere) seems crazy and inconvenient.

Make it a deposit system or make it so that it doesn't expire. My TAP balance still isn't viewable or loadable online due to a "glitch in a batch of cards". The Metro rep at Union Station said she could not exchange but I could buy a new one. Seems lame….”

anther comment said : “….The vending machines themselves have been a little frustrating as they don't always read my credit card…”

while Hello wrote: “ Question: If we have day passes as well as stored value on the TAP card, and you simply TAP into a subway or a bus, how does the machine know whether you want to use your day pass or stored value? Neither bus drivers nor sheriffs seem to know.

"One suggestion: If you want to load money on the TAP through the website with your credit card, it takes a day or more for that money to be usable on your card. Metro website, would you at least let us know about this delay before we load money on our cards online? ”

then Sahra added this :
“David Sutton told me about a case with a person that had just that problem. The man called and said that the machine had taken the Day Pass (it scans the card for that first) instead of the one-ride fare he had wanted to use. He was reimbursed once officials ran the card number. But it isn't fixed yet--it is an issue they are aware of but is still in the works because it requires some serious changes to the system...where a user can interact with a TAP validation machine, something they aren't set up for as of now. Or a reconfiguration of what the machine scans for first.”

VeniceactivE wrote again later :
Lots of other difficulties are also described here, and have been re-quoted [elsewhere also from here] in articles to make TRANSPARENT what some of us innocents would not know if we did not make effort of researching, which is how I found here.

Also if there is 1 reply to a comment there is no 'reply' left for another to that comment/or ?

Since ”Sahra” wrote she spoke to some big wig at MTA called Sutton ?? someone has access to inform the Big Systemizers that they are hurting & confusing and frustrating "The Los Angeles Public " ?

and That to get reimbursed does one have to again take time/ fare and travel to an MTA office ? huh ? Who reimburses for all that extra Work required to get fair fare for what was taken wrongly ? That we are stuck interacting with stuoopid machines 'who' cant self-correct at all either ? huh ? And we allow all this to just happen to many of us , obediently ? huh ?

She wrote : "He was reimbursed once officials ran the card number. But it isn't fixed yet--..."

so how are human individuals reimbursed for what they have to do to correct MTA et al created problems ? huh again ? the victims pay the price both ways 2x at least ?

and is the Bus Riders Union working on any of this ? Who has any say, our City Council member ? and
Neighborhood Council Boards ? our flat no-longer-caring Mayor ? who revealed he can do & say anything now and he is unconcerned about ethics or legalities, per his expression & tone now.

What ELSE CAN WE DO besides complain and explain ‘what happened’ here or find another blog site that the govt-contractors don’t see, don’t care about and are not about to be criticized or reformed or fix-it! either ?

HELP !!!!!!

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how to get Reduced Fare Tap Card Info sr. tapper Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012 at 3:25 PM

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