As a followup to yesterday's post on the new Saskatoon Transit Go Pass system here's a shot of the electronic fare box used. This includes a printer for transfers on the right of the unit.
And here's a closeup of the top of the unit. To use your Go Pass you hold it close to the blue area for several seconds. The unit then scans it and confirms your pass is currently paid up. I found it worked with my pass sitting in a card sleeve in my wallet, so I won't have to take it in and out all the time.
Apparently not everyone got the message about the changes. Even this morning there was a lineup of people trying to get into the customer service office in the downtown bus mall. You can in fact already buy the passes elsewhere, but apparently you need to go to customer service to exchange any existing transit tickets you have for a Go Pass. I bought mine at the Centre at Circle and 8th Shoppers Drug Mart. Some people were probably hoping to get their pass personalised, which allows you to easily replace it without losing your existing balance on the pass should it be lost or stolen. I'll probably do this as well, but I think I'll wait for a week or two and let the rush die down.
One interesting thing I did notice is that the bus driver apparently has to sign in and out of the unit if he leaves the bus. I wonder if this kind of information might not be examined by management to keep an eye on what the drivers are doing when buses are stopped at the various bus malls and so on.
If you have any comments about the new system feel free to leave them in the comments section. I would especially be interested in hearing from anyone who is familiar with the actual technical operation of this and similar systems.