Last login: Thursday, May 2, 2013
If the COASTER wireless internet and the electronic ticketing are examples of Angela Miller's abilities as an IT administrator, then as a regular COASTER rider may I say, with all due respect, "good riddance?"
The wireless system was taken down in December of 2012 and is still non-functional. It was something of a botch from the get-go, with spotty coverage, dropped connections, timeouts, and general flakiness. While I admit that setting up wireless on a platform that is moving at up to 80 miles per hour on a route on which it is difficult maintain a cell phone connection, much less an Internet connection, is a non-trivial task, it should have either been proven to work under those conditions or not deployed at all. I think I only had a good solid connection between my stops at Pointsettia or Encinitas and Sorrento Valley maybe once or twice. Usually, I could not even get a DHCP lease, much less a connection to the outside world.
And the electronic ticketing system is a mess. The user interface on the ticket vending machines is a horror show. I have been approached on at least a half dozen occasions by senior citizens or folks with limited English for help in navigating the system. I saw a couple of other riders almost get into a fight when one of them was unable to get a receipt for his purchase of 20 or so tickets for a school field trip and he blamed an innocent party for what was clearly an issue of poor user interface design.
There is a special ring in Dante's Inferno for thhe person who sited the Pointsettia ticket vending machines. The glare on the machines makes them impossible to read on sunny days. Thank goodness we rarely have those here in Southern California. More than once I've had to help confused patrons at those TVMs.
When I rode regularly and had a monthly pass, the "Tap and Ride" facility rarely worked properly and I found myself being chastised by the fare enforcement officers on the the train for not "checking in" (why this is necessary is another story -- if I've paid for my pass and it's valid, why do I have to check in, anyhow? There's no reason, since monthly pass riders are not charged by the ride.).
Ms Miller may have saved a bundle of money going "green" but her user services are a total botch.
May 2, 2013 at 1:43 p.m.
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