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Via Garibaldi 8

Broken SBS machines

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So I've been using the local buses in Manhattan here and there the last few weeks, particularly the M15SBS. There have been at least three or four stops where ALL of the machines were out.  Last night I got the M15SBS at 1st and 25th.  All of the machines were out.  The week before 34th and 42nd were all out.  It looks like they are working on the machines or moving them, but there aren't any signs saying as much, so what gives?  I know machines can break but having so many stops down with all of the machines broken seems rather odd.  

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I was in this situation on the B44-SBS last week. My stop's machines were ALWAYS either off or not working at all. I always took the bus to the next stop to pay.

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I was in this situation on the B44-SBS last week. My stop's machines were ALWAYS either off or not working at all. I always took the bus to the next stop to pay.

Some people have been quite pissed off about it too, so it must be happening rather frequently.  I don't use SBS buses that often but I've been rather surprised that of late it's really been a problem.  Last night once I saw that all of the machines were off at 25th street, I didn't even bother to get a ticket at the next stop because I had a ton of stuff with me and I didn't want the driver taking off with my stuff on the bus as it was quite heavy, so I just got off at 42nd and kept it moving.  I had an unlimited and I don't think customers should have to jump through hoops just to friggin pay.  I may use the M15 tomorrow and see if the stops that had all of the machines off Southbound are still like that.   The only SBS line that seems to be rather reliable has been the M34. Have yet to encounter a broken machine, let alone entire stops with the machines out.

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I only use the 44-SBS because I feel that B44 to (2) train is a more comfortable ride for me rather taking the B3 to the (B) / (Q).

 

As of late though, the machines have been working.

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I only use the 44-SBS because I feel that B44 to (2) train is a more comfortable ride for me rather taking the B3 to the (B) / (Q).

 

As of late though, the machines have been working.

This entire week I used local buses to my meetings Downtown as opposed to taxis, and to my surprise, the rides were pretty comfortable and quick. With regards to the broken machines though, I must admit that I get a chuckle out of seeing people stand at the broken machines trying to input their Metrocards as if there is a suction somewhere that automatically sucks the cards into the machine. After going to all of the machines at least twice and then standing there so more in bewilderment, they usually give up in frustration, board the bus and run and tell the driver like he can do anything (lol) aside from waiting.

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I was in this situation on the B44-SBS last week. My stop's machines were ALWAYS either off or not working at all. I always took the bus to the next stop to pay.

 

We all have read criticism that broken machines prove that SBS is a failure and should be abandoned. By that logic, mechanical problems with one bus proves that buses are a failure and should be abandoned.

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We all have read criticism that broken machines prove that SBS is a failure and should be abandoned. By that logic, mechanical problems with one bus proves that buses are a failure and should be abandoned.

I wouldn't go that far, but I would say that it proves that the (MTA) does a lot of things wrong and too few things right. 

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We all have read criticism that broken machines prove that SBS is a failure and should be abandoned. By that logic, mechanical problems with one bus proves that buses are a failure and should be abandoned.

How did you infer that? This just means the SBS machines need to be maintained/installed better.

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Sometimes M15 SBS MetroCard Fare Collectors at 126th St Depot has issue which sometimes don't read MetroCard or Reduce Fare Card.

Today, when I was helping little at 86th St/5th Av M86SBS in tourist area, one bus driver ask me do I fix the machine because of orange safety LIBRU Safety Night Vest I was wearing, and I think one M86SBS machine might be broken as well.

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We all have read criticism that broken machines prove that SBS is a failure and should be abandoned. By that logic, mechanical problems with one bus proves that buses are a failure and should be abandoned.

 

I mean the SBS cuts my commute by 20 minutes because of the 4 stops, so I can't say much for that. But every SBS bus I've been on has been completely empty and barely full at all.

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How did you infer that? This just means the SBS machines need to be maintained/installed better.

Where have you been? When is Gotham Bus Co. not sarcastic? He is being sarcastic with his comment referring to BrooklynBus' criticism of Select Bus service. lol

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Ive noticed the same issue as VG8 on the M15 SBS. Entire sets of machines all broken. It is ridiculous, especially bc ive seen those idiot eagle team guys give people a hassle because they werent aware that all machines at the previous stop were broken and ppl had to pay at the stop with the eagle team pouncing on them. Very unprofessional.

 

Also, bobpanda, I've always seen MTA workers fixing the machines, not DOT

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Ive noticed the same issue as VG8 on the M15 SBS. Entire sets of machines all broken. It is ridiculous, especially bc ive seen those idiot eagle team guys give people a hassle because they werent aware that all machines at the previous stop were broken and ppl had to pay at the stop with the eagle team pouncing on them. Very unprofessional.

 

Also, bobpanda, I've always seen MTA workers fixing the machines, not DOT

Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't the MTA boast on their SBS pages/reports that they have connectivity to the machines?  I know that newer machines were supposed to have wireless installed, according to what they said.  Both ways would be to minimize on-location trips if things could be handled remotely -- once again, the MTA's words.

 

As to the eagle team harassing customers, lends a bit of credence to VG8's comments on communication within the MTA being not up to par.

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Is it just one "eagle team"? It's the usual characters I see on the 12. They have this knack of showing up when I'm trying to catch a connecting train.

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't the MTA boast on their SBS pages/reports that they have connectivity to the machines?  I know that newer machines were supposed to have wireless installed, according to what they said.  Both ways would be to minimize on-location trips if things could be handled remotely -- once again, the MTA's words.

 

As to the eagle team harassing customers, lends a bit of credence to VG8's comments on communication within the MTA being not up to par.

 

If that is the case, the machines still seem to need a good amount of on-location repair for physical breakdowns. They seem to break more often than Muni-meters, which seem somewhat comparable to the fare machines

Is it just one "eagle team"? It's the usual characters I see on the 12. They have this knack of showing up when I'm trying to catch a connecting train.

 

I've seen a whole bunch of teams. I almost never see the same guys twice. 

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If that is the case, the machines still seem to need a good amount of on-location repair for physical breakdowns. They seem to break more often than Muni-meters, which seem somewhat comparable to the fare machines

 

 

I've seen a whole bunch of teams. I almost never see the same guys twice. 

 

I would imagine that an SBS machine sees more intensive usage than a Muni-meter due to the sheer amount of people on SBS routes, and the fact that there are usually only so many parking spaces per meter. That doesn't make it excusable, but higher usage will probably lead to more breakdowns.

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I would imagine that an SBS machine sees more intensive usage than a Muni-meter due to the sheer amount of people on SBS routes, and the fact that there are usually only so many parking spaces per meter. That doesn't make it excusable, but higher usage will probably lead to more breakdowns.

That is true, though there are multiple fare machines per stop, which should help even out usage. On that note, It's kind of a waste that they need a whole separate mahine for coins.

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It's been an issue here and there on the SBS60 where machines will be out along the entire 125th corridor; but that's because of maintenance. The only thing I wish would happen is the Eagle team have direct updates to what machines are online, and which are down.

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It's been an issue here and there on the SBS60 where machines will be out along the entire 125th corridor; but that's because of maintenance. The only thing I wish would happen is the Eagle team have direct updates to what machines are online, and which are down.

What kind of maintenance leads to having so many machines down at once?

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That is true, though there are multiple fare machines per stop, which should help even out usage. On that note, It's kind of a waste that they need a whole separate mahine for coins.

 

From a security perspective, it makes a lot of sense; only one machine can be broken into for cash instead of all of them, so only one needs to be super-secure.

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Find it a bit odd that SBS machines aren't somehow "connected" for not only regular downloading of data but also for minimizing on-location service.  The cornerstone of the SBS premise -- prepayment -- having such a big flaw is not good.  Not surprising, in the least, though.  Besides, if all of the SBS stops have cash machines, that would necessitate at least daily armored car service -- and usually that is not set up on a fixed time schedule -- so at least another couple pair of eyes would notice if problems are occurring they could be reported.

 

It's also odd that with the number of MTA employees -- from bus operators on the route, "eagle teams" out and about, road supervisors, etc -- that machines out of service aren't being flagged faster.  Nevermind customers calling 511 and/or complaining to the bus operators.

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The flaw isn't prepayment, but how it's implemented. Since there's no way to validate a Metrocard, you have to actually print receipts, which leads to issues like running out of ticket paper or being unable to get a reciept.

 

When we move to smartcards, it's not hard to put a smartcard on a validator and then have a fare inspector check if it's been validated. But that's not coming for a while now.

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The flaw isn't prepayment, but how it's implemented. Since there's no way to validate a Metrocard, you have to actually print receipts, which leads to issues like running out of ticket paper or being unable to get a reciept.

 

When we move to smartcards, it's not hard to put a smartcard on a validator and then have a fare inspector check if it's been validated. But that's not coming for a while now.

This system is pathetic.  Even with the refill Metrocards, it still sucks.  I should be able to put more than just one refill on my card if I so choose to. It is such a PITA when I decide to stay home and don't feel like going to the city just to refill my card.  There's only one store in Riverdale that sells Metrocards, and they only take cash, which means schlepping to the bank (in the opposite direction), then coming back around to the store (if they have any), otherwise, a long walk to downhill to the 242nd street subway to use those crappy MVM machines (three of them there, but you're lucky if one of them works), and the other stations (238th has just one I believe which can also be out, which leaves 231st which has two at the most).  I just think overall the (MTA) does a TERRIBLE job of maintaining all types of machines.  For example, there are a few MVM machines in Grand Central where you get Metro-North tickets whose credit card readers didn't work for MONTHS on end.  I don't understand how (MTA) workers check out those machines but don't check to ensure that the ENTIRE machine works.  Idiocy at its finest.  I also wonder why they have so many Metro-North vending machines at Grand Central, when it's likely that only a few of them will be used anyway given how lazy most people are.  They will likely use the closest machines to the entrance.

 

I'm all for enforcement of the fare on the SBS lines, but it's really inexcusable to have numerous stops where none of the machines are working.  

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8
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From a security perspective, it makes a lot of sense; only one machine can be broken into for cash instead of all of them, so only one needs to be super-secure.

 

If anyone tries to make a living stealing from the SBS coin machines, good luck to them lol. I rarely ever see anyone use them. I'd be very curious to see usage statistics released by the MTA

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