Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Tucson's Sun Tran responds to my griping...


I was angry.  Very, very angry.  I posted on Twitter.  I sent an e-mail message to Sun Tran.  And, to the office of the mayor...

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[e-mail message]

Problems continue to exist with Sun Tran's SunGO Cards...

After 6 a.m. I caught the route 412 southbound shuttle.  I explained to the driver that last week I was issued a transfer on my SunGO card, which did not register on the next bus I rode.  The driver stated that her system indicated a transfer had been issued...AND she gave me a SunGO Full Fare Transfer Ticket, which she also attached a transfer to.

As I have watched other riders experience, she mentioned problems have been continuing with transfers.

After leaving the 412 route shuttle, I attempted to board bus #2802 for route #16.  And, as last week, the transfer on my SunGO card did not register.  The transfer issued to the SunGO Full Fare Transfer, given to me by the driver of the #412 shuttle, also was not accepted.  Both indicated that they did not have any valid credit on them.  The driver of bus #2802 demanded I again pay the fare to ride...

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I also mentioned in the letter I (now) have no faith that the Sun Link Streetcar is in any way beneficial to the city, due to continuing problems with SunGO cards hurting riders.  Before my incidents, I didn't have a strong opinion about the streetcar...but after learning how much it will cost for a ride, and that it now seems to interfere with motorized, and people, traffic more than I expected...I will never pay to ride on it.

The mayor's office did respond:

"...I am forwarding your note to Kate Reilly who directs Sun Tran.  Kate, can you take a look at this and get a response to {him} and I.  Thanks.

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[e-mail message I received]

I appreciate Mayor Rothschild forwarding your complaint so that we could address it.  I apologize that you have experienced difficulties with transfer usage between Sun Shuttle and Sun Tran services.

Unfortunately, we have experienced intermittent problems such as you experienced.  As soon as we became aware of this, we worked with the SunGo fare and data collection system manufacturer so that it could be fixed.  The manufacturer identified a problem with the linkage between the equipment used in Sun Shuttle to that used by Sun Tran and Sun Link.  A software upgrade was developed to permanently fix this situation, and that upgrade is being tested at this time.  We anticipate that the software upgrade will be implemented within the next two weeks.

As a token of our sincere apology that you have experienced these difficulties, I am mailing a 30 day pass to you.  I hope that you will use this product to try our services again, and that you will continue to rely upon our services for your transportation needs.

Kate Riley
General Manager kate.riley@tucsonaz.gov

"Driven to go the extra mile."

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Riley also sent copies to:
Michelle Clark - Customer Satisfaction Director, Sun Tran/Sun Van...
Kandi Young - Director of Marketing & Communications, Sun Tran Public Transportation...
and Jeremy Papuga - Executive Co-Manager, RTA SunLink Streetcar.

First, thanks to the mayor and Riley for responding.  From past experiences I have learned that sometimes  unless I make A LOT of noise, and it uncomfortable for some, complaints can be ignored...that's why I publicized what happened to me as much as possible.

I also appreciate the 30-Day SunGO Ticket I am to receive.

What brought me to anger is I am sure there are (poor) people who have been stranded because of system malfunctions...and those people don't fight for justice and compensation.  Some don't know how...others may lack tools to...and others don't have time to.  I have lost battles, but caused those I opposed to consider not ignoring that specific issue in the future (because the next person who complains could cause more trouble that I).



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