Sunday, December 06, 2009

BUS STORY # 162 (Please Show ID)

ABQ RIDE provides a variety of bus passes – for UNM students, CNM students, other college or vocational school students, grade school/junior high/high school students, and “Honored Citizens” (riders 62 and older, or folks with impaired mobility).

Recently, the buses have been equipped with a new fare box which does a couple of things.

One is to allow riders to purchase one, two, or three-day passes right there on the bus.

The other is to register which passes are being used by riders as they board the bus.

The driver captures this data by punching in a number on a remote keypad which corresponds to the pass being shown by the boarder. A UNM pass, for example, might be assigned to number eight, a CNM pass to number three, and so forth. I’m assuming the idea is to get a good fix on pass usage and rider demographics.

The new fare box has one less than endearing feature, however. Every time the driver punches in a number, an automated female voice insists that the boarder “Please show ID.”

So, as happened the other day at a particularly busy stop, the boarding of several riders provides all of us with this experience: “Please show ID. Please show ID. Please show ID. Please show ID. Please show ID. Please show ID.”

“Doesn’t that drive you crazy?” asked the guy sitting in front and across from the driver.

“Yeah,” the driver replied, “but there’s nothing we can do about it.”

Directly behind the driver, a small kid looked up at his mother with a mischievous grin and started singsonging, “Please show ID, please show ID, please show ID . . . ”

The photo at the top of this story is posted with the kind permission of Shawn Bennear. You can see this photo and many others on Shawn's website:
Shawn's website, an obvious labor of love, is an extensive treatment of the Tampa Bay transit system (where he works now) with a link to another extensive treatment of the Pittsburg Transit system (where he worked then). Lots of great photos, too.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

8:13 PM  
Blogger Busboy said...

Thanks, Anonymous. Nice link to the ABQ RIDE website's explanation for the new fare boxes.

6:08 AM  

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