Thursday, February 9, 2012

Go card fare gate fail!

Jail bait?
This morning 09/02/2012 BrizCommuter was making his way through fare gates at Fortitude Valley train station. The station was very busy with queues to get through the fare gates. As BrizCommuter passed through a gate, he noticed that the gate did not close behind the person in front, and the display was not displaying the correct fare and balance. Caught in the crowd, BrizCommuter passed through the gate anyway, and checked his go card balance at a ticket machine. As suspected, the faulty gate had allowed BrizCommuter to pass through (and possibly hundreds of other commuters), but had not registered a swipe off. BrizCommuter immediately informed QR staff who blocked off the gate, and allowed BrizCommuter to pass through another gate to register a swipe off.

This brings up two big issues. Firstly, it is thus clear that it is possible to unknowingly pass through a faulty fare gate and it not register a swipe on or off. In fact, this is the third time this has happened to BrizCommuter in the last 6 months. This fault could scarily expose commuters to potentially incurring a fine or criminal record if they are stopped by Transit Officers during their journey. Secondly, hundreds of commuters could have occurred $10 fix fares from this single incident. Is there anyway that TransLink can automatically refund these passengers? How much profit will TransLink make from unclaimed fixed fares from this incident?

It is quite clear that fare gates cannot always be trusted to ensure a swipe on or off. Lets hope that this taken into account before courts of law in alleged fare evasion cases, and also by TransLink when correcting fixed fares. BrizCommuter would also like to see TransLink follow Transport for London's path in automatically correcting fixed fares based on the location of next swipe on.


  1. I wish that had happened to me last week, when I went in to Central station at 6:30pm, missing a train and having to wait for the 7:05. Got charged peak travel because of the time I touched on at the gate.

    Asked for an adjustment to the off peak fare but TransLink just said "Correct fare charged, no refund"


  2. Ben - if you swipe off again within 20 mins at the same station, it will cancel your journey. Thus you may have been able to swipe out of station, cancel that journey, then swipe back in after 7pm at off-peak fare.

    BrizCommuter does find it rather disgraceful that we have to put up with 30 minute service gaps during the peak fare period!

  3. I only use TRANSLINK a few times a year when my car is serviced but i've noted how badly setup the network is.The rolling stock seems fine but the lack of station numbers,and indicators at Auchenflower is amazing. Only 1 machine to top up your card at Toowong ! and you Cant see the next train indicators as they put them on the inner platform and it curves and again no platform numbers.The card reader lcd screens are so faded from the sun they are very difficult to read and at Adelaide street bus station they use the same colour (brown) for information as a route!.Buses not going the right route (no 435) and the drivers route disagrees with the translink printout off the internet. I dont know how tourists cope because as an infrequent user I have a lot of trouble. The only thing world class about Translink is the CEO's salary !

  4. The Brisbane rail network is tourist unfriendly in general
    for example at central, when a three car train pulls in generally the announcement is "all passengers please move to the Roma street end of the platform". Geeze i live here and i barely know which end i need to go to. Put up a sign QR and make it easy for people to know what you are talking about ;-)


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