Adventure on the Patco

February 18, 2007

Yesterday, I wanted to buy a round trip ticket for the Patco train from Philadelphia, PA to Haddonfield, NJ. I was delighted to see that the new ticket machines that have been announced for months are finally installed. They are supposed to be a massive improvement over the “legacy” ticket machines that only took coins. Even though the new ticket machine has a coin slot, a bill acceptor, a credit card reader, and a touch pad for use with a future “Freedom” card payment method, only the bill acceptor was functional.

OK, big deal, I planned on using a bill anyways. The round trip fare is $4.30. I thought a $5 bill might be an appropriate form of payment, as the change would be 70 cents. This was in fact, not the case. I was warned that any overpaid amount would not be refunded. This is pathetic. I know it’s only 70 cents and I shouldn’t be complaining about such a small amount of money. However, if this same problem affects many users, it could add up to significant free bonus money for the Patco. The legacy ticket machines did not have this problem.

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