Transferring between Metrorail and Tri-Rail at the “Tri-Rail/Metrorail Transfer Station” (creative name, right?) can be a lengthy, confusing and stressful process. It’s time we address some of the problems to improve the transit experience for all.
Before Miami-Dade Transit and Tri-Rail introduced the “Easy Card,” there were simple, paper fare tickets that you would insert into the turnstiles and voilà. A Tri-Rail ticket allotted you a free and easy transfer onto the Metro without any hassle. After the Easy Card and the new tap faregate system were installed in late 2009, the transfer between Tri-Rail and Metrorail got a bit more complicated and almost four years later, issues still have not been resolved.
Don’t get me wrong, introducing the Easy Card system was one of the best decisions MDT made. It has made travel within the MDT system faster and truly easier. I guess the name, “Easy Card,” is appropriate. However, it has made the transfer process to and from Tri-Rail less easy for the average commuter, particularly for tourists and those unaware of the transfer’s quirks.
- Transfer from Tri-Rail to Metro requires a balance of $1 on your Easy Card. Those without the Easy Card, need to buy an Easy Ticket at the ticket dispenser causing long lines.
- Long crowds of confused passengers form at the turnstiles of the Metro station. Staff can be unhelpful and sometimes rude, providing little help for passengers confused as to how to board the Metro.
- There are not enough ticket dispensers for the large crowds that get off the Tri-Rail train. Three machines is not enough.
- For passengers traveling with family members or friends, you can only use your Easy Card once, even though you may have enough money on your card. The system only allows one tap.
- When purchasing a ticket to Metrorail from Tri-Rail, notify passengers on the ticket machine screens of the required $1 supplement so they may add it on while they’re at their Tri-Rail station of origin.
- Staff could be more helpful but that is not always the case. Instead, put up informational signs over the Metro station entrance informing passengers of how to board the Metro. While we’re at it, it’d be nice if they were put up in French and Spanish as well. Winter time brings many tourists from Québec, for example.
- Add an additional ticket machine or two.
- Allow multiple transfer taps from a single Easy Card.
Taking transit should be more convenient than driving. Let’s encourage more riders by making the system as flawless as possible.