More reliable ticket machines, anyone?

Old scrapped ticket machines headed for recycling
These old, unreliable ticket machines are finally headed for the recycling bin! We just finished replacing 117 machines with brand-new machines, and we’ve seen a significant improvement in reliability.

Here’s some good news for anyone who has ever experienced a broken TriMet ticket machine. (OK, that may be just about everyone!)

Put simply, they’re getting better. A lot better.

117 machines replaced

Last month, we finished swapping out our oldest, least-reliable ticket machines with brand-new ones. Needless to say, the aging machines had lots of problems that were causing major headaches for riders. Today, I’m happy to report that more than half of our 213 ticket machines have been replaced.

New ticket machine at Cleveland Ave MAX Station
This new ticket machine at Cleveland Ave MAX Station is one of 117 machines that have been replaced so far.

Not only that, over the last few months we made some software upgrades and fixes to improve reliability, and we updated our maintenance practices to speed up repairs. We also upgraded the bill acceptors so there are fewer problems with rejected bills.

Better reliability

So far, so good: Complaints about ticket machines dropped 50 percent in June from the previous 12-month average. (That’s the lowest level of complaints in at least the past six years.)

Of course, we’ll continue looking for ways to improve the performance of our machines, whether it is with new hardware, software or preventive maintenance. Still, this is a step in the right direction. We know you expect our ticket machines to work when you need them!

Keep in mind, ticket machines have lots of moving parts and are used heavily each day—particularly in high-traffic locations. Wet, wrinkled or damaged bills can jam the bill acceptors, and vandalism can disable a machine as well.

Validators, too!

Next up? Validators. We get quite a few complaints about validators as well, some of which are 15 years old. Our maintenance crews just replaced the 20 oldest validators with new ones, and we’ll replace 20 more this fall.

Coming soon: mobile ticketing

More good news is on the horizon: In August, we’re launching a new mobile ticketing app for smartphones, which will let you buy and pay your fare instantly, anywhere, anytime.

Have you noticed an improvement in ticket machine reliability? Ticket machine or validator not working? Let us know at or call 503-238-RIDE (7433).

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Chris Tucker

Chris Tucker

As Director of Revenue Operations, I lead our agency’s efforts to modernize our fare collection systems. My goal is to provide excellent and efficient service while maintaining reliable, easy-to-use equipment.

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