It is far from fancy, this hulking, 1,600-pound device encased in stainless steel and plugged into an electrical outlet.
More properly known as a ticket vending machine, it will become the first impression for many Central Floridians approaching the SunRail commuter train when it starts running next year.
Passengers, after all, will not be able to get onboard without first paying for a ticket. And if they find it confusing, SunRail's passenger count could suffer.
But SunRail spokesman Steve Olson is confident the machines that cost up to almost $60,000 apiece will be a plus for the system that eventually will connect downtown Orlando with Poinciana in Osceola County and DeLand in Volusia County.
"The goal," Olson said, "is to make it as simple as possible."
The state has for the first time been given a test machine to figure out how they want to configure it, as well as come up with its final look.
Fifty of the machine are on order from ACS, a holding company of the Xerox Co., for a total cost of $2.4 million. They are scheduled to be delivered late this year, with four of them deposited at each of SunRail's 12 stops, two on each side. Two machines also will be held in reserve as backups.
The machines will take cash up to a $20 bill, as well as credit and debit cards. They will rely on touch-screen technology and look a lot like automated tellers provided by banks and credit unions.
Olson said SunRail is counting on people being familiar with ATMs to help them navigate the train device.
"It will be something people will have used in the past," Olson said.
Fares have not been set yet, but they are expected to start at $2 one way for any trip within one county. Each additional county would add $1, meaning going from end to end would cost $5.
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