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ABC-7 Uncovers Major Problems with BRIO Rapid Transit System

ABC-7 has uncovered major problems with the city’s $27 million BRIO Rapid Transit Bus System.

The first BRIO line, now operating in West El Paso along Mesa, is supposed to pick up passengers every 10 minutes at 22 stations so they can get to places faster.

For some, it’s been an empty promise. Four months after its debut, El Pasoans still can’t hop on the BRIO using a debit card!

In a day and age when many no longer carry cash, that can be a huge problem. “They ought to be able to take cards,” said a BRIO passenger ABC-7 spoke with.

Wednesday, ABC-7 spotted several people who tried to pay with a credit card, but couldn’t.

Sun Metro said the vending machines installed at all 22 BRIO stations are not taking credit cards because the vendor is having problems connecting its networks with banks.

Some bus riders said that is a huge inconvenience. “If you’re running on a tight budget, a credit card could really help and it’s terrible that they’re not letting you use it,” said a man at a BRIO bus stop.

Sun Metro said it has been trying to fix the problem since October, but it has not put up signs warning people the machines do not accept debit or credit cards.

When asked why it didn’t warn people, a Sun Metro official said it is because the vendor keeps promising the problem will be fixed soon. It would not say when the debit card machines will be up and running.

Another issue affecting the rapid transit system is Sun Metro allowing people to pay in cash inside the actual bus, a practice that initially wasn’t supposed to happen because it would slow down the entire system.

Despite the issues, Sun Metro insists its “on time” rate for the BRIO is 100%.

ABC-7 spotted a man who uses a disability card. He said BRIO works for him, “It’s really good service.”

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