As students were forced into the new Opus smart card system when their reduced-fare passes expired on Oct. 31, the STM took the opportunity to change the configuration of turnstiles at metro stations, switching more to the newer smart-card machines.
Instead of one or two newer turnstiles and the rest using the old punch-card and magnetic-strip systems, the ratio is now reversed with a single older turnstile and the rest on the new system. Besides working with different cards, I’ve noticed the newer turnstiles are also lower, which means that instead of being whacked in the gonads when the turnstile locks up, you’re smacked in the legs.
The change quickly began irritating riders using the magnetic bus passes, who have already taken to writing letters about their frustrations.
I’m going to miss quite a bit about the older turnstiles when they’re eventually phased out entirely. Instead of reading miniature punch cards, they’re scanning RFIDs. Instead of a welcoming two-tone acknowledgment of a fare paid, there is only a single soulless beep.