Most commuters don't concern themselves with the underlying components powering mass transit systems – that is, until malfunctioning equipment causes service disruptions. The fare systems operating within the nation's major transportation projects have become increasingly complicated, incorporating new payment methods and features. However, this growing complexity also creates additional operational concerns, as the slightest hardware error can result in significant performance problems and commuter delays. For critical mass transit equipment to run as needed, operators must ensure that every internal component is of the highest quality and offers unparalleled reliability.

The Chicago Transit Authority's Ventra program represents the latest transportation debacle in the United States. Since the system's rollout in October, commuters have reported a number of performance issues ranging from card readers not registering at turnstiles to customers receiving overcharges on their accounts. In many instances, CTA officials have simply allowed individuals to bypass the payment process and board their bus or train without paying. According to the Chicago Tribune, CTA personnel doled out approximately $1.2 million in free rides over a nearly three-month period. Although Cubic, the vendor tasked with maintaining Ventra's fare-collection equipment, has agreed to cover these expenses, this revelation highlights the continuing problems plaguing the system.

The initial rollout was so problematic that CTA officials opted to delay a full-scale transition until Cubit had met certain benchmarks with Ventra's performance. The Chicago Sun-Times reported that although the company has since met several of those guidelines, vending machines responsible for providing residents and travelers with commuter passes have failed to reach the 99-percent functionality goal set by the CTA. In some instances, individuals have been unable to add money to their accounts with these kiosks, preventing them from using the city's transportation system.

Boost equipment performance with quality SD cards
Given the highly critical nature of this equipment, it's essential that every piece of the machinery runs effectively and reliably. A core component within transportation hardware such as pass-vending kiosks is the SD card. These devices use NAND flash memory to quickly process data and facilitate better equipment operations. Mass transit organizations that cut corners with their SD cards may be increasing their likelihood of encountering extensive and costly service disruptions. Because these components must provide a high level of durability and performance, installing industrial-strength tools is often the most effective solution. Vending kiosks and other transportation machinery run night and day in both hot and cold environments, requiring rugged hardware capable of withstanding a wide range of operating conditions.

Panasonic's latest line of Industrial SD cards offer the durability required to keep critical machinery up and running for as long as possible. Because commuters rely on this equipment to get to work every day, even temporary outages will be met with a strong public backlash. This means that transportation organizations need to implement devices that are guaranteed to stay operational for years on end. The Auto Refresh and static wear leveling features built into each industrial-grade SD card ensures that these tools enjoy a long shelf life.

When installing devices that are so crucial to the performance of sensitive machinery, it's important that organizational leaders choose solutions that best meet their needs. This isn't always easy to ascertain for those unfamiliar with flash-based memory storage, but a trusted provider such as DIGISTOR can help clear up any confusion.

DIGISTOR personnel have years of experience bringing high-quality data storage solutions to organizations spanning numerous industries. Given the many different form factors and complexities of mass transit equipment, it can be difficult to be certain that a particular SD card will be compatible with legacy hardware. DIGISTOR's expert staff can help organizations navigate their various options and land on a solution that will rise to the occasion.


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