A Reminder to Validate Your Tickets
Validating a ticket is the process of applying the value of one ride from your ticket to your current trip on the train.
We know sometimes people forget to validate, especially if one is a monthly ticket holder who has to buy a Ten-Trip ticket for one reason or another. That person may simply not be in the habit of validating. However, the conductors have no way of knowing who is trying to get away with something or who simply forgot or did not know.
If you were in a grocery store and suddenly forgot all your money, you wouldn't just walk out of that store thinking “I come here all the time, so I'll just pay next time” or worse yet, walk out with groceries in hand because the line is too long and you don't have time to pay.
Well, it's the same with VRE, you don't pay until you validate your ticket, and if you don't validate, you're not entitled to the service we offer. We ask only two things from our riders: get to the station before your train is scheduled to depart and have a valid ticket. Validating is one of those things required if you want to use VRE and we don't accept forgetfulness or running late as reasons not to pay.
What is “Validating”?
Validating a ticket is the process of applying the value of one ride from your ticket to your current trip on the train. For example, if you purchased a 10-Ride ticket, you have the value of 10 rides stored on that ticket. The value for a single ride is not deducted from the ticket until you validate. Once you have validated 10 times, there is no remaining value on that ticket. Likewise, if you fail to validate your ticket for a ride, the value of that ride has not been deducted, and you may receive a summons to appear in court for riding on a ticket that has not been validated.
An analogy from the world outside of transit would be a Gift Card. For example, if you purchase a $50 Gift Card from Lowe's, you cannot go into Lowe's and simply take $50 worth of merchandise and leave without using the gift card. Since that card still has value it could be used again. Validating your ticket at a VRE TVM is analogous to taking your merchandise at Lowe's to the checkout stand and swiping your gift card to use those funds for the purchase. Without validating, you may have paid for your gift card, but you did not pay for your merchandise.
In all of our communications about the need to validate tickets prior to boarding the train (and these communications include Train Talk emails, Facebook and Twitter notices, reminders in our RIDE magazine, sign notices at our stations, written and audio notices on our station message screens, notices on our ticket machines and on the tickets themselves, information on our website, pop-ups on our website, information in our Rider's Guides and now in this blog), we emphasize that if you have a ticket issue, please see the conductor before you get on the train. Otherwise you have boarded a train without a valid ticket. The issues could range anywhere from your ticket not being read properly by the TVM, or the communication lines were down so you were unable to complete your purchase. Again, running late for your train or simply forgetting to validate are not the types of ticket issues we are referring to.