Montreal Opus Card Reloads

I am an avid user of the Montreal Public Transportation System, which uses an Opus Card to grant full access to its paying residents. And since December of 2015, I have been recharging my Opus Card online, so that I would not need to go to a commercial facility, to have it recharged. Therefore, I use a service called “Opus En Ligne”, and have been doing so 100%, since my fare for January, 2016.

One of the situations which can cause me some anxiety, is having to insert a payment card unto a typical machine, knowing that there could be some slight error in the way it connects. For Opus En Ligne, I have purchased a payment device – a so-called “card reader” – which connects to the USB port of my computer, and which is controlled over the Web, by a Java applet programmed by the ‘STM’, the Society which manages buses and fares for Montreal.

As far as I am concerned, it can always happen, that the card is not seated securely in the reader – or, that a person will think that his hands are steadying the card while in the reader, when in fact all that touching the card will do, is transmit vibrations through it. Or, what some people seem to think, is that if they jam the card into the reader especially hard, it will make good contact. Obviously, these beliefs are all wrong.

But it can still happen to me, even though I do not have such beliefs, that the contacts of the chip-card do not make proper electrical contact, which can make me a bit nervous.

Well just today I initiated a fare reload, in which the Opus Card did not make good contact with its card reader. This happened to me for the first time ever, today. And I was reassured by the messages on the Web-site, which told me that my fare had been deducted from my payment card, but that the reload of the Opus Card could not succeed, “Perhaps the Card is not Inserted Properly?”

And then the Web-site did the best thing it could do, which was to show me a button labeled “Retry”. So I was able to play with the card, and then to click on “Retry”, after which point the messages in the browser told me, that the second try had succeeded.

It is generally good to know, that a backup plan was programmed into any system, where a first attempt to do something could go wrong.

Of course, I will not be 100% sure that this did finally succeed, until November 1 comes around, and I use the Opus Card successfully.



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