By Peter Duck
RAC users will have to endure long lines the next few days before they can get into the underground sweatshop. That’s because as of yesterday, the RAC has installed a new access system.
What this means is that each member must have their access card replaced. With as many as 5,000 old cards floating around, the wait for new ones could be a long one.
The new cards will work the same way as the old ones did. They’ll be the same size, with a number and signature strip on the back. However, the attractive bronze arrow on the front is a thing of the past. To reduce costs, the new cards will be art-free.
And they’re free to members too. Returning students will not be asked to shell out to have their memberships renewed.
The whole system is costing RAC almost $10,000. That includes the access cards and the readers that scan them at the doors, as well as installation, staff training and the computer system which knows the names and personal information of every soul that enters the place. RAC is hoping the new system will last at least 10 years.
The old entry system had been in place since the facility opened in 1987. Problems developed last year when the aging computer reached its memory capacity. RAC squeezed another year out of the system but an upgrade was necessary to handle the massive amount of information that is added to its database as new members join.
The new system was supposed to be in place by Aug. 1 to reduce the inconvenience of en-masse card replacement line-ups, but delays pushed the date back until yesterday.
To get the new card, students need to complete a membership form and take it to the RAC with their valid Ryerson photo ID card. Returning students also need their old access cards.