I've never quite known if various bits of cluelessness about our exciting new public transit payment system were coming from the people reporting on it or from the glorious transit agency itself. I'm getting a bit more worried that its coming from the transit agency itself. They really aren't reinventing the wheel here. Sure there are some local quirks mostly related to our regional rail system that they need to figure out, but otherwise it isn't that complicated.
Here's a hint: you store the fare/payment/pass information on the card and on a backend system. You know, redundancy. Call me a pessimist, but if every single fare swipe has to get validated from a central system it's going to be fucked from day one.