Metro Transit will begin testing new fare boxes on 40 MetroBus vehicles on Monday, Oct. 1, 2012 as part of building a better transit experience for customers. The pilot program will allow Metro to obtain feedback from customers, operators, and other Metro employees so adjustments can be made before fare boxes are installed on the rest of the approximately 400 MetroBus vehicle fleet next year.
The new fare boxes will replace old fare equipment that is becoming expensive and difficult to repair. The new fare boxes will provide more detailed passenger count information facilitating more detailed route planning. The new fare boxes will help reduce fare evasion and assure collection of proper fares and has advanced software that better identifies counterfeit bills and foreign coins. The new system also will allow Metro to add smart card payment technology in the future.
“The display on the fare boxes will indicate how much money has been inserted. It will show any balance due, and will confirm your fare has been paid in full,” said Ray Friem, Chief Operating Officer of Transit Services.
The new fare boxes are installed on MetroBus vehicles on the following routes: #16 City Limits, #18 Taylor, #42 Sarah, #36 Spanish Lake, #61 Chambers, #97 Delmar, #36X Bissell Hills, #174X Halls Ferry, and the #4 Natural Bridge. Depending on operational needs, the buses with the new fare boxes may also be used on other routes.
For the customer, some of the fare collection process will remain the same. Fare boxes will still require exact change from the customers. The fare boxes will still accept $1, $5, $10 and $20 bills, pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters, and dollar coins. Changes customers will see include:
- One person will be able to pay for everyone in their group without paying for each person at a time
- A new customer display screen will provide information on the fare required and the fare paid
- Only one bill or coin can be inserted at a time, so for faster boarding, customers will need to use newer, crisper bills and minimize the use of coins to pay their fare
- Passes can be swiped, in either direction through the slot at the top of the fare box
MetroBus customers can email their questions or comments about the new fare boxes to email@example.com, or contact Customer Service at (314) 982-1406 between 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.