As part of Pittsburgh’s new smart card fare system for public transit, Port Authority buses are being equipped with new fare collection boxes that will work with the new technology. While the smart cards won’t be fully functional until late 2010 due to tests being run, the new fare collection boxes will still accept cash. The Pittsburgh transit agency wanted to begin upgrading the boxes now, in order to be prepared for the new smart cards, which will be rechargeable passes that can be swiped at the fare box.
Port Authority officials are hoping that the new system will reduce waste and save money by eliminating the paper public transit passes that are currently in use. The new system would also potentially reduce fraud and cut down on the high maintenance costs of the current fare boxes. Tests are expected to be run on the new smart card system before it is fully implemented using local university students.
Creators of the new system are hopeful that they will be able to integrate it with other regions in the state as well. In the future there could be coordination with other transit agencies so that the smart cards can be used to pay for rides on other counties’ buses.