The Pittsburgh Port Authority is beginning tests of their new smart card fare system. The pilot program uses 10 Port Authority buses that have been outfitted with new fare collection boxes equipped to handle the new smart card technology. A dozen Port Authority employees were selected at random to participate in the new smart card tests running through August.
The smart card tests will help officials identify any glitches or issues with the fare boxes and smart cards before the rest of the buses and T cars receive the system. Once testing is complete and the program is implemented, riders will buy a rechargeable smart card and swipe it when boarding. The fare will be automatically deducted from the account associated with the card. Cash fares will still be accepted.
Hoping for success with the new smart card program, the Port Authority has been reaching out to neighboring counties inviting their participation in the program. Several have already voted to jump on the smart card bandwagon.