The Lane Transit District is moving to an electronic fare system where riders will wave a "smart" pass or smartphone app in front of an electronic validator when boarding the bus.
(TNS) — Starting Aug. 1, Lane Transit District will offer a new way to pay fares when riders board the bus.
The transit agency is moving to an electronic fare system where riders will wave a "smart" pass or smartphone app in front of a electronic validator when boarding the bus. LTD will continue to accept cash for fares.
Riders can refill the pass with an online account or buy a prepaid pass if they don't want to maintain an account.
Many details of the new system still need to be worked out, but Cosette Rees, LTD's director of customer and specialized services, said she's confident LTD will have a rollout that is "going to be smooth and we're going to work with our community to make sure that no one gets left behind."
Last week, LTD's board of directors authorized General Manager Aurora Jackson to sign a contract with Vista, Calif.-based vendor, Delerrok, Inc.
The value of the contract is up to nearly $2.8 million. The contract includes $663,108 for equipment, installation, warranty and other services. Delerrok also will receive a tiny share of each fare paid with the system, up to $351,333 a year, or a maximum of $2.1 million for the contract's initial six-year term.
LTD said the new system provides benefits for riders and the transit agency.
For riders, the system offers new options to pay fares and those who lose their bus pass aren't out cash if they maintain an online account.
"It's going to provide better access for folks," she said. "I hope people are excited about it."
For LTD, the new system will help speed up boardings, assist fare recovery and provide some ridership data for planning purposes. Rees noted that some former University of Oregon students and employees may still be continuing to board the bus with expired passes. She said the ridership data would be anonymous and group-based, meaning there would be no way to track the movement of an individual rider.
LTD is budgeted to receive nearly $6.5 million from cash and pass fares and group passes in the fiscal year that ends June 30. The transit agency's biggest revenue source is the payroll tax paid by employers and employees as well as self-employment taxes, budgeted to bring in a total of nearly $38.8 million in the current fiscal year.
Rees said LTD has been looking at moving to electronic fare collection for years but was stymied by technological and cost hurdles.
The new system will be largely cloud-based, and Rees pledged it would have robust security to protect riders' personal and financial information from hackers.
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