In November 2011, Cincinnati’s transit system, SORTA, began installing new fareboxes to replace their aging fareboxes. One of the larger criticisms this blog has of the new proposed Cleveland Avenue BRT project is the lack of a pre-payment option which would get people onto the bus quicker.
According to a press release, the new SORTA farebox can accept:
- Cash ($1, $2, $5, $0.01, $0.05, $0.10, $0.25)
- Metro Tokens (Silver = $1.75, Bronze = $1.50)
- Smart cards which can tap and go.
- 30-day passes
- Pre-paid $10, $20, and $50 swipe cards.
With the exception of the redundant Metro Tokens, the farebox would be a major step up for COTA. The most interesting option, the smart cards with tap and go technology, do not appear to be operational yet and it will be interesting to see how widespread its use is once operational.
The project replaced the 17-year old fareboxes in 342 buses for a total of $4.5 million with 80% ($3.6 million) being paid by the Federal Transit Administration and the remaining 20% ($0.9 million) being paid by SORTA. In comparison, COTA has 306 active buses which would cost $4 million assuming prices were similar to SORTA’s project.
For the year ending March 2012, COTA has operated $1.8 million under budget. The “Smart Card” fare system referred to within the 2011-2015 Short-Range Transit Plan is likely to be discussed in the October public meetings concerning the plan. Assuming that COTA can get a similar federal match that SORTA did, I think I have a
bridge farebox to sell them.