Transit Manager, Charlottesville Area Transit
Transitioning to a new automated fare collection system is a big undertaking, but it was the best decision for us at Charlottesville Area Transit to solve our key challenges. Since going live, we’ve drastically improved our customer service, we’ve decreased fraud, improved our ridership data.
We wanted to give our customers more opportunities to pay for their fare in a manner that was convenient for them. With our older fare boxes, we only offered day passes. With the new system, we generate the ticket right on the bus, it’s barcoded, it’s good for 24 hours, there’s no way to counterfeit it. Everybody’s happier.
We also offered long term passes… 7 day, 30 day, 90 day and annual passes. More convenient for the customer.
Another key concern was understanding who was riding our buses considering we have a lot of University of Virginia students, and now they’re able to scan their university ID’s and it tells us where they got on, when they got on. The data is more accurate. We report back to the university, city council, the board of supervisors with accurate data about where people were getting on and the data is better for our funding partners. They can actually see what we are doing. Some ADA clients ride for free. Others have a half fare specification. They tap that ID, the fare box screen tells the driver what fare categories are available for that particular client.
It also helps us out so we can count less cash. Before we had two people, full time employees, would spend three hours a day to count our cash. I now send one person out. They count for about an hour a day. Finally, the data that we’re getting now is helping us better plan our schedule.
It’s been one year since going live and we couldn’t be happier with the change we made. Thanks to Easy Fare, we’re bringing Charlottesville Transit into a new technological era. It’s truly an efficient and convenient system for our agency and most importantly for our passengers.