New fare boxes aboard buses
Improving control over fare revenues
Montreal, 14 March 2006- With the installation of electronic fare boxes aboard buses well underway, the Société de transport de Montréal (STM) expects to equip all 1600 of its vehicles by the end of 2006. The new fare control equipment automatically counts cash fare payments and, by means of coloured lights and beeping sounds, validate a transit user’s access. Thanks to this modern, secure equipment, drivers will have the tools to control fares more efficiently and the STM will have improved control over its revenues. The transit corporation estimates that $3.8 million in fare revenue could be recovered in 2006, and $6.6 million in subsequent years.
To ensure the implementation goes smoothly and enable drivers to become proficient with the new technology, the STM has chosen to gradually replace the fare boxes, one bus depot at a time. Vehicles at the Mont-Royal and Frontenac garages, normally assigned to the 10, 11, 14, 15, 27, 29, 32, 34, 45, 47, 51, 67, 85, 94, 97, 125, 131, 132, 139, 144, 150, 167, 169, 199, 355, 357, 358, 359, 368, 410, 430 and 505 bus routes are virtually all equipped with the new boxes by now. Installation in ongoing at the Saint-Denis bus depot, which means that transit users travelling on the 18, 46, 80, 119, 129, 160, 161, 165, 197, 365, 369, 370, 535 and 935 bus routes can expect to see the new fare boxes aboard their buses in the coming days.
Slight changes for 16% of transit users
Given that the majority of transit users (84%) purchase weekly or monthly passes, this modification affects only those who pay in cash or with tickets. They will have to change their habits slightly, because the new fare boxes are equipped with two different slots, one specifically for tickets, the other for coins. Like vending machines, the fare boxes do not accept pennies or paper currency, and coins must be put in one at a time. If the full fare is not paid, an electronic signal will be heard and a visual message will be displayed, as a reminder to transit users. Finally, the exact fare has been an STM requirement since 1974, so the new fare boxes still no not provide change.
In spring 2008, the STM will begin introducing smart cards in the transit system and automatic card readers will be added to the new fare boxes. These devices will issue a receipt validating the access of cardholders.
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