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7/5/2017



Rail News: Passenger Rail

Pittsburgh transit agency postpones new light-rail fare payment system


The decision follows delays in the delivery of new 'ConnectCard' machines.
Photo – Port Authority of Allegheny County

The Port Authority of Allegheny County has postponed implementation of a cashless, proof-of-payment system for its light-rail network in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

The decision is the result of several factors, including a delay in the delivery of additional "ConnectCard" machines that dispense the new fare cards and tickets at system stations.

The agency plans to eliminate cash payments and instead offer pre-purchased ConnectCards and tickets that riders would validate on the platform before boarding trains. The system is aimed at speeding up boarding by enabling doors to be opened at more locations.

The authority originally anticipated that 10 machines would be delivered and installed in June, but manufacturing delays have moved the delivery date to October.

In addition, issues have cropped up with software performance on existing ConnectCard machines, as well as validators that are part of the new system. The Port Authority is working to remedy the issues with the company that manufactures and installs its fare collection hardware and software.

"The goal of the policy is to make the customer experience better, but in order to make that happen, all of the equipment must be available, functional and reliable," said David Donahoe, the Port Authority's interim chief executive officer, in a press release. "Because these items will take time to resolve, I'm not prepared to announce a new start date until I see the results of the work now underway, including field testing."



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