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February 20, 2013

Building a Better Transit Experience: Metro Expands New Farebox Test to Include High Volume Routes

Dianne Williams
Director of Communications
314-982-1440

Beginning on Monday, February 25, 2013, Metro Transit will expand its test of new fareboxes to some of the busiest routes on the MetroBus system. As part of building a better transit experience for customers, Metro installed new fareboxes on 40 buses and began testing them last October. Some initial routes remain in the pilot. They are the #18 Taylor, #42 Sarah and #36X Bissell Hills. The routes being added are the #70 Grand, #90 Hampton, and #95 Kingshighway. Depending on operational needs, the buses with the new fareboxes may occasionally be used on other routes.

Metro Ambassadors will assist customers during peak times on Monday, February 25 on the street level of Grand Boulevard, on DeBaliviere Avenue near the Forest Park-DeBaliviere MetroLink Station and at the Central West End Transit Center.

The new fareboxes will replace old fare equipment that is becoming expensive and difficult to repair. In addition, Metro will be better able to plan bus routes because the new fareboxes will provide more detailed passenger count information. The new fareboxes will help reduce fare evasion and assure collection of proper fares. It has advanced software that better identifies counterfeit bills and foreign coins. The new system also will allow Metro to add smart card payment technology in the future.

The pilot program allows Metro to make any needed adjustments to the fareboxes and provides customers and bus operators an opportunity to familiarize themselves with the new fareboxes before they are installed on the entire fleet of approximately 400 MetroBus vehicles later this year.

The new fareboxes will still require exact change from the customer, and $1, $5, $10 and $20 bills and pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters, and dollar coins are accepted. Other features are new.
• One person will be able to pay for everyone in their group without paying for each person individually.
• Only one bill or coin can be inserted at a time, so for faster boarding, customers are advised to use newer, dry bills and minimize the use of coins to pay their fare.
• Passes can be swiped, in either direction, through the slot at the top of the fare box.

MetroBus customers can email their questions or comments about the new fare boxes to buildingbettertransit@metrostlouis.org, or contact Customer Service at (314) 982-1406 between 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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