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Port Authority approves changes to bus system - The Pitt News

The Pitt News

Port Authority approves changes to bus system

By Alexa Bakalarski / News Editor

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Beginning in January 2017, riders won’t have to remember when to pay while riding Port Authority buses.

On Friday, the Port Authority Board unanimously approved major changes to the agency’s fare system, including making all buses pay-as-you enter — the only change affecting Pitt students who pay with their IDs.

Port Authority will also eliminate the zone system and institute a flat fare of $2.50 for riders who pay with a ConnectCard, the automated payment system that riders use to pay for bus rides. Riders who pay with cash will be charged a fare of $2.75.

Adam Brandolph, Port Authority spokesperson, said in a release that the new system will make transit more efficient.

“We hope that the new system accomplishes better, more efficient service, and we hope that it attracts more riders,” Brandolph said.

Port Authority currently uses a two-tier system that charges $2.50 for rides in one zone and $3.75 for rides in two zones.

The flat fare structure will go into effect on the light rail system at the same time as the bus system. But the change to a cashless proof-of-payment system on the light rail system will not begin until the second half of 2017, after the installation of software upgrades and ticket vending machines.

Light rail riders will pay using ConnectCards or ConnecTix, their disposable equal.

Transfers, which allow riders to board a connecting bus, will remain $1 for ConnectCard users, though riders paying with cash will be charged a full fare of $2.75. Currently, transfers cost $1 for all riders.

ConnectCards will cost $1 to purchase.

The authority proposed the new fare system after conducting rider surveys in 2014 and 2015 and found that riders wanted an easier-to-use transit system.

The new fare system will also eliminate free bus rides in the Golden Triangle, the Downtown Pittsburgh area between the Allegheny and Monongahela River.

 

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Port Authority approves changes to bus system