09/22/2015

 

 26 LA County agencies now on TAP fare payment system
 

To make transit more economical and convenient for travelers, all 26 regional transportation agencies in Los Angeles County have joined the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) and the TAP network to create the largest seamless transportation system in the nation.

The historic milestone signifies that all municipal transit agencies in L.A. County accept TAP as a universal fare media and passengers can transfer to bus or train from any transit provider. Metrolink features a TAP enabled paper ticket and Access Services clients may use their TAP enabled card to ride on participating transit agencies.

Bringing all 26 county agencies, with 3,800 buses, under the TAP umbrella has taken years of negotiations as each city and agency has unique needs.

TAP is a fare collection system featuring a smart card with a computer chip embedded within the plastic card. A new Tap card has an expected life of ten years and can be reloaded and reused.

“TAP is the largest smart-card system in North America with over 23 million transactions and $14.5 million in passes sold every month,” said Metro CEO Phillip A. Washington.

Each transit agency relies on the TAP system for revenue dispersal and GMs of each municipal transit agency needed to be assured that the mammoth undertaking of tracking fares and reimbursement would be accurate.

The Tap website, www.taptogo.net, where riders can buy stored value and passes and apply for reduced fares, has been redesigned and is easier to use. In addition, TAP vending machines have undergone a redesign with colorful screens, animation, photos and a user-friendly navigation bar. Nearly 98% of customers polled like the new simplicity of navigation.

 
How to Succeed in Implementing New Fare Technology

Every transit agency is tasked with the challenge of keeping up with the record pace of new fare collection technology while making sure its passengers can also seamlessly adapt when changes are made. With a phased approach, agencies can make a smooth transition and also increase passenger convenience and flexibility, as well as boost ridership.

“When it comes to implementing new technology fare systems, a phased approach is one of the most successful ways to ensure you cover all of the critical components of an implementation program,” says Kim Green, president of SPX Genfare. “The most effective and successful new system implementations allow agencies to maintain their current fare collection operation and phase in the new features and functionality over time in a carefully controlled way.”

This approach allows passengers and employees the opportunity to get acquainted with the technology and accept the new processes and procedures. It also ensures everything...  READ MORE >

 

 
 Driverless shuttle experiment hits the ground at CA campus
 

SANTA CLARA, CA. - The Santa Clara University (SCU) campus is the beta test grounds for an driverless shuttle system being developed by Silicon Valley start-up Auro Robotics. The company conducted a three-day trial in August, and the three-month pilot program begins this fall.

During that time, test engineers will be monitoring technology and safety as well as the user experience in the four-seat modified golf cart.

 

The pedestrian campus allows Auro to observe and adjust its service in a large but traffic-free area that replicates the target market. In addition to colleges, the company envisions these vehicles at theme parks, resorts, industrial campuses, and retirement communities. Because SCU is a private institution, the experiment does not require government approval.

Auro’s business model is based on low upfront costs and a monthly subscription. One primary goal during the pilot program will be learning whether the “shuttle bus” mode (a fixed-route with a number of stops) or the “on demand” mode (think Uber/Lyft) is more feasible and popular.

The benefit could extend to students, faculty and staff not only on campus but in accessing public transit such as Caltrain and the potential BART station nearby. “This may be a solution to the ‘last mile’ problem that has bedeviled transportation planners throughout the valley,” said Chris Shay, SCU’s assistant VP for university operations.    READ MORE >

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