Tuesday, February 21, 2012

March Transit News

The ConnectCard

We published the first details on Port Authority's new fare system in June, last year : Technology to improve Port Authority’s rider experience with the fare-system. As frequent riders on Oakland routes had noticed , all Pitt students and staff are now using the new ConnectCard system. Starting March 1st , another category of frequent riders on the Port Authority transit lines will be using the new system too: annual pass holders.

Market tests for monthly passes will also start in March. Another series of market tests -for those riders who are interested to load only cash fares, rather than monthly or weekly passes will follow soon.

More information on the ConnectCard and its benefits can be found here: connectcard.org.

Lenora P. Brooks , the project manager for the new ConnectCard fare system, answered a few additional questions about the new system
on February 15th during the last general ACTC meeting:

  • Were will I be able to buy the ConnectCard?
Most retailers that sell ticket books and passes right now will be equipped with ConnectCard Sales Terminals. Additional vending machines will be placed in high traffic areas cross the Allegheny County. With time, you will also be able to order and recharge a ConnectCard online.
  • What if I lose my ConnectCard?

If you lose your ConnectCard, you will be able to call the PortAuthority and ask for a replacement card. A "Balance Protection" program will be available at no additional cost to you. The program will link each card to an individual user so as soon customer reports a stolen or lost card, the balance is automatically transferred on the customer's new card.

  • What if my ConnectCard gets demagnetized?

The ConnectCard is not a magnetic card. The system uses RFID technology to store the information on the card.

  • How do purchase a transfer?

there will be no need to purchase a separate transfer any longer. Once a rider had charged a full fare on its ConnectCard , any consequent trip in the next three hours will be charged at transfer rate instead of full fare rate.

The North Shore Connector

The North Shore Connector will become fully operational on March 25th. And again, once the North Shore Connector becomes fully operational , two bus routes the 14th and the 18th will turn around at the Allegheny stop instead of going all the way downtown. As it stands right now , all riders on these two routes will receive the mandatory free transfer so they can use the North Shore Connector in order to continue their travel downtown.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Public Transit is beneficial to us all - regardless of income

We are glad to note that more and more people - young educated professionals - are coming forward with their stories as public transit riders. Because stories such as the one shared by Andrew Fournaridis with us (via the Post-Gazette) are changing the conversation around public transportation and Port Authority's funding crisis.We are long used to think that public transportation is some type of social service that benefits only those people with disabilities or in the lowest income brackets. When in fact it is used by most of us - regardless of income, social background or race - and it is beneficial to the whole Pittsburgh region.

"Third and most important, many seem to view public transit as a social program. This couldn't be further from the truth. My wife and I are both 26-year-old working professionals with several educational degrees between us. Public transit is a convenient, affordable and safe way to commute to work and experience the city."

From a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Letter to the Editor