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5 CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION PROOF-OF-PAYMENT FARE COLLECTION IN NORTH have been many changes to how PoP fare collection has been AMERICA carried out. Comparison of transit operators employing PoP will uncover many variations in operating practices and adju- Off-board proof-of-payment (PoP) fare collection is a rela- dication procedures. The emergence of smart cards for basic tively recent application in North America. Typically, the fare media has made it more convenient for riders to pay their majority of PoP operations require a transit customer to pur- fares but, at the same time, has added a challenge for opera- chase fare media off-board the transit vehicle. For instance, tors with respect to effective enforcement of fare payment. purchase could be at a ticket vending machine (TVM) on a station platform, via the Internet, or at a retail outlet. With In addition to the LRT experiences, in recent years, PoP a valid ticket or pass in hand, the customer is permitted to has been extended to other transit modes: regular bus, bus board the transit vehicle through any door. The customer rapid transit (BRT), heavy rail transit (HRT), modern street- does not have to show the proof-of-payment to the driver, cars, and commuter rail (CR). and there are no conductors on board. As a result, enforcement of fare payment through inspec- STUDY OBJECTIVES tion is a necessary function of PoP to ensure fare compliance. The enforcement relies on fare enforcement/inspection per- This synthesis collected data on existing transit operations sonnel who randomly ask riders to show proof-of-payment. using PoP verification in North America. The objective of the Passengers unable to do so may be issued citations imposing synthesis was to provide a state-of-the-practice report that can a fine as a deterrent to fare evasion. be used as a resource by public transit agencies and operators on the subject of PoP. It is intended to be of practical use for PoP fare collection is also referred to as self-service, those operators in the development process of a new transit barrier-free (SSBF) fare collection and sometimes as the service, especially a high-capacity service. However, as a "honor system." For purposes of this study, the focus is on resource on the practices and experiences of current transit off-board fare payment and PoP fare verification. For con- operators using PoP fare collection, the report can be of prac- sistency and simplicity, "PoP" is used throughout this report tical benefit to those same operators by providing an exchange to represent the broader subject of self-service and stations of ideas on ways to improve their fare collection operation. with or without barriers. A common component is the need for enforcement to verify that passengers possess valid fare The scope of the study was broadly outlined to include payment. As for the term "honor system," strictly defined, the following aspects of PoP fare collection: the types of fare it involves no PoP verification, that is, no enforcement, and media used, the inspection function, measuring of perfor- is not employed by any transit operators in North America. mance of the function, legal bases and adjudication options, the types of TVMs needed to support PoP, and policies and PoP fare collection had its North American beginnings procedures used to manage the function on a daily basis. with SeaBus ferry services in Vancouver, British Columbia. However, the introduction of PoP on ground transit services began with the start of Edmonton and Calgary, Alberta, and STUDY PROCESS AND TECHNICAL APPROACH San Diego, California, light rail transit (LRT) services in 19781981. Edmonton LRT, which initiated service in 1978, The work plan involved three primary tasks: a literature actually did not use PoP fare collection until 1980. Calgary review, a survey of North American transit operators using and San Diego LRT services followed in succession in 1981 PoP fare collection, and detailed case studies of seven of with use of PoP from the start of revenue service in each case. the operators. From those beginnings, PoP has essentially become the The resulting survey was conducted of 33 North Ameri- standard fare collection method on subsequently developed can transit properties, 27 in the United States and six in Can- North American LRT lines. Over these 30-plus years, there ada. The geographic locations of these properties are shown
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6 in Figure 1. All 33 properties responded to the questionnaire Table 1 also shows the number of routes in each region on for a 100% response rate. which PoP is applied (except for the non-BRT bus routes). As of early 2011, there were a total of 30 transit properties A tabular summary of the study's 33 survey respon- operating 91 routes in North America in which off-board dents indicating each agency's use of PoP is shown in Table PoP fare collection was used. Thirty years earlier, there were 1. There are 30 of the operators that presently use PoP. A three operators with a single route each. breakdown by service mode shows that these operators use PoP on seven different modes: The study's survey was also used to find out whether any of the operators were considering changes to their fare col- Number of Number of lection system. The results are shown in Table 2, which pro- Operators Routes vides an update on the future anticipated use of PoP by each of the 33 transit operators. Bus rapid transit 9 21 Light rail transit 23 56 Of the 33 operators surveyed, 29 (88%) employ PoP and either are not contemplating any significant change or are Streetcar (modern, vintage) 2 2 considering adding more routes under their agency's PoP Heavy rail transit 2 3 fare collection function. Commuter rail 7 8 Table 2 shows that three of the 33 operators have never Passenger ferry 1 1 used PoP (Honolulu, Memphis, and Pittsburgh). Two of them, Honolulu and Pittsburgh, are considering future use Bus (non-BRT) 5 on one or more routes. One operator, Vancouver TransLink, is planning to eliminate PoP on its services and go to a bar- NOTE: These bus operators use PoP in a modified or rier enforcement system. hybrid way with the combination of fare inspection and front-door fare collection. FIGURE 1 Locations of 33 North American transit operators participating in the survey.
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7 TABLE 1 SUMMARY OF TRANSIT OPERATORS PARTICIPATING IN THE STUDY Principal Transit Modes Operated Bus Region Operator (non-BRT) BRT LRT MS/VT HRT CR Ferry Baltimore, Maryland Maryland Mass Transit Administration · 2 · · Buffalo, New York Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority · 1 Calgary, Alberta Calgary Transit · · 3 Charlotte, North Carolina Charlotte Area Transit System · 1 Cleveland, Ohio Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority · 1 1 Dallas, Texas Dallas Area Rapid Transit · 3 1 Denver, Colorado Regional Transit District # 7 Edmonton, Alberta Edmonton Transit System · · 1 Eugene, Oregon Lane Transit District · 1 Everett, Washington Community Transit · 1 Honolulu, Hawaii Honolulu DTS Rapid Transit Division · Houston, Texas Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County · · 1 Las Vegas, Nevada Regional Transit Commission of Southern Nevada # 2 Los Angeles, California Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority · 1 3 2 Memphis, Tennessee Memphis Area Transit Authority · · MinneapolisSt. Paul, Minnesota Metro Transit · 1 1 Newark, New Jersey NJ Transit · 3 · New York City, New York MTANew York City Transit · 2 · Oceanside, California North San Diego County Transit District · 1 1 Ottawa, Ontario Ottawa Regional Transit Commission · 7 1 Phoenix, Arizona METRO Light Rail 1 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Port Authority of Allegheny County · · Portland, Oregon Tri-County Metropolitan District of Oregon # 4 1 Sacramento, California Sacramento Regional Transit District · 2 Salt Lake City, Utah Utah Transit Authority · 1 3 1 San Diego, California San Diego Metropolitan Transit System · · 3 San Francisco, California San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency # 6 1 San Jose, California Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority · 3 Seattle, Washington Sound Transit · 1 2 St. Louis, Missouri Bi-State Development Agency · 2 Toronto, Ontario Toronto Transit Commission · · 1 · Vancouver, British Columbia TransLink/SkyTrain # 3 1 1 York, Ontario York Region Transit/Viva · 5 BRT--bus rapid transit, LRT--light rail transit, MS--modern streetcar, VT--vintage trolley, HRT--heavy rail transit, CR--commuter rail. · indicates a transit service mode operated by this operator, but PoP is not employed. 1 indicates a service that uses PoP fare collection and the number of PoP routes. indicates a service that uses PoP fare collection and is one of the seven case studies. # indicates fare/ticket inspectors are deployed on buses in combination with on-board fare collection.