TriMet, the public agency responsible for mass transit in the Portland metropolitan area, is proposing a new electronic fare system to replace weekly and monthly passes starting in 2015, according to Oregon Live.
The planned $30 million electronic fare system would change the way people buy and use tickets to ride TriMet, enabling riders to use the transits new re-loadable smart transit card, bank issued contactless credit and debit cards, and NFC-equipped smart phones.
Once fully implemented, the Portland transit agency’s 310,000 daily riders would be able to add funds to their cards either online or at a robust network of neighborhood supermarkets and retailers. The system would also incorporate an incentive program that would work like a frequent-rider punch card.
In two weeks, the TriMet board is expected to approve a contract for the project’s design and implementation. TriMet said the new system should pay for itself by reducing fare evasion and lowering the high costs associated with ticket vending machines, cash purchases and collection processing.
Testing is scheduled to begin with TriMet employees in 2015 and limited a customer pilot program in 2016. The system-wide launch would happen in 2017.