Proof-of-payment systems that use ticket vending/validating machines can reduce boarding times by up to 38 percent.

August 2004
Las Vegas,Nevada,United States

Summary Information

One of the Federal Transit Administration's (FTA) objectives is to provide local and state officials with the information they need to make informed transportation investment decisions. The 2004 report, Characteristics of Bus Rapid Transit for Decision-Making (CBRT) was prepared to provide transportation planners and decision makers with basic information and data to support the development and evaluation of bus rapid transit concepts as one of many options during alternatives analyses and subsequent project planning. The purpose of the report is to provide the features and attributes of bus rapid transit (BRT), how the elements relate to system performance, and the benefits of implementing BRT systems.

BRT systems in the United States are beginning to offer variations in fare collection. Most BRT systems use payment on-board the vehicle to a farebox as the primary means to collect fares. The North Las Vegas MAX has inaugurated service with proof-of-payment system. Variations on proof-of-payment such as free downtown zones and pay-on-exit are used in Orlando, Seattle, and Pittsburgh.

Findings on Proof-of-Payment systems include:
  • Proof-of-Payment and Barrier-Enforced Pre-Payment – can provide significant reductions in boarding times. According to the Transit Quality of Service Manual (2nd Edition), proof-of-payment systems can provide up to a 38 percent reduction in boarding times, as well as corresponding reductions in dwell times.
  • Multiple door channels for boarding and alighting can reduce passenger service times even further, to a fraction of other fare collection approaches. For example, two, three, four, and six door channels can reduce the 2.5 seconds per total passenger required to board under complete prepaid fare system to 1.5, 1.1, 0.9, and 0.6 seconds per total passenger boarding at a particular stop, respectively. (1)

(1) Transit Capacity and Quality of Service Manual, 2nd Edition, Transportation Research Board, Washington, D.C., Exhibit 4-2.

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Characteristics of Bus Rapid Transit for Decision Making

Author: Diaz, Roderick B.

Published By: U.S. DOT Federal Transit Administration,

Source Date: August 2004

Other Reference Number: Report No. FTA-VA-26-7222-2004.1


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smart cards, electronic fare payment, SmartCard, smart card, SmartCards

Benefit ID: 2008-00554