Based on a travel reduction ordinance requiring Phoenix employers with over 100 employees to reduce single-occupancy commuting trips by 5 percent, the City Public Transport Agency led the development of a Bus Card Plus system and as of 1996, 190 companies participated with a resulting 90 percent of express route fares paid by these bus pass cards.

Phoenix,Arizona,United States

Summary Information

The Phoenix transit operators have used electronic fare payment techniques since 1991. Maricopa County, the county encompassing Phoenix, passed a travel reduction ordinance that required each employer in the Phoenix area with over 100 employees to reduce single-occupancy commuting trips by 5 percent in two years. This ordinance was passed to help the county comply with the Arizona state legislatures' air quality bill passed in the late 1980's.

To assist in the data collection needed for this program as well as to reduce operational problems, the City of Phoenix Public Transport System led the development of a Bus Card Plus system designed to read magnetically encoded plastic passes. As of 1996, 190 companies participated in the Arizona system and a total of 35,000 cards were in use.

Express routes reported that 90 percent of fares were paid by bus pass cards, and since employers have been billed only for transit usage rather than purchasing monthly passes, costs to them have decreased by up to 33 percent. During the four months between May and September 1995, processing fees totaled under 7 percent of the revenue generated and no major problems were reported.


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Using Credit Cards To Pay Bus Fares in Phoenix

Author: Schwenk, J.

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

Prepared by Volpe for the U.S. DOT

Source Date: 1996

Other Reference Number: Report No. DOT-TSC-FTA-96-01


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

Benefit ID: 2000-00003