Saturday, December 24, 2005

New Fare Collection

UTA to test contactless payment card system

The UTA is planning to test a new "contactless" fare system starting on the ski buses and eventually spreading to the entire system. The general idea is to make fare payment easy and more comfortable for the riding public.

While it is wonderful that the UTA is trying to do things that will make riding the system easier which should be one of the primary goals of the organization, trying an untested fare payment system, even if its limited to a certain service, is just asking for trouble.

The is the problem with organizations that have too much free money and do not have to worry about making a profit. Many times the only thing transit authorities seem to care about is having the latest and greatest, and not looking at the potential problems with unproven technology.

We have seen time and time again where a transit agency has tried something completely new that has not been test and it has been a complete failure. Early experiments with automation with such systems as BART are a perfect example. Another example is Amtrak's Acela trains that have never performed the way they should have but they line peoples pocket books.

UTA: let someone else try this out and make sure it works before spending precious dollars on a possible lemon.

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