Wednesday, October 07, 2009

UTA Wins APTA Innovation Award

Markers for UTA buses in Salt Lake CityImage via Wikipedia

UTA Wins APTA Innovation Award For
Electronic Fare System

UTA tap on/tap off system recognized nationally

Salt Lake City — The American Public Transportation Association has awarded the Utah Transit Authority with its Innovation Award for 2009. The award recognizes a public transportation agency for demonstrating innovative concepts in the provision of public transportation services.

UTA was awarded for the development and launch of its new electronic fare collection system, which was launched in January 2009. UTA is the first transit agency in the U.S. to rollout a transit payment system based on the open payment network to its entire fleet.

One of the innovative aspects of the new system is its acceptance of major contactless credit and debit cards such as Visa payWave, MasterCard PayPass, American Express expresspay, and Discover Network Zip. No other transit agency in the nation accepts contactless credit and debit card payments with an electronic fare system.

The system will also work with other smart cards, such as UTA Ed and Eco Passes that are issued through universities, colleges and businesses. The new system can even accept compatible school or employee ID cards that have been activated to work on UTA’s system.

“The fact that we can accept many types of smart cards is a real advantage to our customers,” said Clair Fiet, UTA’s chief technology officer. “People with contactless credit or debit cards don’t have to buy a pass or worry about exact change, they can just tap their card and the appropriate fare is charged.”

Electronic card holders are asked to tap on when boarding and tap off when exiting a bus or train platform. This “end-to-end” approach provides UTA with valuable data that can be used to adjust services to better reflect the actual travel patterns of its riders.

“We are extremely proud of the efforts of our technology office and pleased UTA was recognized by this award,” said John Inglish, UTA general manager. “This new electronic fare collection system will be enormous advantage in planning and development in the years ahead.”

UTA eventually plans to expand the new electronic fare system to become the primary method of fare collection for the agency.

For more information on UTA’s electronic fare collection system, visit


Established in 1970, UTA has become a multi-modal transportation leader that is 100 percent accessible with 69 light rail vehicles, 35 commuter rail cars and more than 600 buses. UTA’s TRAX light rail system is currently averaging over 40,000 riders a day along its 15-mile Salt Lake-Sandy line and the 4-mile University Line. UTA is an ISO 14001:2004 9001:2000 certified agency. During the 2002 Winter Olympic Games, UTA’s transit system was declared a great success on the international scene - carrying more than four million Olympic riders.

Follow UTA on Twitter:@RideUTA 48-UTA-100709

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