PAT hasn’t pushed the Connect Card fully. The reason this is said is because disposable fares such as bus tickets and paper passes are still issued. Under the ACTA plan, cash fares will be supported, although some routes will impose a surcharge. ConnecTix will be supported, but on a more limited role since they can only be loaded at time of purchase. The Connect Cards will be revamped and restructured. However, current Connect Card users will likely see little or no change.
The standard Connect Card will be kept the same. This will mean those that pay per trip will be able to pay for the trip, and then just pay $1.00 for any Connector, Primary, or Secondary Route. Fixed Line Routes will be $2.00 on a transfer. A difference will be that a second transfer will be allowed (within the 3 hour time limit). This will quiet many of the issues one might claim with regards of reducing primary routes in opting for Connectors.
Fun Ride Cards
This will be a new card issued for children of 6-11. The Fun Ride card will allow children to have their own card which will likely be tied to a family account. The child will tap the card which will deduct half of the fare. This will also apply to transfers as the transfer is tied to the card. Parents can acquire a Fun Ride Card which will then allow the child to have all of the benefits. Once the child turns 12, they will be required to transition to a full fare card which funds are then transferred to the new card.
ACTA plan will also call for the negotiation with the various school systems to provide bus services for the students, and in turn the school district can negotiate for prices (much like University of Pittsburgh does). Obviously, the school will need to work with ACTA to integrate their IDs to work with ACTA, but this should be simple enough. Passes can also be issued with these cards. The operator of the vehicle will see half fare – child on the register which means the operator can address any fraudulent use of the card.
Disabled Half Fare
Adults that qualify as disabled under the PennDOT guidelines will be able to acquire a special card that reduces the fare by half. This will not only qualify for per ride trips, but passes as well. In example, a 31 day pass will cost $50 as opposed to $100. Those already issued Connect Cards will not acquire passes, but will still be able to use per ride trips. New Connect Cards will have the photo of the individual to deter fraud. These new cards will allow for passes from the funds on the card.
Those with old paper cards will have 30 days to go to ACTA’s service center, and acquire their new Connect Card. All Half Fare cards will be registered, and will allow for the patron to receive a replacement card by mail (for a nominal fee).
Those that live in a supporting public transit network will be able to acquire their first card for free (registration required). If the card is defective, then the patron can turn their card in to get an appropriate replacement. Loss or stolen cards will require a $5.00 fee (to cover the cost of the card) and funds from the old card can be transferred to the new card. If a card is not going to be registered, the $5 fee will also apply.