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Thread: debit card like bus passes

  1. #1
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    Default debit card like bus passes

    I remembered a thread that had an article about how TheBus is testing out a new bus pass, that is like a debit card (where you can refill your pass and it'll deduct from that amount when you swipe it in a bus).

    I hope that this won't catch on, because I take the bus to and from school everyday for 4 days a week, and usually I stop at various places on my way home, or go out on other days.

    If this debit card like pass gets implimented, how do I know if I have enough money? What if I run out and I didn't know it (and I don't have any cash to pay?) What will happen?
    How'd I get so white and nerdy?

  2. #2

    Default Re: debit card like bus passes

    If it's anything like the MetroCard here in NYC which you can use on the bus or subway, the remaining amount on your card will display when you swipe your card(if it's a pay-per-ride card rather than an unlimited ride card). The subway stations also have machines at stations where you can check your balance.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: debit card like bus passes

    Quote Originally Posted by adri1456
    I remembered a thread that had an article about how TheBus is testing out a new bus pass, that is like a debit card (where you can refill your pass and it'll deduct from that amount when you swipe it in a bus).
    The previous discussion is here, mixed in with talk about the now-abandoned "E-Transit" route. I see AuntieNellieKulolo chimed in there with her NYC observations as well!

    For me, I think it'd be easier to keep a card like this charged than it would be for me to always remember to have dollar bills in my wallet. I do most of my spending electronically, anyway, and having cash on hand usually means I give into temptation at vending machines too often.
    Last edited by helen; May 2nd, 2005 at 08:53 AM. Reason: Fix the link

  4. #4

    Default Re: debit card like bus passes

    We don't have fare cards like NYC and SF have, but we can buy bus passes every month for fixed rates (there are different rates depending on how many zones you cross). That way, you can use your bus pass on any public transportation (bus or trolley) all month and not have to worry about refueling your card during the month, and the number of rides is unlimited.

    Miulang

  5. #5
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    Default Re: debit card like bus passes

    Quote Originally Posted by Miulang
    We don't have fare cards like NYC and SF have, but we can buy bus passes every month for fixed rates (there are different rates depending on how many zones you cross). That way, you can use your bus pass on any public transportation (bus or trolley) all month and not have to worry about refueling your card during the month, and the number of rides is unlimited.

    Miulang
    Just like our current bus passes @ $40/month, which I like because you don't have to keep track of any balance; if you lose it, then you get another one.

    And if this was tied into a bank account or something similar, then you can just deposit cash right into your account w/ no fuss, or do it online.
    How'd I get so white and nerdy?

  6. #6
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    Angry Re: debit card like bus passes

    City Cancels Bus Smart Card Program

    Smart cards were supposed to make things more convenient for thousands of Oahu bus riders. However, the program has been plagued with problems and is nearly two years behind schedule, so Mayor Mufi Hannemann's administration is canceling it.

    KITV 4 News first raised questions about smart cards in the summer of 2003 when the city awarded the $2.2 million high-tech bus card contract to a construction company with no experience in public transportation.
    Another immense waste of taxpayer dollars. How can anyone support the city spending $2.7 billion on fixed rail when they cannot even properly implement a "smart card" program for $2.2 million? Once again the taxpayers get burned.

    Thank former Mayor Harris for this one too.
    I'm still here. Are you?

  7. #7
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    Default Re: debit card like bus passes

    Looks like they're stupid enough to restart it:

    Smart Card could see a comeback

    It fizzled earlier this year, but a debit card-like system for city buses may make a comeback.

    The Honolulu City Council's Transportation Committee wants the administration to revive the fare-payment system that lets users store bus fares on a debit card.

    The city pulled the plug on "smart cards" in May.

    Two city departments will report back to the council within two months about the costs of bringing the program back, as well as what existing equipment could be re-used.
    -------------------------------
    And some buses still have the equipment, but its covered in a plastic bag.
    How'd I get so white and nerdy?

  8. #8

    Default Re: debit card like bus passes

    Quote Originally Posted by doc1456
    Two city departments will report back to the council within two months about the costs of bringing the program back, as well as what existing equipment could be re-used.
    -------------------------------
    And some buses still have the equipment, but its covered in a plastic bag.
    My guess is that because the technology is now at least 3 years old, that they're not going to be able to recycle much of it. Another really smart use of taxpayer money. The two departments charged with investigating a restart of the program should just throw everything out and start from scratch, and this time, get some consultants who know what they're doing!

    Miulang

  9. #9
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    Default Re: debit card like bus passes

    I kind of think that such a system doesn't make sense here in Honolulu since bus riders pay the same fare if they ride just a mile or around the island. Now if the cost of the fare was based on zones then maybe it will make sense, but that too might be hard to do given the number of riders in a bus.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: debit card like bus passes

    Quote Originally Posted by helen
    I kind of think that such a system doesn't make sense here in Honolulu since bus riders pay the same fare if they ride just a mile or around the island. Now if the cost of the fare was based on zones then maybe it will make sense, but that too might be hard to do given the number of riders in a bus.
    Yeah. I don't know how a debit system would work, as some of us take the bus to school to and from school/work daily, and sometimes I make unscheduled stops (library, grab a bite to eat, shopping). If I do the math, then I'd be spending about twice as what I paid for the bus pass, and I don't want to be spending $80/month just to ride a vehicle that has schedule issues, passengers don't cooperate, and the driver don't know when to stop at at bus stop. I rather fight the hour traffic in a car going to and from school (and trying to find parking while calling my teacher that I'll be a bit late) then spend that much for sub-par service.
    How'd I get so white and nerdy?

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