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City to examine new transit payment methods – Metro US

City to examine new transit payment methods

With a $7-million capital program already on the books for alternate pay on city transit, aldermen considered additional methods to improve payment access for users.

Transit director Fred Wong confirmed during yesterday’s council meeting that a request for proposals for alternate payment methods will go out in March and council could expect more details by the fall.

Wong said a rollout of new pay methods is anticipated for 2012 with federal funding in place, and smart cards are among the methods being considered.

But Ald. Ric McIver suggested in his discussion with administration that a credit card payment system could be installed within six to eight months, at a cost of $1.5 million.

“That would allow a large percentage of users to have another payment option without having to carry around another piece of plastic in their wallet or purse,” McIver said.

Transit user Mike Ingersoll said he can’t wait for alternative payments at train stations where exact change will not be required.

“It would really help. I just spent 10 minutes trying to use the same quarter and it wouldn’t work, so it would help a lot for things like that,” he said.

A second part to the motion to investigate turnstiles at select transit locations was soundly defeated.

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