After 24 years, Gold Coast Transit is Installing New Fareboxes
The 24 year-old fareboxes on board Gold Coast Transit (GCT) buses will be replaced beginning on Friday, May 17th, with the full fleet of 54 buses being completed by Sunday, May 19th. The new Odyssey Electronic Validating Farebox, developed by GFI Genfare, will improve the customer experience with its easy to use magnetic swipe reader.
“Passengers will see incremental change over the next few months”, said Steven P. Brown, GCT’s General Manager. The first phase of change will begin on Sunday, May 19th with new fareboxes changing the way transfers are handled. Under the current system, drivers issue passengers paper transfers valid for 90 minutes after the bus completes its trip. The new electronic farebox will now issue a magnetic transfer card valid for 2 hours. Rather than having the driver read the last time indicated on the paper transfer to confirm its validity, the passenger will now swipe or dip their magnetic transfer for validation. If expired, a voice message will announce that the transfer is no longer valid. “This allows for smoother, faster boarding”, said Brown.
Additionally, the farebox will have the capability to sell day passes on board. Previously, these could only be purchased at the Customer Service Center or at one of the authorized ticket outlets. The day passes are valid for unlimited rides, until 11:59pm on the date of purchase.
The second phase, expected later this year, will introduce new fare categories and allow GCT to convert all of the prepaid fare cards such as passes and multi-ride tickets into electronic cards that the farebox will recognize and validate.
“We’ll offer a demo farebox at our community meetings scheduled in May to show our passengers how to use their new transfers”, said Helene Buchman, GCT’s Director of Planning and Marketing. “We will also be providing our initial ideas for the revised fare categories and seeking customer feedback. We encourage all to attend”, said Buchman.
In August 2012, a joint procurement request for proposal (RFP) to replace fareboxes and fare collection systems for Gold Coast Transit, Thousand Oaks Transit (TOT), Simi Valley Transit (SVT) and VISTA, operated by the Ventura County Transportation Commission, was issued and competitive proposals were received. A technical evaluation and price analysis was conducted and the proposal from GFI was determined to be fair, reasonable and to be the most advantageous to GCT, TOT and SVT, price and other factors considered. In March 2013, GCT’s Board of Directors authorized the purchase for GCT as well as the Ventura County Transportation Commission’s inter-city bus service, VISTA.
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