Laketran, the Regional Transit Authority for Lake County, Ohio is the first system in Ohio to introduce the use of Smart Cards for fare payment.
The Smart Card option, which becomes effective on Monday, August 16, 2010, allows passengers to pre-load their fare cards then pay their fare when boarding by simply tapping the electronic chip in the card to the Smart Card icon on the fare box. “We are excited to be the first system in Ohio to introduce this convenience option for our passengers,” notes Laketran General Manager Ray Jurkowski, “Over the past few years, we have focused on making Laketran easier to use and accessible to all of our citizens by improving our passenger amenities such as our ride guides and developing our web-site to be customer-focused to quickly access to the most frequently searched information.”
The Smart Card is made of a durable plastic thereby providing the passenger with a long-term reusable card and reducing the number of paper fare media used by the transit agency. Jessie Baginski, Laketran’s director or communications, anticipates the greatest number of users will come from the commuter express and local fixed route services. “Our data on riders from these two services tell us they have the highest frequency of use and would be most likely to desire a card that can be reused. Saving money is one of the top reasons our riders use transit. The Smart Card can be pre-loaded with up to $200 at any time, allowing our passengers great flexibility to plan and budget for their transportation needs.”
A unique feature of the Smart Card is the option to purchase lost card protection when the card is first purchased. This protection allows the rider to report a lost or stolen card to Laketran and have their card replaced with the balance at the time of deactivation to a new card. “Although the incidence of lost monthly passes or multi-ride tickets has been very low over the years, this protection plan offers a measure of security for our Smart Card users,” notes Baginski, “As each Smart Card has a unique ID when issued, Laketran has the ability to deactivate the card from the system at the end of a day, and allows us to replace the rider’s card with the remaining balance.”
Laketran introduced an electronic fare collection system across all of its buses beginning in May 2010 on Dial-a-Ride, and in June 2010 on fixed routes and commuter express services. “This system has helped us to improve our fare collections,” states Jurkowski, “Of equal importance is the comments we have received from our passengers about the ease of use and convenience of this system. The Smart Cards are another step in improved accessibility, mobility and choice for all of our citizens.”
For more information, please contact Laketran 440-350-1008.