PAT Delays New Ticket System

Implementation of a new fare collection system on the light rail network in Pittsburgh has been delayed.

The Port Authority of Allegheny County had planned to implement a cashless, proof-of-payment system but has put that off because, among reasons, it has not yet received all of its ConnectCard machines that dispense the new fare cards and tickets at stations.

Once the system is operational, PAT trains will no longer accept cash payments. Passengers will instead use pre-purchased ConnectCards that are validated on the platform before boarding.

The transit agency said the new system will speed up boarding by enabling doors to be opened at more locations.

Originally expected to be in place by June, the additional card machines will not arrive until October.

Another factor has been software performance problems on existing ConnectCard machines and issues with the validators that are part of the new system.

“The goal of the policy is to make the customer experience better, but in order to make that happen, all of the equipment must be available, functional and reliable,” said David Donahoe, the Port Authority’s interim chief executive officer, in a statement.

“Because these items will take time to resolve, I’m not prepared to announce a new start date until I see the results of the work now underway, including field testing.”

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