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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 3 - Case Examples." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Considering the Unbanked in Cashless Fare Payment at Point of Service for Bus/Demand-Response Services. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26589.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 3 - Case Examples." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Considering the Unbanked in Cashless Fare Payment at Point of Service for Bus/Demand-Response Services. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26589.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 3 - Case Examples." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Considering the Unbanked in Cashless Fare Payment at Point of Service for Bus/Demand-Response Services. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26589.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 3 - Case Examples." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Considering the Unbanked in Cashless Fare Payment at Point of Service for Bus/Demand-Response Services. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26589.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 3 - Case Examples." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Considering the Unbanked in Cashless Fare Payment at Point of Service for Bus/Demand-Response Services. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26589.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 3 - Case Examples." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Considering the Unbanked in Cashless Fare Payment at Point of Service for Bus/Demand-Response Services. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26589.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 3 - Case Examples." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Considering the Unbanked in Cashless Fare Payment at Point of Service for Bus/Demand-Response Services. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26589.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 3 - Case Examples." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Considering the Unbanked in Cashless Fare Payment at Point of Service for Bus/Demand-Response Services. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26589.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 3 - Case Examples." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Considering the Unbanked in Cashless Fare Payment at Point of Service for Bus/Demand-Response Services. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26589.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 3 - Case Examples." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Considering the Unbanked in Cashless Fare Payment at Point of Service for Bus/Demand-Response Services. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26589.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 3 - Case Examples." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Considering the Unbanked in Cashless Fare Payment at Point of Service for Bus/Demand-Response Services. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26589.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 3 - Case Examples." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Considering the Unbanked in Cashless Fare Payment at Point of Service for Bus/Demand-Response Services. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26589.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 3 - Case Examples." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Considering the Unbanked in Cashless Fare Payment at Point of Service for Bus/Demand-Response Services. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26589.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 3 - Case Examples." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Considering the Unbanked in Cashless Fare Payment at Point of Service for Bus/Demand-Response Services. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26589.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 3 - Case Examples." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Considering the Unbanked in Cashless Fare Payment at Point of Service for Bus/Demand-Response Services. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26589.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 3 - Case Examples." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Considering the Unbanked in Cashless Fare Payment at Point of Service for Bus/Demand-Response Services. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26589.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 3 - Case Examples." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Considering the Unbanked in Cashless Fare Payment at Point of Service for Bus/Demand-Response Services. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26589.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 3 - Case Examples." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Considering the Unbanked in Cashless Fare Payment at Point of Service for Bus/Demand-Response Services. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26589.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 3 - Case Examples." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Considering the Unbanked in Cashless Fare Payment at Point of Service for Bus/Demand-Response Services. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26589.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 3 - Case Examples." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Considering the Unbanked in Cashless Fare Payment at Point of Service for Bus/Demand-Response Services. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26589.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 3 - Case Examples." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Considering the Unbanked in Cashless Fare Payment at Point of Service for Bus/Demand-Response Services. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26589.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 3 - Case Examples." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Considering the Unbanked in Cashless Fare Payment at Point of Service for Bus/Demand-Response Services. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26589.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 3 - Case Examples." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Considering the Unbanked in Cashless Fare Payment at Point of Service for Bus/Demand-Response Services. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26589.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 3 - Case Examples." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Considering the Unbanked in Cashless Fare Payment at Point of Service for Bus/Demand-Response Services. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26589.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 3 - Case Examples." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Considering the Unbanked in Cashless Fare Payment at Point of Service for Bus/Demand-Response Services. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26589.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 3 - Case Examples." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Considering the Unbanked in Cashless Fare Payment at Point of Service for Bus/Demand-Response Services. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26589.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 3 - Case Examples." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Considering the Unbanked in Cashless Fare Payment at Point of Service for Bus/Demand-Response Services. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26589.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 3 - Case Examples." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Considering the Unbanked in Cashless Fare Payment at Point of Service for Bus/Demand-Response Services. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26589.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 3 - Case Examples." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Considering the Unbanked in Cashless Fare Payment at Point of Service for Bus/Demand-Response Services. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26589.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 3 - Case Examples." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Considering the Unbanked in Cashless Fare Payment at Point of Service for Bus/Demand-Response Services. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26589.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 3 - Case Examples." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Considering the Unbanked in Cashless Fare Payment at Point of Service for Bus/Demand-Response Services. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26589.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 3 - Case Examples." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Considering the Unbanked in Cashless Fare Payment at Point of Service for Bus/Demand-Response Services. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26589.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 3 - Case Examples." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Considering the Unbanked in Cashless Fare Payment at Point of Service for Bus/Demand-Response Services. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26589.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 3 - Case Examples." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Considering the Unbanked in Cashless Fare Payment at Point of Service for Bus/Demand-Response Services. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26589.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 3 - Case Examples." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Considering the Unbanked in Cashless Fare Payment at Point of Service for Bus/Demand-Response Services. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26589.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 3 - Case Examples." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Considering the Unbanked in Cashless Fare Payment at Point of Service for Bus/Demand-Response Services. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26589.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 3 - Case Examples." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Considering the Unbanked in Cashless Fare Payment at Point of Service for Bus/Demand-Response Services. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26589.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 3 - Case Examples." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Considering the Unbanked in Cashless Fare Payment at Point of Service for Bus/Demand-Response Services. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26589.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 3 - Case Examples." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Considering the Unbanked in Cashless Fare Payment at Point of Service for Bus/Demand-Response Services. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26589.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 3 - Case Examples." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Considering the Unbanked in Cashless Fare Payment at Point of Service for Bus/Demand-Response Services. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26589.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 3 - Case Examples." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Considering the Unbanked in Cashless Fare Payment at Point of Service for Bus/Demand-Response Services. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26589.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 3 - Case Examples." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Considering the Unbanked in Cashless Fare Payment at Point of Service for Bus/Demand-Response Services. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26589.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 3 - Case Examples." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Considering the Unbanked in Cashless Fare Payment at Point of Service for Bus/Demand-Response Services. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26589.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 3 - Case Examples." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Considering the Unbanked in Cashless Fare Payment at Point of Service for Bus/Demand-Response Services. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26589.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 3 - Case Examples." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Considering the Unbanked in Cashless Fare Payment at Point of Service for Bus/Demand-Response Services. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26589.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 3 - Case Examples." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Considering the Unbanked in Cashless Fare Payment at Point of Service for Bus/Demand-Response Services. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26589.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 3 - Case Examples." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Considering the Unbanked in Cashless Fare Payment at Point of Service for Bus/Demand-Response Services. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26589.
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Below is the uncorrected machine-read text of this chapter, intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text of each book. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

18 This chapter presents the results of nine case examples. First, the process for selecting case examples and the methods for compiling them are briefly discussed, then the results of each case example are presented. Selection of Case Examples To be considered, transit agencies needed to meet the following three criteria: 1. Agencies must operate bus and/or paratransit services; rail-only agencies were not considered. Cable cars were included because they operate similarly to local bus services, with frequent stops and few, if any, stations. 2. Agencies have publicly stated they are considering or have already implemented cashless on part or all of their bus or paratransit services. Agencies that had not documented this publicly (e.g., on a website, in an interview) were excluded. 3. Agency staff were willing to participate in an hour-long interview to provide information on their fare collection systems. The final list of selected transit agencies includes those in various stages of considering, plan- ning for, or implementing cashless fare collection. As shown below, some of these have con- ducted small-scale pilot programs of cashless fare collection on one or a small number of routes; others temporarily suspended cash fare collection due to the COVID-19 pandemic; and the remainder are currently considering, planning for, or implementing cashless fare collection systemwide. The nine case examples can therefore be broadly classified into three groups: 1. Small-scale pilot program of cashless fare collection a. Muni (San Francisco, CA): pilot program moving toward cashless cable cars b. WMATA (Washington, DC): cash-free pilot program on a single bus route 2. Temporarily suspended cash fare collection due to COVID-19 a. TriMet (Portland, OR): temporary suspension of cash fare collection on buses b. NJ TRANSIT (New Jersey): temporary suspension of bus and commuter rail onboard cash fare collection c. Port Authority of Allegheny County (Pittsburgh, PA): temporary suspension of cash fare collection on buses 3. Considering, planning for, or implementing cashless fare collection systemwide a. COTA (Columbus, OH): currently considering cashless fare collection b. RTA (Dayton, OH): recently eliminated cash payments on buses and planning to eliminate cash on paratransit vehicles as part of its new account-based fare system C H A P T E R 3 Case Examples

Case Examples 19   c. MBTA (Boston, MA): planning to eliminate cash payments on buses as part of its new account-based fare collection system d. Big Blue Bus (Santa Monica, CA): currently conducting a systemwide pilot program of cashless fare collection on buses Method The method used for the case examples was semi-structured interviews. Transit agency staff were emailed and asked to participate in an online interview using Zoom that lasted approxi- mately one hour. The interview structure is in the Interview Guide in the Appendix. All inter- views were recorded (with the consent of the respondent) for the purpose of taking notes and accurately capturing the conversation. When needed, additional documentation such as reports or presentations was requested from the transit agency after the interview. Case Example 1: Muni The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) oversees the San Francisco Municipal Railway (Muni), including the buses, streetcars, cable cars, and light rail in San Francisco, CA. The 2019 National Transit Database (NTD) agency profile and the logos for Muni and the SFMTA are shown in Figure 3. This case example focuses specifically on Muni’s cable car system, which comprises three routes; according to the 2019 NTD profile, there were 5,703,705 annual unlinked passenger trips on the cable car system. Operational Aspects of Muni’s Fare Collection System The different transit modes operated by Muni all have a flat fare structure and period passes, but the cable cars have a substantially higher flat fare than the other modes, largely due to the high operating cost of running this historic system. The single-ride fare on the cable cars at the time cashless fares were being considered was $7, and it increased to $8 in January 2020. “Passport” period passes (e.g., 1-day passes) are also available for the cable cars. Cable car customers can purchase fares via two primary channels. First, there are third-party vendors throughout the city that sell paper tickets, such as Walgreens. Second, there are a small number of kiosks close to the cable car routes where customers can buy paper tickets. Cus- tomers can use a smart card called the Clipper card, which is part of the regional automated fare system, but it is not widely used on the cable cars. It should be noted that there is a $3 one- time fee to purchase a Clipper card. Last, at the time Muni was considering cashless fares, a ticketing app called MuniMobile had recently become available, but it comprised a very small fraction of cable car ticket purchases. A summary of cable car ticket sales for FY 2013–2017 is shown in Table 8. Source: NTD 2019. Annual Passenger Miles: 451,272,528 Annual Unlinked Trips: 223,338,056 Annual Vehicle Revenue Miles: 26,511,783 Figure 3. SFMTA Muni logo and NTD agency profile.

20 Considering the Unbanked in Cashless Fare Payment at Point of Service for Bus/Demand-Response Services Collecting fares on the cable cars presents a unique challenge. Because of the historic nature of the cable cars, which are the only moving national landmark in the United States, fare equip- ment has not been installed on the vehicles. Moreover, unlike most buses, cable cars do not have a single point of entry (see Figure 4). Fare collection is done primarily by the conductor. Each cable car is staffed by two Muni employees: a grip operator who drives the vehicle and a conductor responsible for assisting with braking on hills and collecting fares. The conductor goes through the vehicle and collects cash fares, which they hold in their pockets, and then provides the customer a receipt. The con- ductor also inspects prepurchased paper tickets and has a handheld card reader that can be used to scan Clipper cards. In 2018, Muni began planning a pilot program with the goal of significantly reducing cash collection on cable cars. It is important to note that the pilot program did not completely elimi- nate cash on board the vehicle; rather, the goal was to reduce it as much as possible and consider moving to a fully cashless system for the cable cars. In 2019, the pilot program was implemented with three primary changes: 1. Prepayment was required at sales kiosks in primary locations, such as near the tourist loca- tion Fisherman’s Wharf (see Figure 5). To facilitate this, kiosk hours were increased to 8 a.m.–8 p.m., 7 days a week. 2. Pricing was changed to incentivize prepayment. The price of Passport period passes was reduced when purchased on the Clipper card or the new MuniMobile app. 3. A comprehensive marketing, communications, and signage plan was implemented to encourage customers to prepay. Source: Muni. Figure 4. Photo of historic cable cars. *Does not include MuniMobile or Clipper (less than 1% of total sales combined) Source: Presentation to Muni board of directors. Table 8. Muni cable car ticket sales overview.

Case Examples 21   Motivation, Advantages, and Drawbacks of Cashless Muni’s impetus for considering cashless fare collection on the cable cars was a 2017 Con- troller’s Audit that estimated cash fares were not collected on cable cars 37% of the time. This was likely causing a substantial reduction in revenue. Muni then identified two other potential advantages of moving toward cashless fare collec- tion on the cable cars: 1. Enhancing safety for operators (see Figure 6). As previously noted, the cable car conduc- tor has numerous roles, including helping to brake the vehicle and fare collection. Moving Source: Muni. Figure 5. Muni ticket sales kiosk. Source: Muni. Figure 6. Cable car conductor.

22 Considering the Unbanked in Cashless Fare Payment at Point of Service for Bus/Demand-Response Services to cashless would allow conductors to focus on other tasks, particularly assisting with vehicle operations. 2. Eliminating onboard cash handling. Cash handling has the potential to be a security issue, which could be reduced or eliminated with cashless. Some potential drawbacks were also identified: 1. Communicating changes to the tourism market would require additional resources. 2. There were limited outlets, hours, and locations for in-person sales. 3. Unpaid customers could be required to disembark en route, requiring operators to act in an expanded enforcement capacity. Regarding the third potential drawback, onboard cash collection was not completely elimi- nated during the pilot program, and customers were allowed to pay cash on board if they had not prepurchased a ticket. This led to some confusion for customers who had waited in line at kiosks and then saw other customers pay cash on board. This was identified as an important lesson learned from this pilot program. Planning, Policy, and Regulatory Aspects Since cash payment on cable cars was not completely eliminated during the program, a Title VI analysis was not conducted for the pilot. However, a Title VI fare policy analysis was conducted during a similar timeframe in relation to the pricing changes, particularly differential pricing across fare media types. The cable cars are not ADA compliant, so ADA-related analyses were not conducted. Last, San Francisco is one of a few municipalities in the United States to have recently enacted a law requiring businesses to accept cash, but this appears to be focused on brick-and-mortar businesses (Renda 2019). Considerations for Special Populations of Riders As discussed in the literature review in Chapter 2, one special population of transit riders to be considered when planning for cashless fare collection systems is the unbanked. Per the FDIC definition, a household is unbanked when no one in the household has a checking or savings account at a bank or credit union (Apaam et al. 2018). The FDIC regularly collects survey data on the number of unbanked households in a region, and the most recent statistics for the San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) are shown in Figure 7. Source: FDIC 2019b. Figure 7. Unbanked rate by year for the San Francisco MSA.

Case Examples 23   The primary market for the cable cars is tourists, who are a key population Muni considered for outreach and education. Muni coordinated with numerous local partners—including the San Francisco Travel Association, a local hotel association, and a local concierge association—to help inform tourists of the changes to the cable car fare system. Results and Future Plans Preliminary results from the pilot program suggest a reduction of approximately 25% in cash payments on cable cars. It is unclear how much of this reduction can be attributed to marketing and customer education versus implementing pricing differentials by fare media. After approxi- mately 1 year, the pilot program was made permanent on the cable car system. Muni does not have plans to move forward with a fully cashless system, however. Last, it should be noted that the cable car service was suspended in early 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and is still not in operation at time of writing in 2021. Summary and Lessons Learned An overview of this case example and the lessons learned are as follows: • Muni focused on cable cars, which have unique challenges due to the historic nature of the vehicles, with no fare collection equipment and multiple points of entry. • The market for cable cars is primarily tourists; Muni therefore focused marketing and out- reach on this group. • Muni implemented a pilot program that took a step toward cashless by aiming to significantly reduce onboard cash payments. At time of writing, the agency has not decided to go fully cashless. • Key motivations for reducing cash payments on board were to improve operator safety (conductors also help with braking the cable car) and to improve security by reducing cash handling. • A key lesson learned was to work with conductors to identify scenarios that could lead to confusion or conflicts with customers. For example, some customers were confused or frus- trated after waiting in line at a kiosk to purchase a ticket and then seeing other customers pay cash on board. Case Example 2: WMATA The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) serves the Washington, DC, metropolitan region, providing heavy rail, bus, and demand-responsive transportation services. The 2019 NTD agency profile and WMATA logo are shown in Figure 8. Source: NTD 2019. Annual Passenger Miles: 1,705,447,703 Annual Unlinked Trips: 354,656,249 Annual Vehicle Revenue Miles: 144,489,307 Figure 8. WMATA logo and NTD agency profile.

24 Considering the Unbanked in Cashless Fare Payment at Point of Service for Bus/Demand-Response Services Operational Aspects of WMATA’s Fare Collection System The different modes operated by WMATA have different fare policies. The heavy rail system, called Metrorail or Metro, has a distance-based fare policy, whereas the bus system, Metrobus, which is the focus of this case example, has a flat fare structure. Metrobus customers can purchase fares via four main point-of-sale channels. First, customers can load value onto a SmarTrip card at ticket vending machines (TVMs) in Metrorail stations. Second, WMATA has a retail sales network with about 250 locations. Third, customers can add value to their SmarTrip card online, though there is a lag time before value appears on the card. Fourth, when customers board the bus, they can pay the cash fare or reload their SmarTrip card with cash directly at the farebox. Finally, it should be noted that WMATA recently launched a mobile fare payment app; however, this was done after the agency considered cashless fare collection. WMATA wants to identify policy and operational changes that could speed up bus service. From 2015 to 2017, WMATA conducted research internally about transaction times for different methods of payment. The agency concluded that adding cash to a SmarTrip card on a vehicle was the slowest, followed by single-fare cash payment at the farebox, and using a SmarTrip card (without reloading) was fastest. Given the differences in transaction times, the agency decided to pursue a single-route pilot program to assess the impacts of cash-free boarding. In June 2018, WMATA launched the pilot on the Route 79 MetroExtra, which is a limited- stop service that runs along Georgia Avenue from Silver Spring, MD, to the Archives Metro station near the National Mall (see Figure 9). This route was selected because it had good alter- natives for customers who wanted to continue to pay with cash. First, it passed multiple Metro stations with TVMs; second, there were a few nearby retail sales locations; and third, there was a parallel local service (Route 70) that continued to accept onboard cash payments during the pilot. Finally, there was a relatively small number of cash payments on Route 79 before the start of the pilot program (9%, which included 3% cash fares and 6% value-add transactions). During the pilot, only SmarTrip payments were accepted on the Route 79 MetroExtra. To inform customers of this change, the bus head sign flipped to “SmarTrip Only.” Additionally, the bus fareboxes were retrofitted with a metal piece covering the cash slot (see Figure 10). Customer communication efforts were also undertaken; this included staff conducting outreach at bus stops and during ride-alongs in the vehicles, as well as working with community organizations along the corridor to post flyers. The pilot program was planned to last 6 months, but it was extended to 12 months to allow for additional data collection. After conducting a detailed evaluation of the route performance, the pilot program ended in June 2019 and onboard cash fare collection resumed on the Route 79 MetroExtra. Motivation, Advantages, and Drawbacks of Cashless The primary objectives of the pilot program were to answer two questions: 1. Can cash-free boarding improve service for Metrobus on the street? 2. How would cash-free affect customers and operators? Other reasons WMATA considered cash-free boarding were the potential to reduce the oper- ating and maintenance costs of fare equipment, as well as to simplify back-end revenue collec- tion. Additionally, the agency viewed cash-free boarding as a potential step toward all-door boarding, which is another strategy WMATA is considering to improve operations.

Case Examples 25   The agency also recognized there could be some drawbacks to going cash-free; the primary concern was the small population of riders who wanted to pay cash and would be negatively affected by this change. For example, some of these riders might simply switch from the limited- stop service to the nearby local route, which would imply that the pilot had a negative impact on those riders. Policy and Regulatory Aspects Since this was a pilot program, formal ADA and Title VI analyses were not conducted. It should be noted that the pilot program was initially intended for 6 months, which does not require a Title VI fare change analysis; WMATA then extended the pilot to 12 months and received an extension from the FTA. Regardless, it should be noted WMATA involved its internal Title VI analyst during the pilot. The agency collected detailed rider survey data in case a Title VI analysis was needed in the future if cash-free boarding were to be made permanent Figure 9. WMATA Route 79 MetroExtra. Source: WMATA.

26 Considering the Unbanked in Cashless Fare Payment at Point of Service for Bus/Demand-Response Services (which never happened). WMATA also held a public hearing in February 2019 (approximately midway through the pilot) to gather public input on the program. Considerations for Special Populations of Riders As discussed in the literature review in Chapter 2, one special population of transit riders to be considered when planning for cashless fare systems is the unbanked. The FDIC regularly collects survey data on the number of unbanked households in a region, and the most recent statistics for the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria MSA are shown in Figure 11. Results and Future Plans WMATA conducted a detailed evaluation of the cash-free boarding pilot on Route 79, includ- ing both customer and operator surveys, and in general both groups liked the pilot program. Source: WMATA. Figure 10. WMATA farebox retrofit for cash-free boarding pilot. Source: FDIC 2019b. Figure 11. Unbanked rates by year for the Washington, DC, MSA.

Case Examples 27   The customer surveys revealed 62% of respondents wanted the pilot to be made permanent (including 58% of low-income riders). Likewise, 80% of surveyed riders reported their trip was faster with the pilot (see Figure 12); this implies there was a perception of improved operations associated with cash-free boarding. The bus operator surveys had similar results; 60% of surveyed operators agreed the pilot pro- gram should be made permanent and another 19% were neutral. However, additional customer research conducted systemwide suggested other customers may be more cautious; 54% of riders surveyed systemwide disagreed with eliminating cash on MetroExtra and other limited-stop routes. In addition to the customer and operator rider surveys, WMATA conducted technical analyses. A summary of the results is shown in Table 9: four of the metrics (fare evasion, running time, cash customers’ response, and operating cost savings) showed little if any difference during the pilot program. One metric may have revealed a negative impact: ridership changes compared with the nearby local Route 70 suggested some riders shifted away from Route 79 during the pilot. Finally, one metric revealed a positive impact: per-person dwell times decreased during the program. However, the net impact of these dwell time changes was estimated to be rather small (less than 30 seconds saved per bus trip). Because numerous metrics showed little if any benefit (particularly running-time savings, which was a primary operational objective), WMATA decided the pilot program would lapse at the end of the 12 months. In the end, the overall benefits of cash-free boarding were not significant Source: WMATA. Table 9. WMATA technical evaluation results of the Route 79 pilot program. Source: WMATA. Agree Neutral or disagree Figure 12. WMATA customer survey results about the Route 79 pilot program.

28 Considering the Unbanked in Cashless Fare Payment at Point of Service for Bus/Demand-Response Services enough to warrant making the pilot permanent or expanding the program. One lesson learned is that the agency selected a route with low cash use before the pilot (only 9%). This meant there was not much room to benefit from going fully cash-free. Perhaps if the agency had selected a route with higher cash use, there would have been more discernible impacts. Moving forward, WMATA does not have plans to continue with cash-free boarding. The agency does, however, want to identify and test other strategies to improve bus operations, and is currently in the planning process for an all-door boarding pilot program. Summary and Lessons Learned An overview of this case example and the lessons learned are as follows: • WMATA launched a 12-month pilot program on a single bus route to evaluate cash-free boarding. • The agency conducted both customer and operator surveys, and in general both groups liked the cash-free boarding pilot. • WMATA also conducted a detailed technical evaluation of the cash-free pilot; however, oper- ational metrics such as running time showed limited, if any, difference. • A key finding of WMATA’s evaluation was that low baseline cash use before the pilot likely limited its potential benefits. Perhaps if the agency had selected a route with higher cash use, there would have been more discernible impacts. Case Example 3: TriMet The Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District (TriMet) serves the Portland, OR, metro- politan area, providing bus service, light rail, commuter rail, and demand-responsive transpor- tation services. The 2019 NTD agency profile and TriMet logo are shown in Figure 13. Operational Aspects of TriMet’s Fare Collection System TriMet’s bus system, which is the focus of this case example, has a flat fare structure and fare capping, with both daily and monthly caps. The TriMet fare collection system is called Hop Fastpass. It is an account-based system that accepts virtual Hop cards on a mobile or wearable device, contactless Hop cards, and open-loop bank cards. Cus- tomers who want to pay with cash have three main options. First, there are TVMs primarily located at light rail stations that accept cash; customers can use cash to purchase a 2.5-hour or 1-day Hop ticket. Second, there are approximately 500 retail locations in a sales network throughout the region where customers can load cash into their Hop account. Third, customers can pay cash directly at the farebox upon boarding TriMet buses to purchase a 2.5-hour or 1-day ticket. As of February 2020, approximately 12% of ticket revenue came from cash payments on board buses (Theen 2020). Fare capping is when a transit agency caps the maximum cost to a rider in a given period, such as 1 day or 1 month. Figure 13. TriMet logo and NTD agency profile. Annual Passenger Miles: 420,317,515 Annual Unlinked Trips: 96,633,005 Annual Vehicle Revenue Miles: 38,140,614 Source: NTD 2019.

Case Examples 29   Some of the earliest COVID-19 cases in the United States were on the West Coast, and in March 2020, as pandemic concerns grew, TriMet announced a temporary policy change of no longer accepting cash on buses “out of an abundance of caution” to protect operators and customers. Customers were encouraged to use the Hop system to pay fares. For a period of approximately 6 months, TriMet did not accept cash payments on buses. During that time, if a customer boarded the vehicle and only had cash, they were allowed to complete their trip but were asked to pay their fare on their next ride. These instructions were given in good faith and were considered educational awareness about the temporary no-cash policy. During the period when onboard cash fare collection was suspended, TriMet made changes to its back-office cash handling procedures. Before COVID-19, most of the agency’s cash came from bus fareboxes; after temporarily suspending onboard cash payments, TriMet scaled back its money room operations to approximately one-third the pre-COVID size. Some of the money room staff were redeployed elsewhere in the system, as many were already trained as station agents. Those employees who continued handling cash in the money room used social distancing and were outfitted with gloves and masks. Also during this period, TriMet accelerated a preexisting project to install barriers around operators at the front of vehicles. This project had begun before the pandemic due to an uptick in the number of assaults on operators, and it was fast-tracked once the pandemic began for public health and safety reasons. The barrier installation process was completed in September 2020, and shortly thereafter, on October 1, TriMet reinstated cash fare collection on buses. Motivation, Advantages, and Drawbacks of Cashless The primary impetus for moving to cashless fare collection on buses was the COVID-19 pandemic. Bus fareboxes are only a few inches from operators, which leads to close interactions between operators and customers. To address health and safety concerns, TriMet temporarily eliminated cash collection and encouraged customers to purchase fares using the Hop system. The contactless Hop card and fare app have faster transaction times than cash payments and require no interaction with the driver or with physical surfaces. Another potential advantage of eliminating onboard cash fare collection was the opportu- nity to shift more customers onto the Hop system. TriMet encourages customers to use Hop (either the physical card or the mobile virtual card) because then customers have access to some advantageous policies. For example, Hop cards allow customers to build toward a daily or monthly fare cap with each tap; this helps frequent riders save money. A second advantage is balance protection: if a customer registers their Hop card, the balance is protected if their card is lost or stolen. There may have been other potential benefits of temporarily eliminating onboard cash fare collection. From an operational perspective, it largely removed the bus operator from the fare collection process, which simplified their job. Additionally, cash payments generally have longer transaction times, so it is possible there were reductions in vehicle dwell times due to the elimina- tion of cash fares. TriMet did not conduct an analysis of the impact on dwell time, however, as there were many other concurrent operational changes and substantial reductions in traffic and ridership during this time. In terms of possible drawbacks, one outcome was a lawsuit alleging the TriMet board of directors’ suspension of cash payments violated Oregon Public Meetings law. The lawsuit was filed under the incorrect assumption that the board of directors had met and approved the sus- pension of cash, but the decision was in fact made by TriMet’s general manager, who has the

30 Considering the Unbanked in Cashless Fare Payment at Point of Service for Bus/Demand-Response Services authority to temporarily suspend cash payments. After TriMet’s lawyers explained this to the plaintiff’s lawyers, the plaintiff took no further action, and the case was dismissed by the court for failing to prosecute the lawsuit. Despite this, there were some news articles concerning the suit that could be viewed negatively. Policy and Regulatory Aspects Because of the temporary nature of the onboard cash suspension, formal analyses such as a Title VI review were not conducted. However, it should be noted that a Title VI service equity analysis was later conducted for transit service changes that occurred during the pandemic and continued through 2021. Considerations for Special Populations of Riders As discussed in the literature review in Chapter 2, one special population of transit riders to be considered when planning for cashless fare systems is the unbanked. The FDIC regularly collects survey data on the number of unbanked households in a region, and the most recent statistics for the Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro MSA are shown in Figure 14. As noted in the literature review in Chapter 2, there has been some recent academic research led by Portland State University on equity considerations for cashless fare systems. Part of this involved intercept surveys of transit riders, including one in the Gresham/Portland area (n = 549). The results revealed that approximately 9% of riders may be unbanked. Additionally, 14% of survey participants said they lacked a smartphone, and 13% did not have data to access the inter- net on their phone (Golub et al. 2021). While this study provides important insights, it should be noted that the survey data collection was not designed to be representative of all TriMet riders. Instead, the research team collected most surveys in two areas: one with a largely lower-income demographic and the other with a higher percentage of homeless people. TriMet also conducts regular customer research surveys. On the agency’s 2018 Attitude and Awareness survey, riders were asked if they have or are planning to upgrade to a smartphone that can connect to the internet, such as an iPhone or Android phone. As can be seen in Table 10, approximately 87% said they already had a smartphone; this is relatively similar to the results of the Portland State University research findings. Figure 14. Unbanked rates by year for the Portland, OR, MSA. Source: FDIC 2019b.

Case Examples 31   Results and Future Plans The results of temporarily moving to cashless fare collection on TriMet buses during the COVID-19 pandemic are unclear since there were numerous service and policy changes during this timeframe. Moreover, there were substantial declines in ridership that made potential opera- tional impacts difficult to ascertain, such as potential reductions in dwell times. Moving forward, TriMet has reinstated cash on buses and does not have plans to eliminate it again. The agency’s future fare collection plans focus on continuing to improve the Hop system. Summary and Lessons Learned An overview of this case example and the lessons learned are as follows: • TriMet temporarily suspended cash fare collection on buses during the COVID-19 pandemic. The suspension lasted for approximately 6 months, which gave the agency time to install barriers at the front of vehicles to protect operators. • The primary motivation was public health concerns; eliminating cash transactions on board reduced operator-customer interactions and helped ensure social distancing. • TriMet customers were encouraged to pay fares by using the account-based Hop system, which includes a mobile fare account management app, virtual Hop cards, and contactless cards, and can accept open-loop bank cards. • The results of temporarily suspending onboard cash collection are unclear since there were numerous other service and policy changes during the same timeframe. • TriMet reinstated cash collection on buses in October 2020 and intends to continue collect- ing cash fares in the future. Case Example 4: NJ TRANSIT The New Jersey Transit Corporation (NJ TRANSIT) provides bus, light rail, commuter rail, and demand-responsive transportation services for the state of New Jersey, and connects to Philadelphia and New York City. The 2019 NTD agency profile and NJ TRANSIT logo are shown in Figure 15. This case example focuses on NJ TRANSIT’s bus (both local and commuter) and commuter rail services. It should be noted that NJ TRANSIT’s light rail system operates a proof- of-payment fare system and therefore, like many other light rail systems, does not accept cash on vehicles. Source: TriMet. Table 10. TriMet 2018 survey results about smartphone adoption.

32 Considering the Unbanked in Cashless Fare Payment at Point of Service for Bus/Demand-Response Services Operational Aspects of NJ TRANSIT’s Fare Collection System NJ TRANSIT bus and commuter rail systems have zone-based fare policies; period passes such as monthly passes are also available. Customers have three primary ways to prepurchase fares. First, NJ TRANSIT’s mobile app, which has been widely adopted. Second, paper tickets from ticket offices and TVMs, which are available at all commuter rail stations and some bus stations, particularly large terminals or garages such as the Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York City. Third, a network of Com- missioned Ticket Agents (CTAs), which are private retail businesses that sell NJ TRANSIT bus tickets. These retailers are spread throughout the state and include local businesses like check- cashing services, coffee shops, and delis. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, NJ TRANSIT had multiple initiatives to reduce onboard fare collection needs, including upgrading an already robust mobile ticketing application and provisioning 550 new TVMs with contactless payment technology. Onboard cash payment was not eliminated; on commuter rail, conductors have primary responsibility for collecting fares as they walk through moving train cars. They punch paper tickets or visually inspect period passes and tickets purchased via NJ TRANSIT’s app. Some conductors also have handheld vali- dators to scan barcodes on paper and mobile tickets; these validators are being rolled out system- wide. Conductors also sell cash fares on board, which are subject to a $5 surcharge; however, only a very small percentage (less than 1%) of customers pay cash on commuter trains. Credit cards are not accepted on board the trains. For buses, fare collection depends on the type of service. NJ TRANSIT has local service in New Jersey and express interstate service to Philadelphia and New York City. On most local routes, cash fares can be paid on board and the driver can also make change, but some local routes only accept exact change cash fares (typically routes that operate in a single metropolitan area like Newark). Interstate commuter service has more restrictions for cash payments. The largest bus terminal, New York City’s Port Authority, requires prepayment; customers must purchase a physical or mobile ticket before entering the gate area for boarding. At most other locations, they have the option to purchase a ticket from the driver on the vehicle, and the driver can make change. It should be noted that most intercity commuter buses do not have a farebox; instead, the driver has cash and can make change. Credit cards are not accepted on either local or express buses. In March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic hit the New York-New Jersey region. In light of public health concerns, NJ TRANSIT quickly implemented numerous operational and policy changes, such as reduced service and increased vehicle cleaning. These changes included a tempo- rary halt on cash collection on board vehicles. For commuter rail, this meant conductors stopped collecting cash, and customers were encouraged to prepurchase tickets from NJ TRANSIT’s app and TVMs. Conductors were provided personal protective equipment (PPE) and were directed to still inspect tickets, but NJ TRANSIT rail experienced a 96% drop in ridership by the end of March 2020, since travel was limited primarily to essential workers. During this time, it is unclear Annual Passenger Miles: 3,171,196,886 Annual Unlinked Trips: 267,270,251 Annual Vehicle Revenue Miles: 163,534,192 Source: NTD 2019. Figure 15. NJ TRANSIT logo and NTD agency profile.

Case Examples 33   how much ticket enforcement was performed in light of minimal passenger travel and fear of the virus. The commuter rail service remained cashless until July 2020, when full weekday service and cash fare collection (including the prepandemic $5 surcharge) resumed on the commuter rail service. Similarly to the rail service, cash collection on buses was temporarily halted in March 2020 due to the pandemic. Both local intrastate and commuter interstate buses implemented rear-door boarding when possible and blocked off the space around the driver; plexiglass barriers were gradually installed at the front of vehicles to protect bus operators. Customers were encouraged to prepurchase tickets, particularly through NJ TRANSIT’s app; however, this was on the honor system. Buses remained cashless until August 2020, when cash fare collection and front-door boarding resumed on all vehicles with protective barriers installed around the operator. Motivation, Advantages, and Drawbacks of Cashless The impetus for moving to cashless fare collection on commuter rail and buses was health and safety concerns stemming from COVID-19. NJ TRANSIT wanted to reduce physical inter- actions between operators and customers, so suspended cash collection on vehicles and encouraged ticket purchases via the app. It should be noted that ridership was substantially lower than pre- pandemic levels during the period when onboard sales were suspended. One possible advantage of cashless fare collection may be reduced dwell times on buses because passengers can board the vehicle faster, particularly when back-door boarding is also available. NJ TRANSIT saw significant improvements in bus on-time performance during spring 2020; however, it is unclear how much (if any) of this is due to cashless fare collection. During the same period, NJ TRANSIT experienced significant ridership drops, which could also lead to reduced dwell times. Moreover, roadway traffic congestion was substantially reduced during this timeframe, which may have contributed to increased bus reliability. In light of the many confounding factors, it is unclear what role cashless operations had in improving bus on-time performance. The primary drawback of the temporary suspension of onboard cash collection was likely a loss in fare revenue. While the exact amount of potential revenue loss is unknown, some loss probably occurred due to passengers boarding transit vehicles without paying. Although bus operators were not collecting fares during this time, they were instructed to count passengers boarding the vehicle for planning purposes. These boarding estimates can be compared to the revenue collected during the same timeframe. While it is nearly impossible to make a precise estimate of losses, comparing the number of boardings with the revenue collected suggests many passengers did not prepay fares as instructed. Policy and Regulatory Aspects Because of the emergency pandemic situation, formal planning processes and policy analyses (such as for Title VI) were not conducted. The primary concern was adhering to new local and state regulations introduced for health and safety. For example, in April 2020, the governor of New Jersey signed Executive Order No. 125, requiring NJ TRANSIT to limit capacity on all public transit services. This executive order also instructed NJ TRANSIT to limit cash transactions with rail conductors and bus operators when possible and to encourage customers to use the mobile app or purchase tickets at vending machines before boarding. Some of these restrictions, such as capacity limits, were lifted or modified in summer 2020, when COVID-19 infection rates slowed in New Jersey.

34 Considering the Unbanked in Cashless Fare Payment at Point of Service for Bus/Demand-Response Services Considerations for Special Populations of Riders As discussed in the literature review in Chapter 2, one special population of transit riders to be considered when planning for cashless fare systems is the unbanked. The FDIC regularly collects survey data on the number of unbanked households in a region, and the most recent statistics for the state of New Jersey are shown in Figure 16. In this case example, one population given special consideration was essential workers at local manufacturing and distribution facilities. NJ TRANSIT reached out to numerous large employers in spring 2020 to assure them that social distancing would be possible on transit vehicles before/ after shift changes. This outreach was focused primarily on service planning and vehicle schedul- ing, however, not on fare collection. Results and Future Plans The results of temporarily moving to cashless fare collection during the pandemic are unclear since there were numerous other operational and policy changes during this timeframe. Moving forward, NJ TRANSIT has reinstated cash fare collection on buses and commuter trains. In Dec- ember 2020 (after reinstating cash fares), NJ TRANSIT conducted a customer survey and found that 26% of bus customers reported paying with cash, whereas only 7% of commuter rail customers said they pay with cash. The agency is currently planning numerous upgrades to its fare collection system (in partner- ship with its primary fare collection vendor, Conduent) that will likely help to reduce cash pay- ments on vehicles. NJ TRANSIT is moving toward a new account-based fare system, which will include upgraded TVMs and new validators on buses. The validators, which are currently being installed on vehicles, will scan contactless cards and barcoded paper or mobile tickets. NJ TRANSIT is also planning to establish a robust network of retailers where bus customers can load value onto their card or the NJ TRANSIT app. The first phases of these upgrades will focus on bus and light rail; changes to the commuter rail system will be determined in the future. Summary and Lessons Learned An overview of this case example and the lessons learned are as follows: • NJ TRANSIT focused on both commuter rail and bus (local and interstate) services that halted onboard cash fare collection for a short period (approximately 4–6 months) during the COVID-19 pandemic. Source: FDIC 2019b. Figure 16. Unbanked rates by year for the state of New Jersey.

Case Examples 35   • The primary motivation was public health concerns, especially operator and customer safety. Eliminating cash transactions on board reduced operator-customer interactions and ensured social distancing. • NJ TRANSIT did not undergo a formal planning process; instead, operational and policy changes were made quickly due to the unusual emergency circumstances of the pandemic. The agency also needed to ensure it adhered to local and state regulations pertaining to the pandemic, such as executive orders from the governor. • Cash payments resumed on commuter rail and bus services in summer 2020. • The results of temporarily going cashless during the pandemic are unclear since there were numerous other operational and policy changes during this timeframe. • NJ TRANSIT is currently planning for changes to its fare system, such as an expanded retail network and contactless cards. Many of these improvements will likely help reduce cash col- lection on vehicles in the future. Case Example 5: Port Authority of Allegheny County The Port Authority of Allegheny County (referred to simply as Port Authority) serves the Pittsburgh metropolitan region and provides bus, light rail, incline (funicular), and demand- responsive transportation services. The 2019 NTD agency profile and Port Authority logo are shown in Figure 17. Port Authority’s light rail system operates a “pay where you live” proof-of- payment fare system; however, this case example focuses specifically on Port Authority’s bus services. Operational Aspects of Port Authority’s Fare Collection System The bus system has a flat fare structure; period passes such as daily, weekly, and monthly passes are also available. Port Authority has a legacy smart card system provided by Scheidt & Bachmann USA, Inc. that includes a smart card called the ConnectCard and a contactless paper ticket, ConnecTix. Port Authority customers have four primary ways to pay fares. First, there are numerous TVMs throughout the system, including many locations at light rail stations and certain bus shelters/ stations. Second, there is a retail sales network with most locations at supermarkets and mom-and- pop stores. Third, customers can load value onto their ConnectCard using an online portal. Fourth, customers can pay cash on buses at the farebox; however, the overall amount of cash collected at the farebox represents a low percentage of tickets sales (approximately 8% systemwide before the pandemic). At time of writing, Port Authority is also beginning a pilot program for a fare app. In March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic began to reach the East Coast. In light of public health concerns, Port Authority quickly implemented numerous operational and policy changes, such as capacity restrictions on transit vehicles to facilitate social distancing. One of these changes was a temporary halt on cash fares on board buses. Rear-door boarding was implemented on the entire bus network, and customers were instructed not to interact with the farebox to avoid coming Source: NTD 2019. Annual Passenger Miles: 272,078,547 Annual Unlinked Trips: 64,007,925 Annual Vehicle Revenue Miles: 31,955,492 Figure 17. Port Authority of Allegheny County logo and NTD agency profile.

36 Considering the Unbanked in Cashless Fare Payment at Point of Service for Bus/Demand-Response Services too close to the bus operator. Instead, riders were instructed to prepay before boarding and were encouraged to purchase period passes on their ConnectCard at TVMs in rail stations, through the retail sales network, or on Port Authority’s website. Upon boarding the bus through the rear door, customers would typically wave their ConnectCard or ConnecTix to the bus operator, but they did not tap their smart media at the farebox (for period passes or single rides). As this was an honor system, it is unclear how many customers actually prepurchased fares. During this period of cashless fare collection, Port Authority installed shields at the front of buses to protect operators. Approximately half the fleet required installation of plexiglass barriers; the rest of the vehicles already had half swinging doors. Once this process was completed in May 2020, Port Authority resumed regular prepandemic fare collection on buses. Motivation, Advantages, and Drawbacks of Cashless The primary motivation for moving to cashless fare collection was the COVID-19 pandemic; health and safety were paramount. Port Authority wanted to reduce physical interactions between bus operators and customers, so instructed customers not to use bus fareboxes, which are close to the operator. The agency did not specifically consider other potential advantages or reasons to implement cashless fares beyond public health considerations. Because of significant capacity limitations put on vehicles and other schedule changes during this time, it would be difficult to identify any operational impacts, such as potentially reducing dwell times. One challenge of the temporary suspension of cash collection at the farebox was communica- tion with customers. There was some confusion about how and if customers should pay fares when this policy was initially implemented in March 2020; however, this was communicated to riders through press releases and social media. Similarly, when regular fare collection resumed approximately 2 months later, some customers wanted to continue with the “honor system,” presumably to avoid paying fares. Policy and Regulatory Aspects Because of the emergency pandemic situation, formal planning processes and policy analyses (such as for Title VI) were not conducted. The primary concern was adhering to new local and state regulations introduced for health and safety reasons, including state-of-emergency dec- larations. In March 2020, Port Authority implemented many policy and operational changes, such as enacting a social distancing policy on its vehicle fleet that limited capacity to 10 riders per 35-foot bus, 15 riders per 40-foot bus, and 25 riders per articulated 60-foot bus. The ADA was considered when implementing temporary operational and policy changes. For example, customers were instructed to board through the back door to reduce interaction with bus operators; however, riders with mobility disabilities were permitted to enter through the front door, which is accessible for wheelchair users. Considerations for Special Populations of Riders As discussed in the literature review in Chapter 2, one special population of transit riders to be considered when planning for cashless fare systems is the unbanked. The FDIC regularly collects survey data on the number of unbanked households in a region, and the most recent statistics for the Pittsburgh MSA are shown in Figure 18. In addition to these regional statistics, Port Authority has conducted customer research to learn about access to financial instruments like credit/debit cards and smartphones as part of a

Case Examples 37   Title VI analysis in preparation for launching a mobile app (discussed in the next section). A total of 881 surveys were collected via telephone and online in March/April 2021. The results reveal that 832 of 881 respondents (94%) have access to a smartphone and 857 of 881 respondents (97%) have access to at least one banking service. Results and Future Plans The results of temporarily moving to cashless fare collection on Port Authority buses during the COVID-19 pandemic are unclear since there were numerous operational and policy changes during the same timeframe. Moving forward, the agency intends to continue to accept cash on buses; however, Port Authority is planning improvements to its fare system, and at time of writing the focus is the launch of a fare app in late 2021. Port Authority has contracted with fare payment platform company Masabi as its primary vendor for an account-based mobile fare system and is in the process of installing validators on buses that will accept mobile fare pay- ments beginning in late 2021. Validation hardware will also be installed on the light rail system and should be operational in 2022. Once the app launches systemwide, Port Authority may see decreases in cash payments. Summary and Lessons Learned An overview of this case example and the lessons learned are as follows: • The Port Authority of Allegheny County temporarily suspended cash fare collection on buses during the first 2 months of the COVID-19 pandemic. This gave the agency time to install barriers at the front of vehicles to protect bus operators. • The sole motivation was public health concerns. The agency wanted to reduce customer- operator interactions and facilitate social distancing. Port Authority implemented rear-door boarding and instructed passengers not to use the fareboxes, which are close to operators. • During this period, customers were asked to prepurchase period passes on smart media; this was done on the honor system. • The results of temporarily suspending onboard cash collection are unclear since numerous other operational and policy changes were made during the same timeframe. • Port Authority has reinstated cash fares on buses and intends to continue accepting cash in the future. Source: FDIC 2019b. Figure 18. Unbanked rates by year for the Pittsburgh MSA.

38 Considering the Unbanked in Cashless Fare Payment at Point of Service for Bus/Demand-Response Services Case Example 6: COTA The Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) serves the Columbus, OH, metropolitan region, providing bus and demand-responsive transportation services. The 2019 NTD agency profile and COTA logo are shown in Figure 19. Operational Aspects of COTA’s Fare Collection System COTA has a flat fare structure and offers account-based mobile ticketing, smart cards, and paper period passes, such as 1-day, 7-day, and 31-day passes. COTA customers have four primary ways to purchase fares. First, magnetic-stripe tickets are sold at a small number of ticket offices and TVMs, which are typically in facilities such as COTA’s transit terminals and administrative office. Second, a third-party retail distribution network distributes magnetic-stripe tickets, mostly at local grocery stores. Third, COTA recently launched an account-based ticketing system that allows customers to pay using their smart- phone or card through a partnership with Masabi and Transit app. Last, riders can pay exact change or purchase day passes at the farebox on buses. In fall 2021, COTA transitioned to a new account-based fare system with fare capping. The new system is built with the back end from Masabi and the customer-facing front end through the Transit app. Fare validation uses electronic validators installed on fixed-route vehicles. Cus- tomers can add funds to their account directly in the Transit app, using a self-service web portal on COTA.com, in person at the agency’s Customer Experience Center, and at 350+ third-party retail locations as part of a partnership with companies InComm and T-CETRA (see Figure 20). COTA anticipates a significant reduction in onboard cash payments with the new account- based system. One of the main challenges with COTA’s previous fare system was the limited number of locations where riders could prepurchase fares (e.g., seven TVMs, the COTA Customer Experience Center, and a network of approximately 33 local retailers such as Kroger grocery stores). The new fare system will enable riders with credit/debit cards to easily purchase fares using their smartphones. Moreover, cash-based riders will have an expanded retail network where they can load money into their transit account. In addition, COTA believes the benefit of fare capping will entice customers to use the new system by offering savings, specifically for cash-based riders. Currently, cash-based riders who pay onboard for each trip end up paying more than those who use other payment means (such as period passes). The expanded network of the account-based system is likely to significantly improve the experience for many riders, particularly for seniors and disabled riders who previously had to go in person to COTA’s down- town Customer Experience Center to purchase discounted passes. For customers who still want to pay cash on buses, COTA plans to leave the current fareboxes on vehicles; the agency currently has no specific plans to move to a fully cashless system, but it is under consideration. As previously noted, the agency is aiming to significantly reduce the amount of cash collected on buses with the new fare system, which is a first step toward cashless. Once the number of onboard cash transactions decreases, COTA will assess whether moving to cashless makes sense for the agency and its customers. Source: NTD 2019. Annual Passenger Miles: 77,369,005 Annual Unlinked Trips: 19,430,144 Annual Vehicle Revenue Miles: 17,715,977 Figure 19. COTA logo and NTD agency profile.

Case Examples 39   Motivation, Advantages, and Drawbacks of Cashless One of the motivating factors to significantly reduce (if not eliminate) onboard cash fares was the COVID-19 pandemic. The agency wanted to reduce physical interactions between operators and customers for public health reasons. To ensure the health and safety of operators, COTA installed plexiglass barriers at the front of vehicles over the course of a year (2020–2021). Addi- tionally, the agency recognizes there is increasing digitization of payments across many sectors, and wants to keep up with customer expectations regarding the ability to pay using new tech- nologies. One last motivating factor from the agency’s perspective is the potential for reduced operating costs associated with decreased cash handling. Despite these potential advantages, there are some potential drawbacks and challenges to moving to a fully cashless system. The agency wants to ensure it does not leave behind unbanked riders and those who do not have technologies like smartphones; to this end, COTA has begun conducting customer research on banking status and technology adoption by riders (see next section). Additionally, COTA wants to ensure messaging for its new fare system encourages Source: https://www.dispatch.com/story/news/local/2020/10/28/cota-riders-have-more-locations-refill- smartcards-fares/3754162001. Figure 20. COTA’s proposed retail reload network.

40 Considering the Unbanked in Cashless Fare Payment at Point of Service for Bus/Demand-Response Services people to try these new payment options; however, the agency recognizes that changing behavior can be difficult, even when the new system has the potential to benefit riders. Policy and Regulatory Aspects Because COTA does not currently have specific plans to move to a cashless system, ADA and Title VI analyses have not been conducted. However, COTA recognizes Title VI concerns could be a hurdle to moving toward a fully cashless fare system. Considerations for Special Populations of Riders As discussed in the literature review in Chapter 2, one special population of transit riders to be considered when planning for cashless fare systems is the unbanked. The FDIC regularly collects survey data on the number of unbanked households in a region, and the most recent statistics for the Columbus MSA are shown in Figure 21. In addition to these regional statistics, COTA has begun conducting customer research to learn from its riders about access to financial instruments like credit/debit cards, smartphones, and the internet. COTA has a customer research group called the COTA Voice Panel that aids with rider focus groups, rider surveys, and other forms of customer research. In 2020, COTA conducted an online survey that provides some initial data on these topics, and the results can be seen in Figure 22. An important caveat to these survey results is the survey was conducted online due to concerns about the pandemic, and the results could therefore potentially be biased toward riders with higher levels of technology adoption, particularly access to the internet. COTA has conducted customer focus groups specifically on cashless fare collection. The fol- lowing key themes were identified during the focus groups, which can be used to help develop future recommendations: • Provide options for COTA customers who are unable to get to a secondary location to purchase a pass. • Make passes available at walkable locations that COTA customers frequent for other purposes. • Put pass distribution machines at transit stops. • Establish community partnerships with churches, libraries, and homeless shelters to distribute passes. • Allow credit and debit card payments on vehicles. • Create a reloadable mobile pass option. Figure 21. Unbanked rates by year for the Columbus MSA. Source: FDIC 2019b.

Case Examples 41   COTA is also focusing on another population of riders: those whose primary language is not English. Communicating changes about the new fare system to these groups is vital. The new mobile fare payment app has numerous language options (e.g., Spanish, French, and German); however, Columbus also has a growing community of Somali immigrants, and the agency wants to ensure their language needs are met. Future Plans With the launch of its new account-based fare collection system in fall 2021, COTA hopes to reach as many customers as possible and reduce cash collection. For example, it is exploring pay- ment integration for its on-demand transit services provided by VIA and ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft. With the new fare system, COTA also implemented fare capping, which it anticipates will further reduce onboard cash collection and dependency on magnetic passes. The agency has also conducted training for operators and customer education, and hopes to stream- line this process as much as possible. Finally, COTA is learning from other transit agencies in the region that are implementing new fare systems and reducing cash collection, particularly Dayton, OH, which is the next case example. Summary and Lessons Learned An overview of this case example and the lessons learned are as follows: • COTA currently does not have specific plans to move to a fully cashless fare system, but it is under consideration. The agency is aiming to significantly reduce the amount of cash collected on buses with its new account-based fare system, implemented in fall 2021. • COTA has begun conducting market research to understand how many riders have access to financial instruments such as credit/debit cards, smartphones, and the internet. • Like many other transit agencies, COTA recognizes Title VI concerns could be a hurdle to moving toward a fully cashless fare system. Note: Both the 2020 COTA Voice Panel and Customer Satisfaction surveys were conducted online, meaning all participants had access to internet and a device to take the survey. As a result, responses will trend higher toward technological accessibility than if conducted as an onboard intercept survey. Source: 2020 COTA Voice Panel Survey. Figure 22. 2020 COTA survey results.

42 Considering the Unbanked in Cashless Fare Payment at Point of Service for Bus/Demand-Response Services Case Example 7: Dayton RTA The Greater Dayton Regional Transit Authority (RTA) serves the Dayton, OH, metropolitan region, with local bus and demand-responsive transportation services. The 2019 NTD agency profile and Dayton RTA logo are shown in Figure 23. Operational Aspects of RTA’s Fare Collection System The agency has a flat fare system and recently transitioned from offering period passes to fare capping, with both daily and monthly caps. Over the past few years, RTA has gradually launched a new fare payment system called Tapp Pay. The transition began in 2018 with a Request for Proposals (RfP) for a new fare payment system, and a contract was awarded to the company Masabi to provide a new account-based system. Masabi also provides a software development kit that can be integrated into other apps to enable payment functionality, and in the case of Dayton, this was used to integrate with the app Transit. In May 2020, the first phase of the new fare system was launched with the Masabi/Transit app integration (see Figure 24). In the initial phase, customers used the app to purchase a ticket with a credit or debit card and then fares were validated visually by bus operators on fixed routes and paratransit. The second phase (see Figure 25) of the new fare system launched in November 2020 and included installation of Masabi’s validators on fixed-route and paratransit vehicles. Customers scanned their mobile tickets when boarding the vehicle for validation. Additionally, RTA partnered with the company T-CETRA to provide a network of approximately 10 retail outlets where cus- tomers could load cash into their Tapp Pay account. The third phase went live in February 2021. RTA introduced daily and monthly (31-day) fare capping through the mobile app. As a short-term promotion, the agency is offering reduced rates to encourage riders to try out fare capping. During spring 2021, the agency stopped selling period passes and transitioned fully to capping for the general public. Later in the spring and summer of 2021, RTA launched the next three phases of the fare system (see Figure 25). Phase 4 was a program for bulk purchases, which included short-term contactless cards with passes preloaded, primarily for local nonprofits to distribute. Shortly thereafter, Phase 5 launched with numerous changes. First, RTA launched the Tapp Pay card, which is a contactless account-based card. While this is an account-based system, customers can remain anonymous and do not have to create an account to use the Tapp Pay cards. Second, RTA partnered with a large retail sales outlet provider, InComm, which has over 200 locations in its VanillaDirect network where RTA customers can load cash into their Tapp Pay account. Third, numerous TVMs were installed at RTA transit centers where customers can load cash into their Tapp Pay accounts (either on mobile or card). Phase 6 launched in July 2021 and eliminated the sale of day passes on vehicles. At time of writing, the agency has recently completed all eight phases. Notably, proposed Phase 8 was the transition to cashless fare collection on buses. This was approved by the Dayton RTA Board in August 2021, and the agency implemented cashless fare collection on board all Source: NTD 2019. Annual Passenger Miles: 56,131,216 Annual Unlinked Trips: 9,416,615 Annual Vehicle Revenue Miles: 8,066,811 Figure 23. Dayton RTA logo and NTD agency profile.

Case Examples 43   Source: RTA. Figure 24. RTA fare payment integration in the Transit app. Source: RTA. Figure 25. Timeline for new RTA fare system (cashless is Phase 8).

44 Considering the Unbanked in Cashless Fare Payment at Point of Service for Bus/Demand-Response Services fixed-route buses beginning November 1, 2021. Before implementation, RTA posted messaging about the move to cashless, such as the sign in Figure 26. RTA’s demand-responsive vehicles are not yet cashless, but RTA is working with Masabi to configure the system to accept different payment values for nontraditional transit modes, after which the demand-responsive vehicles will go cashless. After RTA finishes transitioning to cashless fare collection, two addi- tional policies are proposed to help customers. First, Tapp Pay accounts will likely have a “one more journey” feature to let customers carry a negative balance for one trip so they can finish their trip and reload. Second, the agency intends to have a grace period when it will allow customers to board vehicles at outlying stops; however, if the customer only has cash, they will be asked to disembark at a transit center where there are TVMs so they can load cash into their Tapp Pay account. Motivation, Advantages, and Drawbacks of Cashless RTA recognized numerous potential advantages of transitioning to a new fare system, par- ticularly one that reduced (and eventually eliminated) onboard cash payments. One of these potential advantages was reduced cash handling and decreased fare collection costs; the agency estimated it could save $300,000 annually after completing the transition to the new fare system (including removing the old fare system). Other potential advantages were decreased dwell times and increased vehicle speeds when onboard cash payments were reduced or eliminated. Related to this improvement in operations was the potential for reduced road calls from bus operators; before the new fare system, mechanical breakdowns of fareboxes were common and the most frequent reason for RTA road calls. Another advantage was rider preference for new technolo- gies, likely smartphones. In addition to these advantages, a primary reason for transitioning to the new fare system and encouraging all riders to use it was equity: RTA believes fare capping gives all riders the best value for their transit fares. This is particularly important for riders who could not afford to purchase a monthly (31-day) pass in the old system because of the high up-front cost. The new Tapp Pay system ensures these riders pay no more than the maximum daily and monthly rate, so they get to hold onto their money longer. A “one more journey” or “one more trip” policy allows a customer to carry a negative balance for one trip so they have the opportunity to reload. Source: RTA. Figure 26. RTA signage.

Case Examples 45   Despite these advantages, there are some challenges associated with the new fare payment system and reducing onboard cash payments. The biggest challenge thus far has been com- municating with riders. Each new phase has involved changes to the fare system that need to be conveyed to customers, and some of these—particularly fare capping—are complicated to explain. Additional communication will be needed as the agency transitions to a fully cashless system. Policy and Regulatory Aspects In designing the new fare system, RTA took the opportunity to bring some of its equipment into line with ADA regulation, such as putting braille on the new TVMs and adjusting the placement of the new validators on vehicles (i.e., at a height wheelchair users can reach). These changes were not specific to the transition to cashless fare collection, however. In summer 2021, RTA completed a Title VI fare equity analysis for the new fare payment system using data collected from an onboard rider survey (n=808) and from public input col- lected through an extensive community engagement process. The analysis specifically evalu- ated the potential impacts of eliminating onboard cash collection, using cash conversion retail outlets, and other proposed fare policy changes. The onboard rider survey results were used to analyze eliminating onboard cash collection. The results showed that fare categories of minorities and low-income groups closely mirror overall usage; a single category is not used 20% more by these groups compared to overall users (see Figure 27). However, the analysis further showed that cash users account for 19.5% of trips, including 12.3% minority trips and 6.2% non-minority trips. This difference was statistically significant and could impact minority users disproportionately; therefore, a potential disparate impact was found. RTA mitigated this impact throughout the project by adjusting timelines and offering incentives to migrate to the new system. Additional mitigation measures included allowing customers’ accounts to go negative and proposed operational procedures to allow mid- trip boardings for customers unaware of the no-cash policy. To analyze the use of cash conversion retail outlets, RTA mapped the locations of retail sales outlets overlaid with minority and low-income populations. Figure 28 depicts the locations Source: RTA. Figure 27. RTA survey showing fare categories of minorities and low-income riders.

46 Considering the Unbanked in Cashless Fare Payment at Point of Service for Bus/Demand-Response Services Source: RTA. Figure 28. Retail sales outlets in close proximity to RTA routes. of the new retail outlets and those being brought online with the Tapp Pay system. RTA had 202 retail locations in the Title VI analysis that were within ¼ mile of RTA’s fixed bus routes. The results of this part of the analysis found no disparate impact or disproportionate burden. Also of note, RTA conducted a series of public hearings in spring 2021 and allowed for a period of customer and community feedback on the proposed changes. Last, the agency undertook a significant outreach process, including meeting with advocacy groups (such as members of the disability and Latinx communities) and with other commu- nity groups (such as faith-based organizations). Considerations for Special Populations of Riders As discussed in the literature review in Chapter 2, one special population of transit riders to be considered when planning for cashless fare systems is the unbanked. The FDIC regularly collects

Case Examples 47   survey data on the number of unbanked households in a region, and the most recent statistics for Ohio are shown in Figure 29. It should be noted that data specific to the Dayton MSA were not available for download, so the statewide numbers are shown instead. As noted in the previous section, RTA did an onboard survey of 808 riders that was used in the Title VI fare equity analysis. The survey contained two questions about access to financial instru- ments. The first question (answered by 792 individuals) asked if the respondent had a checking or savings account; as can be seen in the top part of Figure 30, 77% of respondents selected yes and 23% selected no. Survey respondents were then asked if they had or used a prepaid card, regular debit card, or credit card (which 716 people answered). As can be seen in the bottom part of Figure 30, 54% of respondents said they had a bank-issued debit card and 28% said they had a bank-issued credit card. In addition to the unbanked, RTA recognizes there are other populations of riders who may need more assistance with the transition to the new fare system, particularly once it goes cashless. This includes those with disabilities, low incomes, and limited English proficiency. The agency says it has set a goal of delivering a “100% onboard cashless experience that is universally accessible.” To do this, it is in the process of creating “specific, proactive plans . . . to promote and provide access” to these populations. These plans include engagement and feedback, as shown in Figure 31. Results and Future Plans The results of the new fare system thus far have been a substantial reduction in onboard cash payments. Figure 32 shows the percentage of cash boardings from June 2020 to September 2021, which decreased from 39% (combined day-pass and single-ride cash fares) to 8% during that period. Similarly, total customer boardings by fare type (cash, cashless, and Tapp Pay) using the new Tapp Pay system rose from 11% to 92% during this time. It should be noted that the adoption of Tapp Pay was slower on RTA’s paratransit services. Tapp Pay was first launched on paratransit in May 2020, but it was not until May 2021—when RTA mailed Tapp Pay cards to all eligible paratransit customers and offered a $30 credit—that the agency saw substantial increases in Tapp Pay adoption on paratransit. Figure 33 shows Tapp Pay adoption on paratransit from April 2021 to September 2021. Moving forward, following the elimination of onboard cash fares in November 2021, RTA has two additional phases remaining, not included in Figure 25. Phase 9 includes validator system updates for paratransit and Phase 10 expands capabilities to accept contactless EMV (see Glossary), which are payments using a technical standard common in Europe. Source: FDIC 2019b. Figure 29. Unbanked rates by year for the state of Ohio.

48 Considering the Unbanked in Cashless Fare Payment at Point of Service for Bus/Demand-Response Services Q11: Do you have a checking or savings account? Answered: 792 Skipped: 16 Q12: Do you have or use a pre-paid or regular debit or credit card? Answered: 716 Skipped: 92 Source: RTA. Figure 30. RTA rider survey results showing use of nancial instruments.

Source: RTA. Figure 31. RTA’s plan to deliver an accessible cashless experience. Source: RTA. Figure 32. RTA’s total percentage of customer boardings by fare type. Source: RTA. Figure 33. RTA Tapp Pay adoption on paratransit from April to September 2021.

50 Considering the Unbanked in Cashless Fare Payment at Point of Service for Bus/Demand-Response Services Summary and Lessons Learned An overview of this case example and the lessons learned are as follows: • Over a 1-year period (2020–2021), RTA gradually launched the first phases of a new account- based fare payment system, Tapp Pay. One of the upcoming phases in the deployment is eliminating cash fares on buses and paratransit vehicles; RTA wants to create a 100% onboard cashless experience that is universally accessible. • In spring and summer 2021, RTA collected rider surveys and feedback, held public meetings, and conducted community outreach as part of the Title VI process to assess the impacts of eliminating onboard cash fare collection. • RTA partnered with two companies to provide a large retail sales network where custom- ers can load cash into their Tapp Pay accounts. One component of RTA’s Title VI analysis included identifying retail sales locations within ¼ mile of a bus route or transit center. This helps ensure that riders who want to pay cash have a sales channel nearby. • As part of the new fare system, RTA has introduced daily and monthly fare capping, which the agency believes is important from an equity perspective for riders who cannot afford the up-front cost of a period pass. To encourage all customers to try out the new system, RTA is at time of writing offering discounts on the fare-capped price. • One of the challenges with the new fare system and the eventual transition to cashless is communicating change to customers. RTA has taken a phased approach, with changes to the fare system happening every few months, and this requires regular customer communica- tion and education. Case Example 8: MBTA The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) serves the metropolitan region of Boston, including Cambridge, MA, and Newton, NH. The agency provides bus, commuter rail, ferryboat, heavy rail, light rail, and demand-responsive transportation services. The 2019 NTD agency profile and MBTA logo are shown in Figure 34. Operational Aspects of the MBTA’s Fare Collection System The different modes managed by the MBTA have different fare policies. For example, most modes have flat fare structures, but the commuter rail system and express bus routes have zone- based fares. This case example focuses on the bus system and also considers light rail, which includes the Mattapan trolley and aboveground portions of the Green Line. The MBTA uses a card-based automatic fare collection (AFC) system that was launched in the early 2000s with the introduction of the CharlieCard, a plastic contactless smart card accepted on all fixed-route services except commuter rail and ferry. The MBTA also has a magnetic-stripe CharlieTicket that can be can be used on similar fixed-route services, but introduces more delay during boarding and has a shorter usable life. CharlieTickets can also be preprinted with passes Source: NTD 2019. Annual Passenger Miles: 1,679,893,946 Annual Unlinked Trips: 366,716,896 Annual Vehicle Revenue Miles: 93,969,960 Figure 34. MBTA logo and NTD agency profile.

Case Examples 51   and single-use tickets, allowing them to be visually validated on commuter rail and ferry. The agency also has a fare app, but the app mTickets are only accepted on commuter rail and ferry. The MBTA has experienced some challenges with its current fare collection, including incon- sistencies across modes, high dwell times, and maintenance issues. To unify the system and keep up with fare technology, the MBTA contracted with Cubic (the primary vendor) in 2018 for a new fare system. The new system—which includes both technology and policy changes—is being referred to as a “fare transformation” and is being rolled out in a phased approach (see Fig- ure 35) over a 5-year period beginning in 2020. The overarching goal of the fare transformation, per the MBTA, is to completely replace the existing system “to ensure equal access to a simplified fare payment system that works and will work for many years to come.” In 2020, Phase 1 of the fare transformation project was rolled out to address key frustra- tions from customers. This included making CharlieCards available at community locations like libraries, upgrading some subway faregates to address maintenance issues, and harmoniz- ing fares so customers paid the same amount regardless of whether they used a CharlieCard, CharlieTicket, or cash. At time of writing, the MBTA is working on rolling out Phase 2, which focuses on making it easier for customers to get CharlieCards. For example, TVMs in all subway stations will be upgraded to vend plastic CharlieCards. Another element of Phase 2 is preliminary field tests of new reader technology that is part of a new account-based system. Phase 3 of the fare transformation project is planned for 2022, and its primary component is to deploy new ways to pay on some bus routes and subway lines. The plan includes open-loop payments such as contactless credit cards, Apple Pay, and Google Pay. In addition, Phase 3 will begin a transition to all-door boarding at the busiest stops on select bus routes, as well as dis- tributing the new CharlieCard to a growing retail sales network. Phase 4 is planned for 2023, and is arguably the most relevant to this report. The overarching goal of this phase is to make buses and light rail (especially Green Line) trains faster. To accom- plish this, all-door boarding will be implemented on all buses and light rail trains, and those modes will transition to a proof-of-payment system. As can be seen in Figure 36, one component of the all-door boarding plan is to ensure everyone has fare media; this includes removing cash collection from vehicles and installing readers at every door to accept contactless taps. Notably, the MBTA is not using the term “cashless” because it is not eliminating cash from the system. Instead, it is shifting the cash options off the vehicles and into expanded neighborhood sales locations (see Figure 37) to speed up boarding and improve operations. Last, this phase includes acceptance of mobile payments, contactless credit cards, and the new CharlieCard on all bus routes and subway lines, which includes light rail. Phase 5 is scheduled for 2024, and this final phase aims to have “seamless payments on all modes.” Customers will be able to use the same payment method to tap and transfer between all MBTA modes, including commuter rail (which is largely excluded from the existing system). After the fare transformation has been fully implemented, the MBTA believes it will be easier and more convenient for customers to pay for transit. These changes—particularly moving to cashless fare collection and all-door boarding—are intended to speed up boarding and make bus and light rail service more reliable. To continue serving riders who primarily use cash, the MBTA is planning to expand the number of locations where customers can use cash to add value to CharlieCards. The proposed plan includes three primary sales channels. First, there will be ticket vending machines in all subway stations. Second, the MBTA will deploy “streetscape” vending machines at a select number of bus stops and other locations. Third, the MBTA will expand its retail sales network, aiming to have 500–600 locations throughout the service area (see Figure 37).

Source: MBTA. Figure 35. MBTA Fare Transformation timeline with phases.

Case Examples 53   In addition to these sales channels, the MBTA intends to introduce a “one more trip” policy in the new account-based fare system; this will let customers carry a negative balance for one trip and transfer before reloading. The MBTA is introducing a card fee for purchasing a new CharlieCard, which, in addition to covering MBTA costs and making an expanded sales net- work economical, covers the negative balance a customer may accumulate while taking their “one more trip.” The MBTA has budgeted for the distribution of free fare media to all reduced- fare program participants and will partner with community-based organizations to ensure free fare cards end up in the hands of low-income riders who need them. It should be noted that the existing CharlieCard has been distributed for free through a much smaller and less consistent set of locations. Motivation, Advantages, and Drawbacks of Cashless As was briefly mentioned in the previous section, one of the primary factors motivating cash removal from on board buses and light rail vehicles was operational improvements. The MBTA believes cashless all-door boarding will decrease dwell times and improve reliability. In addition to operational improvements, reducing dwell times may also improve the customer experience by decreasing wait times to board a vehicle. When customers pay cash at the farebox, other riders often end up queued behind them waiting to board the bus, which may be particularly burden- some in the winter, when it is cold, and has negative impacts on dwell times and reliability. Another potential advantage of cashless fare collection is improved safety and security of bus operators. Fare disputes with customers can lead to operator assaults, and removing cash from the vehicle may help by removing one potential point of conflict. Despite the potential benefits, there may be some drawbacks of moving to cashless fare collec- tion. In the case of the MBTA, the agency is undergoing a large-scale transformation, impacting many aspects of the customer experience and most agency departments, and there is always a chance of making mistakes when implementing large changes. The agency hopes to address public input and iterate quickly in response to any items that do not work as intended. Source: MBTA. Hard Figure 36. MBTA fare transformation plan for all-door boarding.

54 Considering the Unbanked in Cashless Fare Payment at Point of Service for Bus/Demand-Response Services Source: https://massdot.maps.arcgis.com/apps/Viewer/index.html?appid=927f1be32b0243af9d9ff68ec1311ddb. Figure 37. Screenshot of interactive map showing the MBTA’s proposed sales locations.

Case Examples 55   Policy and Regulatory Aspects To address the needs of riders with disabilities, various components of the fare transforma- tion project are being reviewed by the agency’s Accessibility Office. For example, vetting the proposed design of TVMs and streetscape vending machines and considering the accessibility of retail sales locations. A Title VI fare equity analysis has also recently been completed; it assessed the proposed network of fare sales locations to analyze the equity implications. The analysis was recently published and can be seen in Table 11. The results found no disparate impact on minority popu- lations and no disproportionate burden on low-income populations when compared with the MBTA’s current sales channels. It should be noted that additional Title VI analyses may be conducted in the future. One final regulatory consideration is a law in Massachusetts that “no retail establishment offering goods and services for sale shall discriminate against a cash buyer by requiring the use of credit by a buyer in order to purchase such goods and services. All such retail establishments must accept legal tender when offered as payment by the buyer” (Massachusetts General Law Part III, Title VI, Chapter 255D, Section 10A). It does not appear that this would apply to MBTA transit vehicles, although it will be a consideration for retail sales locations. Considerations for Special Populations of Riders As discussed in the literature review in Chapter 2, one special population of transit riders to be considered when planning for cashless fare systems is the unbanked. The FDIC regularly collects survey data on the number of unbanked households in a region, and the most recent statistics for the Boston-Cambridge-Newton MSA are shown in Figure 38. To better understand how many riders have access to financial instruments, the MBTA also conducts regular “ridership census” surveys that include questions about the use of various financial instruments and personal technologies, but the results were not made available for this report. In addition to survey research, existing fare collection data indicate approximately 8% of trips are paid for with cash in the existing system: approximately 4% of bus and light rail trips are paid for in cash directly, and another 4% are cash top-ups to a card or ticket. Source: Central Transportation Planning Staff and the MBTA, https://cdn.mbta.com/sites/default/files/2021- 03/2021-02-22-fare-transformation-sales-networkanalysis-final.pdf. Table 11. Results of the Title VI analysis for the MBTA’s proposed new fare sales network.

56 Considering the Unbanked in Cashless Fare Payment at Point of Service for Bus/Demand-Response Services The MBTA has publicly recognized that the unbanked are an important population to con- sider in planning for cashless fare collection, particularly when identifying locations for new fare vending machines and retail fare sales. With input from customers and the community, the MBTA has identified six key principles to aid in the planning process and ensure equitable outcomes: 1. Prioritize communities that use cash today. These are riders who lack access to sales loca- tions or who are unbanked. 2. Prioritize high total ridership. These are high-use locations with a demonstrated need for amenities. 3. Ensure riders have a diversity of options. Recognizing that our riders have varying prefer- ences for purchasing fare media and not one type of sales location will serve all riders. 4. Prioritize seniors and riders with disabilities. These are populations who cannot travel far to get to a sales location. 5. Prioritize locations with a high number of low-income and/or Black or Latinx riders. These are riders who have been traditionally underserved by the banking and transportation systems. 6. Incorporate geographic distribution to cover need across the network. Recognizing the geographic diversity of our region so we can distribute sales locations evenly and ensure all communities have equal access. As previously noted, these principles are guiding the current planning process for identifying retail sales locations and siting vending machines. While some agencies might consider devel- oping a geographic service standard for sales locations (e.g., within 1,000 feet of routes), these principles are instead being used to ensure fare sales channels are located where they are needed most—either because of priority communities such as those who need to pay cash or because of high ridership. Finally, a key component of the fare transformation process is extensive community engage- ment. This includes community meetings, focus groups, policy working groups, and public meetings conducted over a multiyear period. Topics of community outreach include the removal of cash payments from vehicles and numerous other aspects of the fare transformation process. Results and Future Plans The MBTA plans to implement cashless fare collection on buses and light rail (Green Line and Mattapan trolley) in 2023, so there are no results to report at time of writing. However, Source: FDIC 2019b. Figure 38. Unbanked rates by year for the Boston MSA.

Case Examples 57   the MBTA does have some evidence from a previous pilot program that suggests there may be operational improvements after the agency transitions to cashless all-door boarding. In 2017, the MBTA partnered with the Barr Foundation to pilot all-door boarding on the Silver Line bus rapid transit route, and dwell times decreased by approximately 50% (Jacobson 2017). More- over, all-door boarding brought on by COVID-19 resulted in documented dwell-time savings. Similarly, the MBTA collected data on cycle times during the pandemic when fares were not being collected, and the results suggest significant time savings. Moving forward, the MBTA will continue with the planning process and community out- reach as it moves toward the next phase of fare transformation. The next few years promise substantial changes to the fare technologies and policies in the Boston region. Summary and Lessons Learned An overview of this case example and the lessons learned are as follows: • Over a 5-year period (2020–2024), the MBTA is gradually launching a unified fare system. One of the proposed phases eliminates onboard cash payment and implements all-door boarding on buses and light rail (Green Line and Mattapan trolley). • A key motivation for moving to cashless all-door boarding is decreasing dwell times and making bus service more reliable. • The MBTA is not using the term “cashless” because it is not eliminating cash from the system. Instead, it is shifting the cash options off the vehicles to enable faster boarding and improved operations. • The MBTA intends to introduce a “one more trip” policy; this will let customers carry a nega- tive balance for one trip and transfer before reloading. • The MBTA is planning to expand the number of locations where customers can use cash via three primary sales channels: TVMs in all subway stations, streetscape vending machines at a select number of bus stops and other locations, and an expanded retail sales network. • The MBTA has budgeted for the distribution of free fare media to all reduced-fare program participants and will partner with community-based organizations to ensure free fare cards end up in the hands of low-income riders who need them. • A Title VI analysis has recently been completed to assess the proposed network of fare sales locations, and the results found no disparate impact on minority populations and no dispro- portionate burden on low-income populations. Additional Title VI analyses may be conducted in the future. • The MBTA is undertaking an extensive community engagement process, including com- munity meetings, focus groups, policy working groups, and public meetings conducted over a multiyear period. Case Example 9: Big Blue Bus The city of Santa Monica’s Big Blue Bus is a subregional transit property that serves the west side of Los Angeles County, CA. The agency provides bus and demand-responsive transporta- tion services in Santa Monica and some neighborhoods of Los Angeles. The 2019 NTD agency profile and Big Blue Bus logo are shown in Figure 39. Operational Aspects of Big Blue Bus’s Fare Collection System The agency has a flat fare system and also offers period passes, including daily, 7-day, 30-day, and annual passes.

58 Considering the Unbanked in Cashless Fare Payment at Point of Service for Bus/Demand-Response Services In early 2020 (before the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States), Big Blue Bus accepted numerous forms of fare media, including cash at fareboxes, tokens, and magnetic-stripe (paper) tickets. The agency also had partnerships with two well-known smartphone apps for mobile fare payments: Token Transit and the app Transit. It should be noted that neither of these third-party apps could be used to transfer to other transit services in the Los Angeles region. Last, Big Blue Bus is a partner in Los Angeles Metro’s Transit Access Pass (TAP) card system, which is a regional smart card and fare app; the TAP system allows customers to transfer between transit services throughout the region. Just before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, fare payment by contact- less media (including TAP and apps) accounted for approximately 47% of all boardings. In March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic reached the United States. In response to public health concerns, Big Blue Bus suspended fare collection on March 20, 2020, to enable social dis- tancing between operators and customers; customers were instructed to board and disembark through the back door only. Free fares remained in effect for nearly 1 year, during which time staff at Big Blue Bus reexamined fare policy and collection procedures. A preliminary plan was created to eliminate tokens and paper tickets, and a pilot program was scheduled to evaluate a fully contactless fare system, including temporarily eliminating cash fares at bus fareboxes. On February 14, 2021, Big Blue Bus resumed collecting fares and instructed passengers to once again board buses through the front door. At this point, the agency stopped selling paper tickets, but continued to accept them for a limited time. Additionally, Big Blue Bus reduced the price of a single ride purchased on TAP or through the apps from $1.25 to $1.00 (see Figure 40). In April 2021, Big Blue Bus stopped accepting magnetic-stripe tickets and began telling cus- tomers about the upcoming pilot program for contactless fare collection. To ease the transition to cashless and encourage uptake of contactless fare media, Big Blue Bus announced it would distribute free 30-day passes to any customer using contactless media. Passes could be pushed directly to app users through Token Transit and the app Transit (see Figure 41). Additionally, throughout May and June 2021, Big Blue Bus staff set up a table at its downtown Santa Monica Transit Store to distribute free 30-day passes on TAP cards. There was a limit of one pass per customer, but no customer was excluded. In parallel, Big Blue Bus staff organized an exten- sive outreach campaign—including a street team—to educate riders about the upcoming pilot and encourage them to go to the Transit Store to pick up a free 30-day pass. During this time, approximately 3,500 customers visited the Transit Store and received a free pass, which was an opportunity for transit agency staff to talk with them one-on-one. On July 12, 2021, Big Blue Bus officially began the 6-month cashless pilot and stopped accepting both cash and tokens on all buses (see Figure 42). During the pilot, customers were instructed to pay with a TAP card or an app. Customers who wanted to pay with cash—and remain anonymous— had two primary options. First, they could load value into their TAP account at TVMs in two bus transfer centers and eight train stations; this was particularly convenient for the many customers who transfer between regional services. Second, there was a retail sales network with approxi- mately 90 locations where TAP cards could be purchased and/or reloaded. There were some issues with the retail sales network and not all locations were fully functional during the pilot, but Big Blue Bus was working with LA Metro to resolve this. Source: NTD 2019. Annual Passenger Miles: 45,856,536 Annual Unlinked Trips: 12,567,992 Annual Revenue Miles: 5,051,818 Figure 39. Big Blue Bus logo and NTD agency profile.

Case Examples 59   Motivation, Advantages, and Drawbacks of Cashless The initial motivation for considering a cashless fare system arose during the pandemic. As previously noted, Big Blue Bus temporarily halted fare collection for nearly 1 year due to COVID-19. For public health reasons, the agency wanted to reduce the use of touch surfaces, and therefore began to consider policies to reduce interaction with bus fareboxes; going fully contactless at the farebox was one method that could help alleviate public health concerns while still collecting fare revenue. A second motivating factor was potential operational improvements. Agency staff had pre- viously conducted internal research on bus dwell times and found that contactless payment options (such as the TAP card and fare apps) were significantly faster than cash payments; if cash could be eliminated systemwide, dwell-time reductions could potentially lead to substantial improvements in bus travel times and reliability. Traffic congestion is notoriously bad in the Los Angeles region, so improving bus speeds and reliability would significantly improve the customer experience. A third advantage of cashless fare collection was the potential to reduce costs. For example, Big Blue Bus could reallocate farebox mechanics to bus maintenance, thereby reducing main- tenance costs. In general, the agency’s approach to cost reductions was to redistribute them to riders (e.g., provide free 30-day passes initially). One final motivating factor was equity considerations for low-income riders. According to rider surveys, many Big Blue Bus riders are low-income and could qualify for a regional reduced Source: Big Blue Bus. Figure 40. Big Blue Bus social media post about fares resuming in February 2021.

60 Considering the Unbanked in Cashless Fare Payment at Point of Service for Bus/Demand-Response Services fare program. However, many riders do not participate in this program, which is known as LIFE (Low Income Fare is Easy). The LIFE program requires the use of the TAP contactless card, so Big Blue Bus wanted to facilitate uptake of TAP cards to encourage eligible riders to take advan- tage of this benefit. In terms of drawbacks, the initial transition period to the cashless system—particularly the first 6 weeks or so—was particularly challenging for vehicle operators, who serve as the front line. Despite extensive customer communication efforts, some riders were unaware of the fare policy changes and often ended up asking operators complicated questions, such as how to use Source: Big Blue Bus. Downtown Figure 41. Big Blue Bus promotion for 30-day free pass in the app Transit. Source: Big Blue Bus. Figure 42. Big Blue Bus website banner during the cashless pilot program.

Case Examples 61   an app to pay their fares. An important lesson learned, therefore, is to prepare vehicle operators for common questions and recognize that operators play an important customer communica- tions role during the transition period. A second potential drawback was customer concerns about disenfranchisement. Preliminary customer research conducted in fall 2021 suggested most riders did not intend to revert to using cash after the pilot program ended; however, these same customers recognized that other passengers—such as the unbanked or elderly—might want or need to use cash. They expressed concerns that eliminating cash permanently could disenfranchise some of these more vulnerable riders. At time of writing, Big Blue Bus is still waiting for the final customer research data and looking at ways to ensure its most vulnerable riders’ needs are met. Policy and Regulatory Aspects Big Blue Bus’s focus was on Title VI of the Civil Rights Act. Although temporary pilot pro- grams generally do not necessitate Title VI analyses, Big Blue Bus decided to conduct a fare equity analysis before beginning the cashless pilot. The agency hired an outside consultant to collect rider surveys in March 2021, and the survey data were used in the Title VI analysis shortly thereafter. The most critical findings were that there would be no disparate negative impacts or disproportionate burdens on protected populations. Though the impacts did not meet federally prescribed thresholds (15%), the results provided insights on how to further lessen the chal- lenges of cashless fare collection and informed the launch of the pilot program in summer 2021. At time of writing, a follow-up rider survey has recently been conducted (in fall 2021) to assess the ongoing cashless pilot; Big Blue Bus intends to use these survey results to conduct a second Title VI fare equity analysis later in 2021 to analyze potential impacts of further changes to the fare system, including the possibility of permanently suspending onboard cash payments. Considerations for Special Populations of Riders As discussed in the literature review in Chapter 2, one special population of transit riders to be considered when planning for cashless fare systems is the unbanked. The FDIC regularly collects survey data on the number of unbanked households in a region, and the most recent statistics for the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim MSA, which includes Santa Monica, are shown in Figure 43. As noted in the previous section, Big Blue Bus hired a consultant to conduct customer survey research in March 2021 to use in a Title VI analysis. On the survey, customers were asked if they had a credit card and/or a smartphone with a data plan/WiFi. These questions were used to gauge customer readiness to participate in a cashless system, and the results are shown in Table 12: 371 of the 550 respondents (approximately 67%) said they had a credit card, and 467 of 550 (approxi- mately 85%) had a smartphone with data/WiFi. Considering those responses together, 348 of 550 survey respondents (approximately 63%) had both a credit card and a smartphone and were deemed ready for contactless fare payments. However, an important caveat is that the COVID-19 pandemic likely impacted these survey results. For example, the nearby universities—University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and Santa Monica College—had very limited in-person offerings in spring 2021, and university ridership was therefore substantially down. It is likely that many university students have both credit cards and smartphones, so these statistics may slightly underestimate the percentage of riders deemed ready for contactless fares. A follow-up survey was conducted in September 2021, which included some of the local university students; preliminary analysis of the follow-up survey (n = 592) found 79% of respondents had both a smartphone and a credit card.

62 Considering the Unbanked in Cashless Fare Payment at Point of Service for Bus/Demand-Response Services In addition to riders without credit/debit cards and smartphones, another population of con- cern was undocumented riders. To address potential anonymity issues, Big Blue Bus ensured there were numerous convenient options to purchase and reload fares using cash. For example, the fare apps do not require rider registration to set up an account. And while distributing the free 30-day passes in summer 2020, agency staff asked for each rider’s name and identification, but still gave the rider a free pass if they did not have identification. One last group of riders that necessitated additional consideration was those with limited English proficiency. Big Blue Bus has a substantial number of Spanish-speaking riders, so all marketing and customer education was done in both English and Spanish (e.g., Figure 44). Results and Future Plans The results of the cashless pilot thus far have been a substantial increase in the use of the TAP card and a small increase in the use of fare apps, as shown in Figure 45. Los Angeles Metro’s TAP card allows transfers between transit services throughout the region; Token Transit and the app Transit cannot be used for interagency transfers, so they capture a relatively small percentage of Big Blue Bus’s fare media usage. One last noteworthy trend shown in Figure 45 is that riders who “refused to pay” were historically a relatively small percentage (typically around 2%); however, this increased to nearly 15% immediately after the cashless pilot went into effect in July 2021. Riders who refused to pay were still allowed to board the bus during the pilot, and this number has been slowly decreasing. Source: Big Blue Bus. Source: FDIC 2019b. Figure 43. Unbanked rates for the Los Angeles MSA (including Santa Monica). Table 12. Big Blue Bus survey showing customers with credit cards and smartphones.

Case Examples 63   Source: Big Blue Bus. Figure 44. Big Blue Bus signage in vehicles explaining contactless fares in Spanish. Source: Big Blue Bus. Figure 45. Big Blue Bus fare media usage trends, February to October 2021.

64 Considering the Unbanked in Cashless Fare Payment at Point of Service for Bus/Demand-Response Services These changes in fare media usage have resulted in at least two operational changes. First, Big Blue Bus has been able to reallocate some staff (approximately two full-time employees) from farebox maintenance to bus maintenance. Second, the agency revised its bus schedules in August 2021 to reduce running times in anticipation of dwell-time savings due to cashless boarding. Planning staff used data from the company Swiftly to assess initial changes immedi- ately after the pilot program started, and then decreased route-level running times accordingly. Big Blue Bus is continuing the cashless pilot through December 2021, and at time of writing is assessing whether the pilot should be made permanent. To understand the customer response, Big Blue Bus hired a contractor to conduct a customer survey in September 2021. Preliminary analysis of the customer survey found that most customers (79%, n = 592) reported neither a positive nor negative impact from the cashless contactless pilot. In total, 7% said they experi- enced a positive impact, whereas 14% said they were negatively impacted. When asked if Big Blue Bus should accept cash again, nearly 2 out of 3 survey respondents (64% of 592) said yes; however, 64% of survey respondents also said they would not use cash if Big Blue Bus accepted it again in the future. The agency is in the process of reviewing this customer research and will likely use the results in another Title VI fare equity analysis. In parallel, the agency plans to review its fare policy and structure and consider changes in the near future. Summary and Lessons Learned An overview of this case example and the lessons learned are as follows: • Big Blue Bus went fare-free at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and reinstated fares in early 2021. Shortly thereafter, in summer 2021, the agency began a 6-month pilot to evaluate cashless fare collection on its entire bus network. This was initially motivated by public health concerns; another key motivating factor was potential operational improvements. • Customer surveys were conducted in advance of the 6-month pilot and data from the surveys were used in a Title VI fare equity analysis. • Transit agency staff conducted extensive customer communication and education about con- tactless fare options and the cashless program, including lots of face-to-face conversations. • As part of the cashless program, Big Blue Bus gave riders a free 30-day pass to help increase adoption of contactless payment. Free passes could be automatically pushed to riders using the fare apps, or riders could get a free 30-day pass on a TAP card by going to the main Transit Store location. The free pass helped soften the implementation of the cashless pilot. • During the pilot, the agency was able to reallocate some staff from farebox maintenance to bus maintenance. It was also able to adjust schedules to shorten running times due to operational improvements. • Preliminary results from customer research conducted during the pilot suggest the majority of riders do not intend to revert to using cash after the pilot ends; however, some riders are concerned about possibly disenfranchising others who may be more vulnerable, such as the elderly or unbanked. • At time of writing, the 6-month pilot is still underway, and the agency is assessing whether it should be made permanent.

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 Considering the Unbanked in Cashless Fare Payment at Point of Service for Bus/Demand-Response Services
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In recent years, many transit systems have been considering the benefits and challenges of moving to completely cashless fare payments and trying to find innovative solutions to help all their customers.

The TRB Transit Cooperative Research Program's TCRP Synthesis 163: Considering the Unbanked in Cashless Fare Payment at Point of Service for Bus/Demand-Response Services is designed to help inform transit systems of the impacts of going cashless. Several emerging trends are identified, including that transit agencies are seeking to understand how many riders are unbanked and how to meet their needs.

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