Transport of Rockland (TOR) and Tappan Zeexpress (TZx) riders will notice major improvements next week following the installation of electronic fare boxes on the fleets’ 62 buses over the weekend. The fare boxes will replace the need for the driver to collect fares, provide change and issue transfers.
“We’re bringing our transportation services into the 21st century with the introduction of these electronic fare boxes,” said Rockland County Public Transportation Commissioner Thomas Vanderbeek. “These electronic fare boxes have been paid for with non county funds.”
Vanderbeek said the change will benefit riders, drivers, the county and the services’ operator, Brega Transport because service will be more efficient.
“It removes all cash handling from the drier and puts it in the fare box,” he said at Thursday morning’s press conference at Rockland Community College.
The fare boxes will be installed over the next few days so that all or most buses are equipped by Monday.
“The box handles everything,” said Vanderbeek. “If you want a transfer it pops out of the box.”
He said drivers now count riders and track types of fare. Starting next week the electronic fare box will take care of that and riders should notice the difference.
It’s a much faster board. You’re not fumbling for change and whatnot,” Vanderbeek said.
Vanderbeek said the fare boxes and addition of GPS on the buses would increase the amount of data collected about ridership and routes to help the department evaluate routes. They provide information so the county knows where to increase service on heavily used routes, decrease on lightly used ones, reroute and where passengers are boarding and disembarking.
County Executive Ed Day said the high-tech fare boxes are another way to make sure the local transportation system is supporting businesses and economic development by ensuring buses are available where and when they are needed.
“This is the kind of situation where we can really pinpoint the need as Tom (Vanderbeek) mentioned,” said Day. “Even to the extent that if we have shifts coming out of a manufacturing plan the folks can come out and get a ride home.”
Current fares, passes and tickets will remain valid. Riders are encouraged to have exact change such as coins and small bills. The fare boxes will not accept bills larger than $20 and will not accept pennies. If passengers do not have exact change they will be issued an electronic Change for the excess payment and it can be used on a future trip.