In response to Can Pay Stations for Parking be used as GoTo card readers for bus pre-boarding? Charles Carlson sends this along from Metro Transit:
We see definite application in arterial BRT/rapid bus corridors. We’ve been discussing this sporadically for a couple months and are actually prepared to release an RFI on this concept to gauge industry interest. New York City Select Bus service did use a repurposed parking meter, but it was more like the kind you find at Minneapolis Parks parking lots and only issued a paper receipt, with significant down time/reliability problems. And whether you used cash or a Metro card, you still needed a receipt for Select Bus only … not an elegant system. In subsequent applications NYC has used the more traditional TVM model. But they also have 50,000+ users/day on Select Bus corridors, so the comparable usage isn’t quite there to justify a big machine everywhere. Here are a couple pictures:
We’re looking at something closer to the new Minneapolis meters. These units are much more limited in functionality than full-scale TVMs, but offer a number of advantages (cost being a primary one, if these ended up at $5k-$10k vs $80k-$90k for big TVMs).
Our concept is that the meter would issue a pre-encoded paper “smart ticket” for validation and subsequent transfer. We anticipate parking machine limitations mean only 1-2 types of tickets would be possible to issue, so coordinating a consistent/predictable customer experience with broader regional fare policy may be challenging. Coordination meetings with Minneapolis Parking show some initial promise on the machines, but significant re-engineering is probably needed to issue compatible media to avoid duplicative or parallel infrastructure. We’d encourage coin/credit card users to obtain a GoTo card (or its successors) if they want a more advantageous pricing structure.