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June 15, 2020 - 12:26pm

RTS launches contactless payment system, will restart fare collection July 15

posted by Billie Owens in covid-19, Transit app, RTS Go, news, bus transportation.

Press release:

Regional Transit Service (RTS) announced today that on July 15, it will launch the new RTS Go contactless fare payment system in Monroe County and reinstate the collection of fares across the eight county region it serves, including Genesee County.

“While the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic spurred changes to ensure the safety of our employees and customers, what didn’t change is the role of public transit as a critical component of our infrastructure that connects people to jobs and essential destinations in our community,” RTS CEO Bill Carpenter said.

“With Phase Three of the New York Forward reopening process underway, it is the right time to reinstate the collection of fares and implement our new fare payment system. The new system – RTS Go – offers new ways to manage and pay fares, and provides a new layer of safety on the bus for employees and customers through contactless fare payment.”

The RTS Go fare payment system is included in the Transit app, which is RTS’ new real-time trip planning app. While the features of RTS Go will be available starting July 15, the Transit app is available for download today.

Additional changes going into effect on July 15 include reinstating the boarding of the bus from the front door, fare media changes, and the implementation of all-day reduced fares for senior citizens that are 65 and older, persons with disabilities, and children ages 6-11.

The RTS Go Fare Payment System

In addition to modernizing our fare payment system and providing new options for customers to purchase and pay their fares, RTS Go will offer contactless fare payment. This will add an important layer of safety on the bus for employees and customers as we support the reopening of our community and the continued fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. The contactless fare payment feature of RTS Go means that customers will simply tap their mobile phone or smartcard on the onboard validation unit when boarding the bus.

Another key benefit of RTS Go is “fare capping.” This means customers who use RTS Go will pay $1 per ride, but never more than $3 a day nor $56 a month, no matter how much they ride. The technology behind the system, which is delivered by Fare Payments-as-a-Service provider Masabi, will know when a customer has reached those limits and stop charging them for the rest of that day or month.

Customers with a smartphone will be able to take advantage of RTS Go by downloading the Transit app from the App Store or Google Play. Customers who don’t have a smartphone will be able to purchase an RTS Go reloadable smartcard from ticket vending machines (TVMs) at the RTS Transit Center or online at myRTS.com.

Customers will be encouraged to register their accounts with Customer Service or on myRTS.com. This will help protect the money they put on their account in case their RTS Go cards are lost or stolen.

The Transit app will also serve as our new trip planning app and will replace the Where’s My Bus? app. Customers will still be able to text 20105 for Where’s My Bus? arrival information after the launch of RTS Go.

Important dates for the implementation of RTS Go:

June 15:

July 6:

  • Customers can set up their accounts and start purchasing fares through RTS Go by following the link in theTransit app.

July 13:

  • Customers can start purchasing RTS Go smartcards from the ticket vending machines at the RTS Transit Center.

July 15:

  • Customers can start using RTS Go via the Transit app or RTS Go smartcards to pay their fares on RTS buses in Monroe County.

Videos are available on the RTS website for customers to learn about RTS Go and how to use the Transit app.

RTS Go and the Transit app will play an important role in the successful implementation and operation of RTS On Demand when we launch Reimagine RTS. The new date for the launch of Reimagine RTS has not yet been determined.

Reinstating Fare Collection and Front Door Boarding, Resuming Regular Service Outside Monroe County

RTS will start collecting fares again for all RTS operations and implement a new policy for getting on and off our 40- and 60-foot buses in Monroe County. Under the new policy, customers will board the bus from the front door and exit the bus from the rear door. Customers with mobility limitations will be able to exit the bus from the front door.

To keep employees and customers safe during the pandemic and promote the use of transit for essential trips, we switched to dial-a-ride service only in Genesee, Livingston, Ontario, Orleans, Seneca, Wayne and Wyoming counties. Starting on July 15, we will resume regular service for RTS Genesee, RTS Orleans and RTS Wyoming.

Plans are currently being developed to resume regular service for RTS Livingston, RTS Ontario, RTS Seneca and RTS Wayne. We will share those details once the plans are finalized.

Use of Cash and Current Fare Media

Customers in Monroe County who pay with cash will still be able to do so. They will be able to use exact change on the bus for a one ride or all-day pass, and they will be able to use cash to purchase a one ride or all-day pass from TVMs. Customers using RTS Go will be able to reload their accounts through the Transit app or RTS Go cards by using cash at the TVMs, as well as with debit or credit cards. Our 40- and 60-foot buses will no longer be able to accept bills larger than $1. This means customers paying with cash will need to have their exact fare ready or pay $3 for an all-day pass. We will no longer be able to provide change cards starting on July 15.

Our current fare media – magnetic stripe, Tap & Go! cards, on-board issue change cards – will no longer be available for purchase once RTS Go is in place. While we will neither issue change cards on the bus nor sell magnetic stripe and Tap & Go! Cards, customers who currently have them will still be able to use them to pay their fares through the end of 2020.

All-Day Reduced Fares for Senior Citizens, Persons with Disabilities and Children Ages 6-11

Senior citizens, persons with disabilities and children ages 6-11 will be eligible for the reduced (half-price) fare. The reduced fare is currently only valid during non-peak times. Starting July 15, the reduced fare, which is $0.50/ride, $1.50/day and $28/month, will be available all day. These customers will still be able to use Magnetic Stripe, Tap & Go! and previously issued change cards to pay their fares.

Promoting Safe and Sustainable Public Transportation

To ensure the continued safety of employees and customers, we will continue our enhanced cleaning program for RTS buses and facilities. We are providing employees with the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) they need to safely carry out their duties and we are helping customers comply with face mask/covering requirements by providing masks at the RTS Transit Center, on RTS Access buses and buses at the regional counties we serve.

“We thank our customers for their support and encourage them to help us win the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic by wearing a face mask or face covering in public, and practicing social distancing on the bus, at the RTS Transit Center and RTS bus stops,” added Carpenter.

For all other information, visit www.myRTS.com.

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