St. Bernard buses upgrade to electronic fare collection

St. Bernard buses upgrade to electronic fare collection

ST. BERNARD PARISH, LA (WVUE) - Passengers who ride the St. Bernard Transit buses will notice new electronic fare collection boxes. Parish officials say the buses used mechanical drop boxes which made it difficult to verify if passengers paid the correct amount.

"The new machines will not only ensure that accurate fares are being collected but will also track the amount of money deposited into each machine each day. Relevant information about our riders, including the number of bicyclists and disabled passengers using our service will also be tracked," St. Bernard Parish President Guy McInnis said.

A Federal Transit Administration grant funded the new boxes. Parish officials say one of the benefits of the new devices is that they will not allow foreign or damaged money to be used.

"One of the biggest issues we've encountered was that new passengers did not have exact change. Though the new fare boxes will not provide change, we can now issue tickets containing an electronic credit that can be used on a future bus ride so long as the card is not damaged," said St. Bernard Transit Manager Michael Bayham. "The electronic fare boxes are another amenity St. Bernard Transit has acquired to improve service for our riders."

Since last August, St. Bernard Parish has rolled out five new buses that have live-view security camera systems and bike racks.

The one-way fare for an adult is $1.00 and .50¢ for those who are age 60 or older. Children who are age 5 and under ride free. The bus service runs on weekdays from 6:21 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. from Sugar Mill Drive in eastern St. Bernard to Mehle Street in Old Arabi.

Copyright 2016 WVUE. All rights reserved.