MCTS M CARD Frequently Asked Questions

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1 MCTS M CARD Frequently Asked Questions September 2013 You may have questions about using MCTS M CARD. Read on for answers to our Frequently Asked Questions. If any of your questions aren't covered here, please call MCTS M CARD Services at or send an to Overview Why is MCTS replacing the current fareboxes? The current MCTS fare system has been in place since the mid 1980 s. The system is very outdated and the fareboxes require more maintenance. They are no longer cost effective. Additionally, the new fare system will allow us to better track ridership and provide better service. How will the new fare system assist MCTS and Riders? More Efficiency: More reliable equipment will allow MCTS to better control costs. Revenue: The new fare system s advanced counterfeit detection and sophisticated technology assure the collection of correct fares and reduce fare evasion. Ridership Data: With the new fare system MCTS will get accurate counts of everyone that boards the bus. Planning: Data collected will enable MCTS to better monitor routing and make changes when needed. What changes will occur? Each bus will have a new farebox. The new MCTS M CARD smart card will be introduced and paper passes and tickets will be eventually phased out. People using MCTS M CARDs will no longer need paper transfers. Free transfers will now be encoded on the MCTS M CARD. CVP, U-PASS and Freedom pass holders will receive a new electronic card, yet it will have all the same benefits as before. Riders will be able to reload their MCTS M CARDs (and purchase new MCTS M CARDs for a fee) online at RideMCTS.com. The weekly pass will be replaced by a 7-day pass and the monthly pass will be replaced by a 31-day pass. (See more information under M CARD Fares) Those paying cash can give the bus driver a smart card so a transfer can be encoded on it. Transfer time on the MCTS M CARDs will be increased to one and a half hours. Transfers allow you to board additional buses to get to your final destination without having to pay an additional fare. 1

2 What will stay the same? Cash will be accepted with the new fare system. A version of the current paper passes will be transferred to the MCTS M CARD. MCTS M CARDs will work like paper passes, but riders will tap their MCTS M CARD to a farebox target instead of showing their pass to the operator. Fare forms will still be sold at select retailers. Senior citizens, individuals with disabilities will continue to show their identification cards to ride for half fare. Children under 11 will also continue to ride for half fare. At this time, paper transfers will still be used for those who pay cash and do not have an MCTS M CARD. Changing to a new fare system is a major change and to be most successful has to be done in phases to assist customers in adjusting to the new system. How is this being paid for? ARRA (Stimulus Funds) will fund the entire project. Timeline When is the MCTS M CARD system coming? Riders will be transitioned to MCTS M CARD in three phases: IMPORTANT: MCTS will not move on to the next phase until each phase is completed successfully. This timeline is subject to change. Phase ONE: New fareboxes will be installed on buses. Cash fare can still be inserted into the farebox. DO NOT insert TICKETS into the new farebox. If you use tickets, please hand them to the bus driver. All valid passes will be accepted as fare as usual, by showing it to the bus driver. Estimated to be completed by the end of Phase TWO: MCTS M CARD (electronic smart card) will be launched. The MCTS M CARD, smart card, will be launched and available to purchase at numerous sales outlets similar to before. However, at some locations you will not be able to reload value on your current MCTS M CARD. (See MCTS M CARD Fares for more information.) MCTS will begin an online sales component at RideMCTS.com. You will be able to conveniently reload value on your MCTS M CARD. Also, if you do not have the card, for a fee you will be able to order a new card and have it mailed to you. Paper tickets and weekly/monthly passes will be phased out and replaced by the MCTS M CARD at the end of Phase Two once the fare system is working properly. Estimated to start in early

3 Phase THREE: CVP, Freedom and U-PASS card holders will be transitioned to new MCTS M CARDs. Commuter Value Program participants will receive a new electronic smart card that will look similar to the previous CVP card. It will have the same benefits. Since this transition may take several months, some CVP customers will continue to use their current CVP cards during the transition period. New Freedom Pass holders will receive a new electronic smart card that may look a little different, but will have the same benefits. In fall of 2014 all students participating in the U-PASS program at their college/university will be able to pick up their new electronic MCTS M CARD at their school. For colleges/universities that used validation stickers in the past, they will now be replaced by the MCTS M CARD. Students will still need to show their student IDs. Important Information about Fares IMPORTANT: Milwaukee County is still reviewing the new fare options so the following may change through the 2014 budget process. How will fares be affected? The new system will give you more flexibility and will be easier to use than before. All current fare forms will be transitioned to the new fare system. We won t eliminate any forms, but we will add more conveniences. And, of course, we will always accept cash. Those who currently use full and half fare tickets will still get a discount over cash fare, but it will be on an MCTS M CARD. Passes -weekly, monthly, Freedom, CVP and U-PASS - will work similarly, but with smart cards. Remember, Cash Fare Always Accepted on Buses NEW FARE FORM ON MCTS M CARD Stored Value or Pay-Per-Use Place $2, $5, $20 or another amount on the smart card. One fare (at a discounted price) will be deducted each time you use it, but remember, transfers are free and included and encoded on card. 7-Day Pass 31-Day Pass REPLACES Strip of 10 Tickets Weekly Pass Monthly Pass Will there be any new fare forms? 1-day pass for adult, premium and half fares. 7-day pass for half and premium fares this is in addition to the adult 7-day pass. 31-day pass for half and premium fares this is in addition to the adult 31-day pass. 3

4 What is a Smart Card - MCTS M CARD? MCTS M CARD is MCTS s electronic smart card for the new fare collection system. It provides a more convenient and secure way to pay fares. The plastic smart card will have a computer chip inside that can store a variety of fare options, including passes and stored value (Pay-Per-Use). Where will I be able to get an MCTS M CARD? Riders will be able to obtain an MCTS M CARD at similar sales outlets locations where they currently purchase tickets and passes. More information to come regarding these locations however, NEW Convenience - riders will be able to reload their MCTS M CARD at RideMCTS.com and also purchase new cards for an additional fee. Does it cost anything to buy an MCTS M CARD? At this time there is no additional charge for the card. You only pay for the Stored Value or pass you are purchasing. In the future MCTS may charge a small fee for the card. What kind of fare options are available on an MCTS M CARD? The 1-Day, 7-day or 31-day passes provide you with unlimited rides on all MCTS buses. Your pass will activate the first time you use it and will be good until the end of service on the first, seventh or thirtyfirst day respectively. "Stored Value" (cash placed) on the MCTS M CARD is another fare option. This will replace tickets. A discounted fare will be deducted each time you ride an MCTS bus, so you can Pay-Per-Use. See additional information under What is Stored Value? What is stored value Pay-Per-Use? Stored value is cash value that you may load onto your MCTS M CARD to pay for transit rides. Cash value stored on your MCTS M CARD is deducted to pay your fare when you tap your card at a farebox. For example, if you load $20 of stored cash value onto your MCTS M CARD $1.75 (for adult regular fare) will be deducted from your card when you board a bus. Also, a transfer will be encoded on your card, so you do not have to pay any additional fare when transferring to other buses for the next one and a half hours. Paper Tickets and Passes What will happen to paper passes and tickets? Paper tickets will continue to be used into 2014 (specific end date to be determined). If you have tickets, please try to use them now. If you still have remaining valid tickets once the MCTS M CARD is available, you will be able to exchange them for the new fare form at no charge at the Milwaukee County Transit System Administration Building, 1942 N 17 th Street during normal weekday business hours. Call MCTS M CARD Services at for more information. 4

5 Transfers How do transfers work with the MCTS M CARD system? While fareboxes are being installed on all buses, customers will still use paper transfers. Once MCTS M CARDs are available, transfers will be automatically stored on the MCTS M CARD for those using passes or stored value (Pay-Per-Use). Those who are using passes do not need transfers. If a person is paying cash and has an MCTS M CARD, they can ask the bus driver to place a transfer on the MCTS M CARD at the time of paying their cash fare. How to use the New Fareboxes How do I use MCTS M CARD to pay my fare? Very similar to the current system, but instead of showing a paper pass to the bus driver or placing a ticket in the farebox riders will tap their MCTS M CARD on the farebox's card reader, which looks like a rectangular orange pad. A green light and a single beep indicate that the card has been accepted. If you use cash, you will insert bill and coins into the farebox similar to before. How do I pay my fare while new fareboxes are being installed in 2013? Installation of new fareboxes on buses will begin in October, Thus, for a few months, some buses will have the new farebox, while others have the older model. To make it easier on our customers, fares will work the same way as they currently do until NEXT YEAR when all of the new fareboxes are installed. This is estimated to be completed by MCTS will not move on to the next phase until each phase is completed successfully. If you ride a bus with a new farebox follow these instructions UNTIL further notice: Cash - insert like you did with the older farebox Passes - show to the bus driver like you normally would Tickets - you will hand these to the bus driver INSTEAD of inserting in the new farebox. The operator will invalidate the tickets 5

6 What are MCTS M CARD Fares? IMPORTANT: Milwaukee County is still reviewing the new fare options so the following may change through the 2014 budget process. Proposed Fare Type Proposed Fare Details Cash Fares Adult $2.25 No change - cash still accepted with new system Premium (Freeway Flyer) $3.25 No change - cash still accepted with new system Half-Fare $1.10 No change - cash still accepted with new system MCTS M CARD - Pay-Per-Use Place $2, $5, $20 or another amount on the smart card. One fare (at a discounted price over cash fare) will be deducted each time you use it Adult Pay-Per-Use $1.75 Amount deducted per ride. Replaces Adult tickets. Premium (Freeway Flyer) Pay-Per-Use $3.25 Half-Fare Pay-Per-Use $1.10 Amount deducted per ride. Replaces Premium (Freeway Flyer) tickets. Amount deducted per ride with proper ID. Replaces Half-Fare tickets. MCTS M CARD - Passes 1-Day Adult Pass - Purchased in Advance $4.00 Has to be purchased in advance at a sales outlet or RideMCTS.com 1-Day Adult Pass - Loaded at Farebox $5.00 Must be loaded on an existing smart card at the farebox on a bus 1-Day Premium (Freeway Flyer) Pass $6.00 Purchased in advance or loaded on to an existing smart card at the farebox 1-Day Premium (Half-Fare) Pass - Purchased in Advance $2.00 Has to be purchased in advance at a sales outlet or RideMCTS.com 1-Day Premium (Half-Fare) - Loaded at Farebox $3.00 Must be loaded on an existing smart card at the farebox on a bus 7-Day Adult Pass $ Day Premium (Freeway Flyer) Pass $ Day Half-Fare Pass $ Day Adult Pass $ Day Premium (Freeway Flyer) Pass $ Day Half-Fare Pass $32.00 Good for a period of 7 days, beginning with first use on the bus. Replaces the weekly pass New! Good for a period of 7 days on Freeway Flyer routes (and regular routes), beginning with first use on the bus New! Good for a period of 7 days, beginning with first use on the bus with proper ID Good for a period of 31 days, beginning with first use on the bus. Replaces the monthly pass New! Good for a period of 31 days on Freeway Flyer routes (and regualr routes), beginning with first use on the bus New! Good for a period of 31 days, beginning with first use on the bus with proper ID The MCTS M CARD is not available to purchase at this time. Please check back at a later date. 6

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