Launching a New Smart Card Program How Tri-Rail Made it to EASY Presenter: Renee Matthews EASY Card Program Manager

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1 0 Launching a New Smart Card Program How Tri-Rail Made it to EASY Presenter: Renee Matthews EASY Card Program Manager Pompano Beach, FL March 2012

2 1 Agenda Introduction Agency Overview System Overview Implementation Process Challenges Customer Reactions/Feedback Lessons Learned/Recommendations

3 2 Agency Overview The South Florida Regional Transportation Authority (SFRTA) operates Tri-Rail, a commuter rail passenger service. Operates on 72 miles of rail corridor in South Florida Services Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade Counties 18 stations Connects with Broward, Palm Beach and Miami-Dade bus systems, 2 express bus lines and 1 heavy rail line in Miami

4 3 Agency Overview One of four Commuter Rail Line to use Smart Cards for Fare Collection Tri-Rail is a Zone based fare system Palm Tran 50 train schedule on weekdays with 20 and 30 minute headways during peak Carries approximately 13,000 passengers per weekday with 15% - 20% of passengers transferring to or from regional transit systems Broward County Transit Miami- Dade Transit South Florida Regional Transportation Authority Annual Ridership 3.8 million $60M annual operating budget

5 4 Fare Equipment History 1989 All ticket sales activity was performed by Ticket Agents 1995 First automated ticket sales. Ticket Vending Machines (TVMs) were installed at every station. Paper ticket system. December Entered into a contract for a new fare collection system with smartcard technology. February Launched the new fare collection system, introducing the EASY Card onto the TriRail system. The Easy Card was extended into the Tri- Rail system from the Miami-Dade Transit system where it was already in use. SFRTA s fare system is integrated with Miami-Dade Transit. Both systems are controlled by a common central computer system which is maintained by MDT

6 5 PARTNERSHIP WITH MIAMI-DADE TRANSIT Administrates Central Computer System Shared Customer Service Center for EASY card program Clearinghouse Provider for Credit Cards Transactions Supports Network Maintenance 3G technology

7 Technological Initiative 6

8 7 Technological Initiative EQUIPMENT HOW IT WORKS Ticket Vending Machines at all 18 stations 59 Full Service Ticket Vending Machines (TVMs) Issue and reload EASY cards/tickets Issue paper tickets 17 Cashless Ticket Vending Machines

9 8 Technological Initiative EQUIPMENT HOW IT WORKS Stand Alone Validators on each station platform Validate EASY card/ticket fare 85 Stand Alone Validators (SAVs)

10 9 Technological Initiative EQUIPMENT HOW IT WORKS Ticket Office Machines at all kiosks 6 Ticket Office Machines (TOMs) Issue and reload EASY cards/tickets Issue Paper tickets Remove card from/ add to hotlist Register cards / access transaction history

11 10 Technological Initiative EQUIPMENT HOW IT WORKS Fare Inspection Hand Held Units 60 Hand Held Devices (HHU) Docking stations for the HHUs Verify and process CSCs Tally paper POP ticket inspections Display Repeat Offender List (ROL)

12 11 Technological Initiative EQUIPMENT HOW IT WORKS Five Photo ID Terminals Imprint photo on Discount EASY Cards

13 12 Technological Initiative (continued) Basics on how the System Works 1.Passengers Purchase a Fare Product and load onto an EASY Card. a. Fares include Regional passes, Monthly passes, trip passes and cash value 2. Passengers with smart cards tap the card on SAV before they board

14 13 Technological Initiative (continued) Basics on how the System Works 3. Fare Enforcement Officers (FEOs) will verify that fare media is valid or issue a warning or ticket if invalid a. FEOs will use HHUs to enforce fares onboard trains b. Passengers with Paper tickets show them to FEO 4. Passengers tap the SAV again when the exit the train a. After this tap, the SAV will either update the usage information (trips/passes) or deduct value (stored value) b. If they do not tap to exit, a fixed amount of stored value is deducted or their trip closes if no stored value is on card 13

15 14 Technological Initiative (continued) Basics on how the System Works 5. Passengers can transfer with a regional pass or with a non- regional pass and stored value

16 15 Challenges Initial Equipment Installation Educating the Customers and Employees Transitioning existing fare structure to smart card Introducing Stored Value

17 16 Initial Equipment Implementation Challenges: Stations spread out over 72 miles Two week installation schedule Required multiple agency coordination efforts Inability to test entire system prior to Go Live

18 17 Initial Equipment Implementation Converted roughly 1 station per day Operated a duel fare collection system until new equipment was fully installed Contractor responded to numerous technical issues Equipment technical issues significantly reduced roughly 30 days after installation

19 18 Impact of New Smartcard on Fare Structure Nearly Doubled the Fare Product types Limited types of Fare Products available on the smartcard Complicated the fare structure Introduced Stored Value Introduced a new Discount Program policy

20 19 Impact of New Smartcard on Fare Structure Created seamless travel between Miami-Dade Transit system and Tri- Rail Simplified transfers Automated backend processing for improvement to providing customer service

21 20 Customer reactions/feedback Resistant to new way of using the system Tap on and Tap off Many customers did not want anything to do with the new technology Confusion on how to use stored value Slow to embrace the concept of a regional card - EASY card is good on both Tri-Rail and Miami Dade Lack of understanding on the new discount policy Complicated the already complicated fare policy Multiple transitions occurring at SFRTA

22 21 Educating the Customers and Employees Conducted Employee Training Sessions Ticket Agents, Customer Service and Fare Enforcement Officers Staffed Stations to assist Passengers for first two weeks Developed Customer Education Brochures Remains an Ongoing Process Temporarily Relaxed the Fare Enforcement giving passengers an opportunity to learn the new system

23 22 Lessons Learned/Recommendations Analyze Evaluate the fare structure and policy Consider making changes before introducing new fare card Engage all impacted departments throughout planning & launch Evaluate the new operating environment and develop new policies and procedures Identify new roles and responsibilities and who will perform them

24 23 Lessons Learned/Recommendations Plan Please!!! Don t RUSH Create a reasonable implementation schedule Estimate about how much employee training you think you need then double it Create a card distribution plan and a back-up plan

25 24 Lessons Learned/Recommendations Communicate Discuss key new business rules with senior management Focus on any big changes for key customer groups first (Students, Seniors, ADA, Employer Disc Program) Solicit feedback from customer facing staff on a regular basis Establish controlled method for addressing employee inquiry so everyone gets the same information

26 25 FUTURE REGIONAL PROJECTS Florida Department of Transportation Project Initiative is underway to provide the technology to connecting bus service - Broward and Palm Beach

27 Questions Contact Information Renee Matthews Director of Special Projects South Florida Regional Transportation Authority Office (954) Cell (954)

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