New fare boxes just the first step for “smart card” technology on CitiBus buses

smart card technology CitiBus buses

DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) – When CitiBus bus riders step on the bus, they will see new fare boxes. These devices are just the first step in improving the way bus riders board the Davenport bus system.

“Smart card” technology is, step-by-step being installed on all CitiBus buses. The first step in the process was putting new fare boxes in the buses.

TV6 was told by Davenport Public Works, as of October 4, 2016, all Citibus buses should have new fare boxes. The new piece of technology includes what looks like two computer screens, a scanner, coin slots, and a pass printer.

The new fare boxes do change certain methods of boarding for Citibus bus riders, also provide some new tools. The hope is the technology will help bus riders, drivers, as well as the city.

“For people, right now, it will just be alot faster for the transactions and it will help the drivers as well,” said Assistant Public Works Director, Nicole Gleason.

The new smart cards will also help prevent the sharing up bus passes and help the city maintain a certain level of security.

“Right now when people get on and just show their pass, we don’t know who is actually on the bus. So, it will help with security,” said Gleason.

The Asst. Public Works Director also says the new fare boxes hook-up to wifi and are able to show data, such as how many bus riders there were total and how many transfers were made on a particular bus..

The new “smart cards” or “proximity cards” aren’t available as of Oct. 4. But, public works says the cards should be available later in 2016.

For now, bus riders can continue to pay for rides with the new fare boxes. People who have bus passes also can continue show the bus driver their pass to board buses.

Students that use CitiBus should continue going about their regular routines, but public works is trying to make smart cards available to students as well.

“Students will continue to use their student ID. So, whatever method they used prior to this week, they will continue to use that method,” said Gleason. “We are in talks with the school district right now to get them the proximity reader cards as well, but that could still be a couple months away.”

The new fare boxes can currently print certain cards and passes. Bus riders can purchase one-day passes for $5.00, and these passes print right from the fare box.

Also, if people need to transfer buses, drivers won’t have to punch tickets anymore. The new fare boxes have the ability to print a transfer pass that can be used for up to three hours.

There is no set date the smart cards will roll out. Additional features, such as a receipt for the difference left if a bus rider doesn’t have exact change, will also be put into place later.


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