When passengers pay cash for the $1 fare in order to board one of Bloomington Transit’s 42 fixed-route buses, they put the money into a CENTSaBILL farebox.
The farebox counts the coins or validates the dollar bill, which makes it in some sense “smart.”
But the current fareboxes are obsolete and no longer supported. One of the basic approaches to fare collection now being considered by BT is to use “dumb fareboxes”—which would serve as a receptacle for the money, but wouldn’t validate the amount.
The new “mobile ticketing” approach would focus technology on validating passes and providing passengers with some additional options for buying tickets and passes.
BT’s five-member board voted unanimously at its Tuesday meeting last week, to ask Left Turn Right Turn, which is BT’s fare collection consultant, to forge ahead with development of a request for proposals from vendors in the mobile ticketing market.
If the BT board eventually awards a contract to a mobile ticketing vendor, that would mean passengers dropping cash fares into a “dumb” farebox.
A highlight of BT’s 2021 budget is the way it maintains a course set in 2020, for the acquisition of electric buses. Three more are budgeted for next year. They show up in the capital expenditure breakdown of the $14.5 million total budget.