Riding Transit Gets Smarter

The Regional Transportation District (RTD) is currently piloting Smart Cards, starting in Boulder, and eventually expanding the pilot to the rest of the metro.  In 2012, RTD plans to launch the full Smart Card program with the Eco Pass, Neighborhood Eco Pass, and College Pass programs.  RTD will then expand the program to include monthly bus passes and stored value cards, which will work similar to a pre-loaded debit card just for RTD.  Installation of smart card readers and distribution of smart cards is expected to begin later this year.

Smart Card technology, which is used by transit agencies in many U.S. cities already (Atlanta, Los Angeles, New York City, Seattle, Washington DC), will make fare collection more convenient and streamlined for RTD passengers, and will make the distribution of fare products like monthly passes easier for commuters.  Riders will tap a smart card reader when boarding a bus or at a light rail platform reader prior to boarding a train to pay their fare, significantly expediting the boarding process.

The smart card project will also enable RTD to gather ridership data on three annual pass programs: Eco Pass, Neighborhood Pass and College Pass. The Smart Card system will capture data on the trip taken, which will be accumulated by employer/school/neighborhood and include information on the type of service utilized.  This information will help RTD adjust the price for these pass programs to align more with use.

RTD will initially pilot the following routes in the Boulder area; watch for the installation for validators on these routes:

  • SKIP (Boulder via Broadway)
  • DASH (Boulder/Louisville/Lafayette via South Boulder Road)
  • BX (Boulder/Denver Express via U.S. 36)
  • AB (SkyRide to DIA)
  • 209 (Boulder Campus Loop)
  • BOLT (Boulder/Longmont via Diagonal Highway)

For more information, please contact Chris Cruz, RTD Smart Media Customer Service Call Center Supervisor, at RTD-SmartMedia@celinainc.com or call 303-299-CARD (2273).

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