Transit farebox glitch fixed; smart cards coming

North Shore Connector cost falls; Stanwix to reopen on weekend

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Port Authority has resolved technical problems with new fareboxes and is moving ahead with the planned conversion to a smart card system.

Installation of fareboxes on buses at the Collier Garage was halted last year because of recurring problems with dollar bills jamming in the machines.

Project manager Tim Bach told a committee of the authority board today that installation on buses at Collier is now complete. Buses at the Ross Garage previously were retrofitted.

Installation at the East Liberty and West Mifflin garages is scheduled for completion by the end of March. Rail vehicle fare box replacement is scheduled for completion by mid-April.

The authority also unveiled the brand name for the new smart cards: ConnectCards.

Distribution of the new cards is scheduled to begin in July, with full launch of the new system slated for March 2012. The new fareboxes will continue to accept cash.

In other news from the Performance Oversight Committee meeting, the budget for the North Shore Connector has decreased again, this time by $5.4 million, to $523.4 million.

Also, Stanwix Street will fully reopen at the Gateway Center light rail station construction site this weekend, fully restoring all traffic patterns around the site.

The connector project is 87 percent complete and on schedule to begin service in March 2012.

More details in tomorrow's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.


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