RTD to start using 'smart cards' to track ridership data

Program will start in October

DENVER - Starting in October, the Regional Transportation District will introduce a new smart card fare payment system for EcoPass holders.

The cards will be called MyRide and will replace general bus passes and punch cards throughout the system, reported the Daily Camera.

EcoPass holders will no longer have the tiny colored stickers that adorn their bus passes. Instead, RTD will distribute credit-card sized passes with a microchip that riders can swipe on a reader when they board a bus.

"This will give us a very accurate picture of usage, and we'll be able to price the EcoPass program accurately," RTD spokesman Scott Reed told the Camera.

EcoPasses are provided by employers and allow the holder to ride any bus or train on an unlimited basis for a year.  The pass is also offered by universities in the area as part of student fees.

RTD said the smart cards will also help prevent fraud. The colored stickers currently in use can be easily transferred and can sometimes be bought on Craigslist.

The electronic cards can be easily turned off, and will feature a photo of its holder.

RTD said it earns more than $35 million a year in revenues from the EcoPass program.

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Information from The Daily Camera

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