Regional Fare Policy and Fare Allocation, Innovations in Fare Equipment and Data Collection


Ann Joslin

Document Type


Publication Date


Subject Area

policy - fares, organisation - management


Automatic fare collection, Best practices, Case studies, Fare collection, Fares, Innovation, Policy, Public transit, Regional fare management programs, Transit operating agencies, United States


Changing demographic, land use, and social characteristics are prompting transit agencies to rethink the traditional business model of operating in a fairly independent manner within their jurisdictional boundaries. As a result, the planning and implementation of regional fare programs ranging from simple interagency agreements to allow for free transfers between systems to complex multi-agency programs with a technology focus have increased in recent years. The continued evolution and increasingly widespread usage of electronic payment technologies have facilitated fare integration efforts by making possible a greater range of payment options and offering a more efficient means of distributing fare media. This report documents recent experiences related to regional fare programs in the United States, with an emphasis on institutional arrangements, technological impacts, customer acceptance, data processing enhancements, and costs and benefits. Five case studies are included to demonstrate a variety of approaches to regional fare coordination. A summary of best practices for the implementation of regional fare programs identified in the literature review and case studies is included for agencies who may be evaluating regional fare program options. This report is available on CD-ROM. The appendix is not attached to the Web document, but is available on the CD-ROM which contains 138 pages.