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00000176-e6f7-dce8-adff-f6f770410000PublicSource is an independent, nonprofit news group that focuses on original investigative reporting about critical issues facing Pittsburgh and the Western Pennsylvania region. It was launched to undertake in-depth reporting in the public interest.PublicSource is a content partner of 90.5 WESA.More about PublicSource here.

Most Port Authority Pay Stations Faring Well, PublicSource Survey Finds

Emily DeMarco

Allegheny County’s 59 new pay stations at light-rail platforms and bus stops have been performing well, with the exception of some along the East Busway.

PublicSource recently tested 54 of the pay stations operated by the Port Authority of Allegheny County and found few problems with the machines along the West Busway and light-rail lines. But nine of the 14 machines along the East Busway had one or more deficiencies.

Half of the East Busway’s machines could not print receipts. One didn't accept coins. Four of the machines’ robotic voices were broken.

The pay stations, installed last year, are part of a 2009 agreement to spend $33 million updating the county’s fare-collection system. They allow passengers to use ‘smart cards’ that eliminate the need for books of paper tickets or cash.

Transit riders can buy weekly and monthly tickets at the machines and add money to their plastic ConnectCards, which look and feel like credit cards.

The pay stations cost about $46,000 each to purchase and install, Port Authority records show.

Read more of this report at the website of our partner PublicSource.