Local News

TARC wants your thoughts on a new payment system slated to start in the summer.

The smartcard system will make riding TARC “faster and easier,” TARC executive director Barry Barker. The smartcards—that is, cards you tap on a console when you board a TARC bus—will replace paper tickets and passes; transfer slips will end, too. 

You’ll still be able to pay exact cash to get on board. In his statement, Barker said the move lets bus drivers focus on driving buses instead of also worrying about giving and taking fares. It’ll also help TARC better track route usage for scheduling purposes.

TARC fares will not increase, the agency said.

The new system will cost $4.9 million and is funded through state, federal and local sources, TARC said. It’s all part of an upgrade push being called eTran.

TARC adds:

Passes purchased on smartcards will provide unlimited rides for a specific time period beginning with the first use of the pass to pay a fare, unlike paper passes now used which provide rides only on a specific day or during a specific month. TARC plans to begin offering 7-day passes in addition to 24-hour and 30-day passes with the new system.

TARC3 paratransit vehicles will not be part of the initial system but are expected to be phased in at a later time.

Here’s a FAQ section from TARC. It describes transfers like this:

With a smartcard, free transfers will be provided within two hours after the initial boarding, just as transfers are handled today. A payment will not be deducted from your smartcard account for additional boardings occurring within the two-hour time frame. If paying by cash, free transfers will not be available and drivers will no longer be able to distribute transfer slips. Cash paying customers have the option of purchasing a 24-hour pass for local routes – a paper card with a magnetic strip that can be swiped on a fare box reader – for $3.50 when they board. An express 24-hour pass good also for trips on express routes will be available for $5. These 24-hour pass cards provide unlimited rides for 24 hours after first use.

Here are the public hearing dates:

Tuesday, Nov 12, 2013

TARC Union Station Lobby

1000 West Broadway

9 a.m. – 11 a.m.

TARC Route #23

Americana Community Center

4801 Southside Drive

Noon – 2 p.m.

TARC Route #4

Wednesday, Nov 13, 2013

Jeffersonville Township Library Clarksville Branch

1312 Eastern Blvd

Clarksville, IN

Noon – 2 p.m.

TARC Route #82

Thursday, Nov 14, 2013

Nia Center

1st Floor Lobby

2900 Broadway

4 – 7 p.m.

TARC Routes #19, #21, #23, #25

Saturday, Nov 16, 2013

Louisville Free Public Library

Main Branch, Centennial Room

301 York St

10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

TARC Routes #4, #6

Monday, November 18, 2013

Louisville Free Public Library

Newburg Branch

4800 Exeter Ave

5 – 7 p.m.

TARC Route #23

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

East Government Center

200 Juneau Dr.

5 – 7 p.m.

TARC Route #31

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Southwest Government Center Courtroom

7219 Dixie Highway

5 – 7 p.m.

TARC Route #18