Automated fare media
Automated fare media refers to any number of electronic fare media systems designed to improve convenience and speed of fare payment. A "smart card fare payment system" often features magnetic strips or RFID chips to transmit fare payment from the fare media to the card reader.
Automated fare media can be used to consolidate fare media among several agencies within a region.
Reducing vehicle dwell time
Automated fare media reduces the need to pay in cash, as users can pre-load media with passes or cash value.
The Federal Transit Administration notes:
The pay-as-you-board policy typically used for North American bus operations has its greatest limitations when boarding demand is very heavy, such as during the evening rush hour in Central Business Districts or other major employment concentrations. The long dwell times not only delay passengers but can use up scarce downtown bus berths, greatly reducing the potential passenger throughput.