A new tap-and-go e-payment system will make scoring great public transit service easier, more convenient and affordable.
Given that the Canton area is home to the Pro Football Hall of Fame and is arguably the Gridiron Capital of the known universe, it should come as no surprise that CEO Kirt Conrad named the tap-and-go smart cards that will drive the Stark Area Regional Transit Authority’s (SARTA) innovative electronic fare payment system “SCORE” and “Touch Down” cards. “The names are perfect because the cards are going to be game changers for us and our riders when we roll them out in early 2022,” Conrad said.
The plastic SCORE card is similar to credit and debit cards and is embedded with a computer chip. After users create an account and register their card, they can store value on the card, use it to pay for all SARTA tickets and passes, and add to their account balance at any time online, at a transit center, or over the phone. The Touch Down card, made of heavy cardboard, comes pre-loaded with a set dollar amount or specific ticket or pass. The cards are free and will be available at SARTA’s Cornerstone, Belden Village, Massillon, and Alliance transit centers and may also be ordered online, over the phone, or by mail.
Along with eliminating the need for paper tickets, passes, and transfers, the new smart cards offer a number of other advantages that will make using SARTA’s fixed route, ProLine ADA, Success Express, Veterans and other programs and services more convenient and affordable than ever before.
“Riders will notice the difference the minute they get on the bus,” Conrad stated. “Instead of fumbling with paper tickets and passes or cash they will simply tap their SCORE or Touch Down card on our new validators and in just a few seconds be on their way to the thousands of destinations we serve in Stark County and beyond.”
And reaching those destinations will cost less because the new electronic payment system will enable SARTA to implement daily fare capping on the system’s fixed routes. “Riders will be able to take as many trips per day as they want or need for just $3.00,” Conrad noted. “They won’t need to buy multiple tickets or use transfers. They can literally ‘tap and go’ wherever they want or need to go that day for one set price.”
While the new system is easy to use—creating and registering a SCORE card takes just a few minutes—SARTA is developing and preparing to launch a marketing and education campaign that will enable riders to take full advantage of all the smart cards’ features. “We will use social media and our website, as well as earned and paid media to spread the word about this exciting new program,” said Conrad. “And of course our talented customer service representatives will be available to answer questions, provide training, and make it easy for everyone to ‘score’ the best public transportation service in the area.”
SARTA E-Payment System