SARTA Adopts “Tap and Go” Electronic Payment System
The Stark Area Regional Transit Authority (SARTA), long a national leader in the development and deployment of innovative transportation technology, recently rolled out a new paperless “tap and go” electronic payment system that will make traveling to the thousands of destinations the system serves easier and more convenient than ever before.
Free “SCORE Cards” are at the heart of the exciting new way to purchase passes and tickets for SARTA’s fixed routes, ProLine on-demand ADA service, the Success Express, and student discount program. SCORE Cards were made available to the public in July. “Touch Down Cards,” a non-reloadable, limited use card will be added to the paperless lineup in the near future. Both may be obtained at the system’s transit centers or ordered online at sartaonline.com/tapcard.
According to SARTA CEO Kirt Conrad, the new cards, which utilize radio frequency identification (RFID) technology, will significantly improve and enhance the passenger experience and enable the system to go completely paperless beginning January 1, 2023.
“Our plastic SCORE Cards are reloadable and will score lots of points with frequent riders,” Conrad said. “Once a customer creates an account online or at one of our transit centers and loads or reloads their card with fares or stored cash value it literally becomes their ticket to ride SARTA.”
“Passengers won’t have to purchase and keep track of paper passes, tickets, or transfers, fumble for them in their pocket, wallet, or purse when they board our vehicles, or hand them to their driver,” Conrad continued. “With a SCORE Card they can tap our new fare RFID fare boxes, say ‘hi’ to their driver, take their seat, sit back, relax, and enjoy their trip. The new system really makes riding easier than ever.”
“While the SCORE Card is the perfect choice for people who ride a lot, we created the Touchdown Card to ensure that occasional passengers and visitors to the area can experience all the advantages of the tap and go system,” said Conrad. “For example, people who visit Canton for the Pro Football Hall of Fame ceremonies will be able to purchase a Touchdown Card and use SARTA to travel to and from the Hall during their stay. Like the SCORE Card it’s a real winner.”
Conrad also noted that the new electronic payment system will reduce the environmental impact associated with the making, printing, and disposing of paper tickets and passes. “We’re proud of the fact that SCORE, like our award winning zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell bus program, will advance SARTA’s commitment to sustainability.”
In addition to the SCORE and Touch Down cards, riders will still be able to use the free EZfare mobile app and exact change to purchase tickets and passes.