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Bus lines -- Fares -- Oregon -- Portland, Local transit -- Fares -- Oregon -- Portland, Urban transportation -- Oregon -- Portland, Bus lines -- Fares, Local transit -- Fares


In 1980, the Urban Mass Transportation Administration (UMTA) awarded grants to the Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District (TRI-MET) to implement self-service fare collection (SSFC) on its bus system. TRI-MET, the transit authority serving Portland, Oregon, is the second authority in the United States to use SSFC and the first to use it on buses. TRI-MET expected SSFC to improve bus productivity, facilitate distance-based fares, and reduce fare evasion.

In September 1982, TRI-MET implemented SSFC on the buses. In April 1984, TRI-MET reinstituted conventional fare collection for all boardings except those from 6:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. weekdays in Fareless Square (Downtown Portland).

The experience in Portland illustrates the difficulty of SSFC enforcement when compared with enforcement of traffic or parking laws. Problems encountered with SSFC on buses in Portland included increased fare evasion, high enforcement costs, no productivity improvements, low surcharge/fine collections, overburdened courts, and increased vandalism. These problems need to be overcome before SSFC can be successful on buses in other U.S. cities.

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