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Suffolk bus looks for new ways to collect fares

A Suffolk Transit bus travels on Route 25

A Suffolk Transit bus travels on Route 25 in Lake Grove. (Oct. 1 2012) Credit: Ed Betz

Suffolk County is looking at new ways to collect fares from bus riders, including through its own version of the MetroCard.

The County Legislature unanimously approved a resolution last week to direct the Department of Public Works to study alternative ways for Suffolk County Transit users to buy tickets.

Currently, bus riders must pay their fares onboard using exact change. Fares are $2 on most lines and $2.25 on the S92 and 10C.

Legis. Kara Hahn (D-Setauket), who proposed the bill, said the study will look at the feasibility of allowing riders to buy tickets on the Internet or through stored value cards, similar to the MetroCard used on Metropolitan Transportation Authority buses and subways and on Nassau’s NICE bus system.

“Throughout the nation, various transit operators have been experimenting with different technologies aimed at giving riders options beyond exact fare,” Hahn said. “This bill and any actions that may come from it are meant to steer Suffolk County Transit toward making ridership easier for its users.”

Hahn said the study will not cost the county any money. The Department of Public Works will report its findings to the Legislature in six months.

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