A small announcement appeared on the FAX website last week: fareboxes are being added to buses on Route 1 (Q) and all-door boarding is being eliminated.
Fareboxes will soon be installed on Route 1 – BRT buses. Once installed, passengers must board through the front door and use the farebox to: Pay in cash, Validate ride cards, or Activate passesFAX
On Twitter, I confirmed with the agency that all-door boarding will end, even for those who choose to pay at the machines.
Pre-payment and all-door boarding was one of the only “BRT” features that hadn’t yet been eliminated. As a reminder:
- Exclusive bus lanes, ELIMINATED
- Articulated (60-foot) buses, ELIMINATED
- “Level boarding,” ELIMINATED
- 10-minute headways, SCALED BACK
- Off-board payment, ELIMINATED
And with that, BRT in Fresno is now fully dead.
Off-board payment and all-door boarding is important because it speeds up buses. San Francisco moved to all-door boarding in 2014, and it was a massive success. Los Angeles has all-door boarding on some lines. New York City and Boston plan on implementing all-door boarding throughout their entire networks within 2 years.
When people have to pay at the front, everybody in the bus has to sit and wait while a single person struggles to get the machine to eat their dollar. It also moves the bus operator from being a driver, to someone who also has to enforce payment. This in turn creates situations where the driver decides to handle fare evasion by threatening to not drive.
Fresno plans on adopting a tap-card payment method this year, but instead of expanding all-door boarding to all lines, they’re eliminating it.
And so as the nation moves forward, Fresno once again steps backwards.