The Rapid announced it is reintroducing the Silver Line to new and returning customers with on-board fare payments to prepare for contactless payments coming in 2023.
The change improves customer experience, avoids expensive equipment replacements, and aligns with how people pay fares on other buses in the system, according to The Rapid's news release.
As the original ticket vending machines reach their end of life, The Rapid said it is preparing for convenient payment options onboard the Silver Line buses rather than replacing the equipment. Transactions for fare will look just like the rest of The Rapid’s routes other than the Laker Line. These changes include installing Wave card readers and cash fareboxes onboard. These changes will prepare The Rapid for the contactless fare payment options, including Apple Pay and Google Pay coming in 2023.
“We’re continually reviewing our system and our performance and taking the steps we need to, focusing on how The Rapid can improve mobility and access for all. We look at how can we make it easier for our customers to get from point A to point B, how to choose the best route or combination of transportation options, and how to pay for their fares in the most convenient way possible” said Deb Prato, CEO.
The Rapid launched the Silver Line, Michigan’s first Bus Rapid Transit service in 2014. The Silver Line provided an express route for customers in the Division Avenue corridor.
The Silver Line stations offer sheltered, accessible platform boarding and real-time arrival information. Traffic signal prioritization, hybrid diesel-electric buses, and high-frequency service are also features of the bus's transit service.
The Silver Line buses announce and stop at every station without customers needing to signal the driver. Each Silver Line bus is equipped with free Wi-Fi.
Customers will use the same payment methods on Silver Line buses as the rest of the fixed-route bus system.