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UTA announces new fare cards

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FILE: A photo of a UTA Trax Train.

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Transit Authority announced Tuesday its new prepaid, reloadable electronic fare cards will be available for purchase beginning Oct. 14.

UTA will be giving away FAREPAY cards Wednesday preloaded with $15 at select TRAX and FrontRunner stations to celebrate the new cards, according to a UTA press release. Follow RideUTA on Facebook and Twitter to find out where to get a free card.

FAREPAY cards will be available for purchase online or at UTA customer service centers. Local businesses will also have them available during the following days and weeks, the release stated. Participating businesses include Walgreens, Walmart, 7-Eleven and Associated Food Stores.

For a limited time, UTA will offer a promotional fare when people ride with FAREPAY that will allow passengers to save up to 20 percent off the cash fare price for regular and express buses and TRAX and FrontRunner trains.

The promotional fare will be $2 on local bus and TRAX service, $4.50 on express bus and a 50-cent station increment on FrontRunner, the release stated.

The fare promotion is designed to encourage cash-paying riders to switch to FAREPAY and become familiar with how it works. The promotion will run through March 14, 2014.

UTA officials say the new cards are designed to make riding public transit more convenient. The cards also allow riders the option of not having to carry cash, have exact change or wait in line at ticket vending machines.

The discount is valid on all UTA services except ski service, paratransit and the Park City Connect. Senior and disabled riders who qualify for a reduced fare FAREPAY card will also receive up to a 20-percent fare discount, the release stated.

Reduced fare riders can contact the UTA customer service center for a FAREPAY card that honors the reduced fare discount.

Getting Started with FAREPAY

FAREPAY cards must be activated before they can be used. There is an initial one-time $3 activation fee and riders can load any amount from $5 to $500. Riders must have the minimum fare they will need on the card, the release stated. Cards purchased at UTA Customer Service centers or local businesses are activated at the register. Cards purchased by mail must be activated online before use.

People can register their card and create an account online at www.farepay.rideuta.com. Registering a FAREPAY card will allow riders to check their balance, schedule automatic reloads, ensure loss and theft protection and more, according to the release.

Riding with FAREPAY

UTA riders must use their FAREPAY cards to tap on before boarding and tap off when transferring or exiting the system when riding a bus or FrontRunner train.

When riding TRAX, riders only need to tap between the first and last stations, but they don’t need to tap when transferring between TRAX lines.

People using FAREPAY cards must remember to tap off to ensure they are charged the correct amount. If riders forget to tap off on any service, they will not receive a transfer credit and will be charged for a full-length FrontRunner trip, the release stated.

FAREPAY can be used on FrontRunner and TRAX trains, fixed-route and flex buses, and on the Sugar House streetcar line when it opens in December. FAREPAY cards cannot be used on paratransit services, which aren’t equipped with electronic card readers, according to the release.

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