If I was the Allegheny County Executive, I'd insist that PAT deploy the Octopus Card as soon as possible and before any service cuts. The data comes after the cards are deployed. Then fares can be adjusted in an easy fashion.
Octopus card - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Octopus cardThese cards are slick. But the technology goes beyond the card as cards are able to be put into other products. I like this feature of additional Octopus products. You may even see people waving their cellphone, watch or even a keychain over the Octopus reader. Can't forget or miss-place your card if it is on your watch.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Octopus card is a rechargeable contactless stored value smart card used to transfer electronic payments in online or offline systems in Hong Kong. Originally launched in September 1997 to collect fares for the city's mass transit system, the Octopus card system has grown into a widely-used payment system not only for virtually all public transport in Hong Kong, but also for making payment at convenience stores, supermarkets, fast-food restaurants, on-street parking meters, car parks and many other point-of-sale applications such as service stations and vending machines. In addition, the system is used for access control to offices, schools and apartments. Some charities even accept Octopus cards to receive donations. Making a payment involves placing the card in close proximity to an Octopus card reader and a tone from the reader will confirm the merchant has received funds. Cards can be recharged with cash at add-value machines in subway and rail stations, over-the-counter in stores such as 7-Eleven, Wellcome and Circle K, or directly through credit cards and bank accounts.
Octopus has become one of the world's most successful electronic cash systems, with approximate 14 million Octopus cards in circulation (twice Hong Kong's population), ten million transactions per day, 420 service vendors, and 50,000 processors.