A couple of weeks ago, I was on a bus in Chicago and noticed something that I had not noticed before- that how you paid to get on the bus affected how long you took to get on the bus. People who flashed monthly passes boarded in a few seconds. People who put in dollar bills got on a lot more slowly, as they fumbled for the right number of bills. People who had to pay change took longer still.
So to speed buses’ on-time performance (pun intended) transit agencies should encourage the former and discourage the latter.
Transit agencies spend a lot of money to make money. In many cases, the amount spent equals or even surpasses the amount they bring in from fares. So why charge them at all?