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Cash counters ensure success of bike-sharing programs

Transportation authorities can use cash counters to ensure accuracy when promoting bike-sharing programs among low-income citizens. These individuals are less likely to own debit or credit cards, so they're unable to use a system that only accepts electronic forms of payment. By expanding bike-sharing and other transportation programs to accept cash and using money counters to accurately track the funds, nearly everyone can access inexpensive, green forms of transportation.

Money counters accurately track payments

According to a press released published on Mass Transit Magazine, Motivate and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, operators of Bay Area Bike Share, reduced the introductory annual membership rate for low-income area residents to $5. In addition, commuters will be able to pay for the program with cash. Previously, bikers were limited to paying with credit or debit cards only. Finally, the organizations devoted $260,000 toward community outreach to engage low-income citizens. These moves are part of an expansion to bring the program to more citizens across the Bay Area. 

As the East Bay Times detailed, the new payment options, outreach and expansion will position bike-sharing as a benefit for all communities and not a sign of gentrification. Currently, the majority of bike-share users are white affluent men. Accepting cash and lowering the initial annual fee makes the bikes available to more individuals.

"With these new transportation options coming to the city, the question was how do we get in front of them and make sure people can have access before it becomes a symbol of gentrification and displacement," Clarrissa Cabansaga, senior community planner for the nonprofit TransForm, told the East Bay Times.

TransForm, along with Bike East Bay, is also contributing to the outreach efforts with at $75,000 grant. For a program like this to work, however, the organizations operating them must accurately count the funds collected. Money counters track cash payments quickly and efficiently so transportation authorities can focus more on outreach.

January 6, 2017