Genfare’s farebox hardware is available in two configurations: onboard and offboard. While some form of onboard farebox is usually necessary for ticket validation, offboard fareboxes are typically an optional addition for transit agencies looking to reduce boarding time and offer more payment options.
The main difference between these fareboxes is their location. Onboard fareboxes are located on the transit vehicle, be it bus, train, paratransit, or other form of transportation. Offboard fareboxes are generally located at stations with the purpose of enabling riders to purchase tickets before boarding. These are most often utilized in the form of a self-serve vending machine. Additionally, onboard fareboxes also allow more options for transit agencies to decide what payment methods to accept, with simple cash-only units as well as more advanced units that read smart cards, etc., whereas offboard fareboxes tend to include many forms of payment acceptance.
Onboard fareboxes tend to be less expensive than offboard, both in initial costs and in ongoing maintenance. Having the fares taken onboard also allows the driver to provide additional security oversight during transactions.
Offboard fareboxes speed up the boarding process by allowing passengers to validate tickets without holding up the line on the vehicle while trying to deposit cash, wait for card readers, or figure out how to purchase. Offboard fareboxes can also provide change, a major convenience factor for riders in cities with difficult exact change fares. They can also accept more payment methods, like debit and credit cards, while allowing for the onboard fareboxes to take more traditional payments in a smaller footprint.
Because offboard fareboxes do not require driver oversight for ticket validation, buses can accept two lines of passengers with multidoor vehicles, helping speed boarding time even further. Overall, the offboard fareboxes offer the appeal of modern technology to improve customer satisfaction via more convenient payment methods, less dwell time, and more consistent on-time schedules.