The Go-To card is a contactless smart card used to pay fares for bus and light rail lines operated by Metro Transit and other transit agencies in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota. The system has significantly sped up boardings on area buses while alleviating wear and tear on existing ticket machines and fare boxes.
The Go-To card went into full operation in early 2007.
Cubic Transportation Systems initially promoted this system as the first contactless smart card installation in the country, but since introduction has been delayed, at least one other system in the U.S. has gone into use. While traditional smart card systems require the card to be swiped through or inserted into a reader, the Go-To card would just require a passenger to tap it against the reading device. This reduces mechanical wear dramatically, and removes the need for readers to be hardened against the sometimes cold and wet climate of Minnesota. Ticket machines on Metro Transit's Hiawatha light rail line were designed with the Go-To card in mind, and were breaking down more often than expected because of the higher-than-anticipated load on the money and ticket handling hardware.
Before this system was sent into full release, some Metro Transit employees and selected area riders were part of a test program, started in the latter half of 2004, using the cards as they go about their daily business. In November 2004 after five months of service, Metro Transit's general manager stated that the devices only achieved 20% reliability.
Cubic has said that the issues delaying introduction are software problems. Frequently, either the reader or the card does not properly detect when it has been used. About 1,000 devices are in place across the system. Blue football-shaped readers are already installed in the area's buses. Software for the central computer system, which handles synchronization and how funds are replenished, was not fully operational until late April 2005.
On November 15, 2006, Metro Transit unveiled the Go-To card for 2,500 users to use during a trial period lasting until January 31, 2007. Users may pick up the cards at select locations.
As of April 2007, Go-To cards are sold at Metro Transit stores.
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