MCTS Goes Paperless, Union Leaders Object

The Milwaukee County Transit Authority is trading paper for plastic. 

As of Monday, Feb. 29th, riders will use the M•CARD, a reusable, electronic smart card, to pay for their rides. The M•CARD was implemented in late 2014, and has already been used for more than 13.3 million rides. Officials say the exclusive use of the M•CARD will make riding easier, cheaper, and more environmentally friendly by cutting down on paper waste.

But not everyone is thrilled with the change. Leaders from the Union representing bus drivers tell CBS 58 this new system will be a "disaster."

"The majority of the public doesn't have these cards," said James Macon, ATU Local 998 President. "What's going to happen is they going to get on the bus and pay their fare and the driver can't do anything for a transfer. So the public is going to be mad because now I just put $2.25 to get on a bus and I don't have a transfer to get on another bus."

But Monday afternoon, riders told us everything was going smoothly. 

"I wasn't nervous at all," said Carolyn Outlaw, who rides the bus every day. "And it seemed like it was on time."

"Yeah with today's technology, I would expect everybody would be ready for this," said Dave Taylor, another bus rider. "Kind of thought they'd have it on their phones too. I'm sure that's to come."

Riders will still be able to pay with cash, although it will be cheaper to use the M•CARD ($2.25 cash price vs. $1.75 M•CARD). Previously purchased paper tickets will be accepted until the end of 2016, but you will need an M•CARD to get a transfer when using those tickets.

The M•CARD can be loaded with passes or Stored Cash Value. When you register your M•CARD on M•CARD Online, the value on the card is protected from loss or theft.

MCTS has created a special web page with more information on the transition to paperless, including Frequently Asked

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