Valley Metro Software Glitch Means A Free Ride On Most Valley Buses

Valley Metro kicked off new bus services today -- but it wasn't without what might end up being a costly glitch.

Software downloaded to update the fare boxes on board most Valley buses actually shut them down.

Marie Chapple, a spokeswoman for Phoenix's Public Transit Department, said a "good portion" of buses were affected.

She said the fare boxes went out this morning during peak hours, but that transit officials have been working to correct the problem.

It's unclear how much this trip up will end up costing cash-strapped Phoenix and other Valley cities. In December, bus passengers boarded Valley buses more than 4.3 million times. That's almost 140,000 boardings a day, and passengers pay $1.75 for a one-way ride.

Chapple noted that not all buses have fare boxes and that some passengers pay in advance when they buy monthly passes. She said they would review costs associated with this problem, but right now the focus was on getting it fixed.

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