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GREENSBURG (KDKA) — The Connect Card payment system launches on Thursday, and it’s creating some changes for riders.

Getting on the bus and realizing you may not have the exact change is not a pleasant experience. However, the days of fumbling for change may be over for Westmoreland County Transit Authority riders as the agency institutes the card system, which eliminates the dollars and cents of getting on the bus.

“It’s basically a convenience for our riders who don’t want to carry cash and who don’t want to be inconvenienced by having to purchase a monthly pass,” said Meghan Yuhouse, WCTA’s director of operations.

With half a decade in development and a little over half a million dollars invested, the Transit Authority Connect Card system will be launching soon.

“We plan to do what we’ve termed a soft launch on Feb. 1,” said Yuhouse.

The system is simple – you get your Connect Card at the Transit Authority sales terminal in Greensburg, load money on to it and swipe the card at the fair box. That’s it.

Riders can also re-load the cards at the Sheetz in North Huntingdon near the Route 30 Park ‘n Ride lot or at the Port Authority’s location in Downtown Pittsburgh.

“There is a web portal portion of the program that will be put into effect when all of the regional authorities go live with the Connect Card,” Yuhouse said.

The WCTA Connect Card will work on Allegheny County Port Authority buses and trolleys as well.

But if you don’t want the card, that’s okay.

“We will always accept cash,” says Yuhouse.

But will people use it?

“I think it’s a good deal for us,” said bus rider, Miriam Trickle.

“Sure, it’s a good idea,” added Lorraine Mallich, another transit rider.

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