Erica Barnett wants to get rid of the ride-free area because it “makes fare collection a nightmare”. The ride free area is there because boarding in downtown would take a really long time if everyone getting on had to pay right then. Right now everyone can just walk on and off and the buses can get through downtown in a reasonable amount of time.
So here’s my question: is fare collection really a nightmare due to the ride-free zone? Would you want to trade a more complex fare collection process for buses getting gummed up downtown with fare payments?