August 31 was the 49th anniversary of New York City Transit bus drivers no longer having to use a coin collector to make change for riders.
August 31, 1969, was the first day that bus riders either had to deposit a subway token or the exact amount in coins directly into the fare box. Drivers could concentrate of driving instead of multitasking.
It became the passenger's responsibility to deposit the exact fare in cash or subway token directly into the fare box when boarding the bus.
All the driver had to do was look through the upper portion of the fare box and make sure that the fare was paid. Previously, drivers had to deal with potential robbery while in service due to carrying cash.
Safety increased for drivers, passengers, and buses. There were fewer traffic accidents involving buses. On‐time performance improved as passenger boarding time sped up.
Drivers no longer had to deal with money when returning to the bus garage. Other transit employees, known as “vault pullers,” would unlock the bottom of the fare box and empty the contents.
Coins and subway token revenue would be sorted, counted and wrapped within the safe confines of a secure money room in the garage.