Create Your Own Fare
Passengers bought metal tickets, called tokens, or paper tickets as fare or payment for their rides.
Tokens and tickets all had unique designs depending on the location and trolley company. Some even had cut outs or designs in the center to make them look different than coins. Each token had a front and a back.
Create your own trolley token and/or ticket. What would your trolley fare look like? What color would it be? What would it be made of?
Want to see more token design inspiration? Check out this token grid – the top row shows the front of the token and the bottom row shows the back!
Calculate Your Fare
Before trolley companies used tokens and tickets as fare, passengers paid with money on the car. Look at the Pittsburgh Railways Co. Interurban System map to see the location of the stops and then use the chart to calculate how much money you need to give the conductor to reach your destination.
Each stop is 5 cents. Watch out for transfers! Sometimes you can’t get where you want to go without changing trolleys — you can transfer to a different trolley line at Washington Junction for 1 cent.
Register Your Fare
Fare registers helped conductors to track the number of fares paid throughout the day. When a passenger paid a fare, the conductor pulled the lever on the fare register. At the end of the conductor’s work shift, the amount of fare collected by the conductor should match the number recorded by the register.
Subtract the total at the beginning of the shift from the total at the end of the shift to find out how many passengers rode the trolley!
Purchase Discount Tickets
What’s fare? How much money do you need to purchase tickets to ride in 1919, 1930, and 1950? For this activity, individual fares per time period have been assigned. Remember the discounts!