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      Charleston buses spend $1 out of $27 counting cash

      (Information in the following story is from: The Post and Courier, http://www.postandcourier.com)

      CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) -- Charleston's bus authority spends about one in every 27 dollars it collects in its fare boxes just to count money.

      The Post and Courier of Charleston reports that the Charleston Regional Area Transportation Authority pays an armored car company $100,000 a year to come in and count the coins and bills used to pay bus fares. That is more money than the authority pays to clean its bus shelters.

      Authority interim executive director Jeff Burns says the organization doesn't have much of a choice because it doesn't have the technology to take smartcards. He says it is too much cash for employees with other duties to handle.

      The authority does sell passes that magnetic strip passes that include a discount, but most rides still choose to pay with cash.