We've all been there. That awkward moment when you step on a bus or train without exact change. It's enough to keep some from regularly using public transit.
Not so fast, says Portland's TriMet public transit authority. They want you to ride instead of drive and, thanks to a new app, boarding will never be the same.
Portland is trying to ease the pain of traveling with a new smartphone app that allows users to pay for tickets via the GlobeSherpa mobile ticketing platform. The new app is currently in beta with 150 participants trying it out. Fares can be purchased from the app, which generates a QR code that is scanned when boarding the bus to validate the ticket. The process is not unlike mobile boarding passes used for air travel.
The ticket can be used throughout all of TriMet, including busses, MAX light rail, WES commuter rail and the Portland Streetcar. The app also provides data for fleet optimization, such as when to run service and for how many people. The app can also can send service alerts to riders.
The new app is one of many that TriMet offers to public transit riders, but the first to offer e-ticketing.
Currently, the app is available for both Android and iOS and is planned to support BlackBerry and Windows Phone in the future. GlobeSherpa says the major rollout will commence after the beta ends later this summer.
Ed. Be sure to stay tuned to the blog for our upcoming feature on Portland's ever-expanding electric vehicle infrastructure.
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GlobeSherpa and TriMet Launch Mobile Ticketing Beta Test; Technology Designed To Save Agency Millions
TriMet Beta Test Released Today is First by a U.S. Transit Agency to Allow Bus, Train and Streetcar Riders to Buy and Use Fares From Their Smartphones
PORTLAND, Ore., May 16, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- GlobeSherpa, a leading provider of secure mobile ticketing and payments software, and TriMet, Oregon's largest provider of bus, light rail and commuter rail transit services today launched a public beta test of TriMet Tickets, TriMet's mobile ticketing application. During the test, select riders will be able to buy and use tickets for buses, MAX trains, WES Commuter Rail and the Portland Streetcar anytime, anywhere using only their smartphones. This new technology will help save the agency millions by reducing the operating cost associated with printed and cash fares. TriMet is expected to rollout their mobile ticketing system to all riders later this summer.
"Mobile payment systems like the one GlobeSherpa developed for TriMet reduce the cost of fare collection, help optimize fleet operations, and improve the rider experience," said Nat Parker , CEO of GlobeSherpa. "Our solution gives riders the convenience of purchasing tickets anytime, anywhere and provides transit agencies a wealth of data on system use."
Abxout 150 beta testers were chosen from more than 1,500 applicants to test the TriMet Tickets application.
"Mobile ticketing gives our riders an easy-to-use, secure and convenient option for purchasing fares and once again places TriMet on the forefront of innovation," said Chris Tucker , Director of Revenue Operations at TriMet. "With today's release we are one step closer to a state-of-the-art electronic fare collection system that will improve the rider experience and save the agency money."
GlobeSherpa's technology allows consumers to purchase transit tickets directly from their phone providing an alternative to ticket vending machines, neighborhood ticket outlets and fare boxes. The solution allows riders to check schedules, receive alerts, plan trips and get deals with local retailers. GlobeSherpa's software includes an inspector application that allows fare inspectors to check for valid tickets and a back-office management tool called TOMS™ – Transaction Operations Management System – that allows transit analysts to set pricing, rules, and appearance for their tickets in real-time.
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