February 23, 2018
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Public Transit Agencies Expand App Capacities

Numerous U.S. public transit agencies are introducing apps with new capabilities or upgrading their existing apps. Here are a few examples:

Caltrain commuter rail, San Carlos, CA, launched its official mobile ticketing app Feb. 10. The app designed by moovel North America LLC, available for both iOS and Android operating systems, allows riders to purchase and activate a variety of fare media from their smartphones.

The Caltrain app includes a Trip Tools option that allows riders to access the system’s website for schedules and link up with ticketing apps for the neighboring San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency and Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority systems, whose apps are also designed by moovel.

INIT Innovations in Transportation Inc. recently launched a system-wide e-fare project for the Orange County (CA) Transportation Authority (OCTA).

OCTA’s modernization to e-fare began with a mobile ticketing app and the implementation of INIT fare validators on more than 530 fixed-route buses. With OC BUS MOBILE, riders can now scan a QR code from their smartphones on the INIT validators to pay for fares when boarding.

INIT also entered into a contract with the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority to implement an electronic fare system that works with a mobile ticketing app from Bytemark. This contract includes e-fare validators and an option to implement platform validators and ticket vending machines in the future.

In Philadelphia, the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) recently introduced a new version of its official app for Apple and Android devices that can be customized to allow users a more personal experience. The app now allows users to “favorite” frequent trips to access next vehicle arrival information and consolidates service advisories, detours and weather information on a single page.

SEPTA also updated its TrainView page, which provides visual location updates for SEPTA Regional Rail trains approximately every 30 seconds and also can be accessed from the system’s website.

The Victor Valley Transit Authority, Hesperia, CA, recently introduced updated mobile apps for Apple and Android that enable passengers to plan trips, track buses in real time and view route maps and schedules. The apps, developed by Syncromatics, feature a live map that offers announcements and passenger alerts in real time and soon will also include text message updates.

The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) now provides free Wi-Fi on board all its buses and trains. MARTA also installed Wi-Fi and cellular services at three rail stations, as part of a project that ultimately will include all 38 stations, and the agency will extend access to its paratransit vehicles by mid-year.

The San Joaquin Regional Transit District (RTD), Stockton, CA, hosted a communications fair to introduce public transit technology to its customers. Representatives of cell phone providers, mobile ticketing and credit/debit card issuers joined RTD representatives to demonstrate how their products can enhance the riding experience.

Santa Clarita (CA) Transit recently launched a mobile ticketing app from Token Transit, which allows riders to purchase tickets and passes with their smartphones. The app also allows users to store account information for added convenience.
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