COLUMBUS, Ohio, Nov. 02, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) announced its new digital fare payment system designed to make purchasing fares easier, ensure customers pay the best price, and increase equity and accessibility for all. Utilizing the market-leading Transit app as well as Smartcards linked to personal COTA accounts, COTA is launching a full account-based ticketing solution, powered by Masabi, the company bringing Fare Payments-as-a-Service to public transit.
The goal of the new system is to reduce barriers to transit access through fare affordability, increase access via retail options for purchasing and adding funds, and a seamless payment experience with the Transit app and COTA Smartcards.
Prior to the new digital system, those customers who didn’t have the means to purchase monthly passes upfront were forced to pay the most to access transit. Masabi’s fare capping technology empowers everyone to ride COTA for the same cost, regardless of their financial situation. Riders can simply scan the Transit app or tap their Smartcard on Masabi’s Justride Validators (JRV) when boarding, and they will never pay more than $4.50 per day or $62 per calendar month. The new system also allows for a customer’s fare to be valid for two hours, meaning they can travel anywhere in the system, on any line in any direction during that time.
COTA also makes transit more accessible for its cash-only customers with the launch of a retail distribution network of approximately 350 locations throughout Columbus and Franklin County neighborhoods, made possible by T-CETRA’s VIDAPAY and InComm Payments’ VanillaDirect, so riders can add funds via cash to the Transit app or Smartcard. Riders can also add funds by visiting COTA Transit Centers and use the points of sale powered by Masabi’s Vendor Portal.
Because the Transit app is integrated with fare payment systems for more than 55 transit agencies across the U.S. and Canada, including Greater Dayton RTA and SORTA/Metro in Cincinnati, COTA riders visiting other cities, as well as visitors to Central Ohio, can use the Transit app to pay fares when they travel without having to create a new account.
“We know that transit is at the heart of ensuring economic mobility for all in our region, and advancing this new digital fare payment system is truly the right thing to do,” said COTA President/CEO Joanna M. Pinkerton. “By correcting this inequity in our transit system, COTA is taking the next step in guaranteeing all of our residents have equal access to food, jobs, healthcare, the arts and entertainment throughout our region.”
“A modern public transit system must be accessible and equitable, and we partnered with COTA, Transit, InComm Payments and T-CETRA to help make that a reality for Central Ohio residents,” said Brian Zanghi, CEO of Masabi. “Our account-based ticketing platform allows transit agencies such as COTA to provide customers with affordable and equitable fares, no matter how much or little they travel, or how they choose to pay for those rides. It levels the playing field for all transit customers.”
“Our mission is to make riding public transit as simple and stress-free as possible,” said David Block-Schachter, Chief Business Officer at Transit. “By introducing its new fare payment system in Transit, COTA is providing customers with an intuitive and seamless mobility experience, integrating cutting-edge fare capping technology from Masabi into Transit’s top-rated trip planner, to improve the rider experience at every step of the journey.”
To view a video demonstrating how to use the new system, click here.
Central Ohio Transit Authority is the Columbus Ohio region’s mobility solutions provider, driven each day to connect people to prosperity through innovation, dedication and teamwork. By utilizing technology and data, establishing community partnerships and applying sustainability principles, COTA provides equitable access to jobs, healthcare and education. COTA serves a region of more than 1.4 million people and provides fixed-route transit, paratransit and microtransit service. COTA is a two-time winner of the Outstanding Midsize Public Transportation System Achievement Award by the American Public Transportation Association. For more information, visit https://www.cota.com.
Masabi is bringing Fare Payments-as-a-Service — a better way of delivering fare payments — to public transit agencies and authorities of all sizes around the globe. This enables the delivery of the latest fare payment innovations quickly, using a platform that is constantly updating and adding new features. Not only does this improve the journey experience for passengers, but it helps agencies keep up with the pace of technology change, while reducing the total cost of fare collection. Justride, named Ticketing Technology of the Year 2019 and 2020, is used by more than 100 public transit agencies and operators of all sizes across 9 countries. Masabi has offices in New York, Denver, London, and Cluj, and investors include Mastercard, Shell, and Keolis. For more information, visit https://www.masabi.com/.
Transit solves the urban commute in more than 300 cities worldwide. Users can easily navigate public transit with accurate real-time predictions, simple trip planning, step-by-step navigation and quick, easy payments. The app also integrates additional transport modes — bikeshare, scooters, carshare and ridehail — so users can mix-and-match their options with public transit to determine the best way to get from A to B. The company is based in Montréal, QC. Learn more by visiting www.transitapp.com.