The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority today announced the launch of a new mobile app that will enable passengers to use their mobile devices to purchase select tickets and passes. The mobile app – which is available for both iOS and Android devices – is part of an ongoing project to upgrade fare technology at RIPTA and improve the passenger experience for customers.
“We are committed to using technology to make RIPTA accessible and easy to use,” said CEO Scott Avedisian. “This new mobile app gives passengers the convenience of purchasing tickets and other fare products on their phones and storing them until they are ready to ride. For now, passengers will show their mobile tickets to bus operators when they board, but in a little more than a year, we will have devices on all our vehicles enabling riders to simply scan their mobile device. We are very excited about this new option for passengers and what’s to come.”
The mobile app, developed by Bytemark in New York City, is available for download in both the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for Android devices. Customers can find it by searching “RIPTA Flash Pass.” This beta mobile app is part of RIPTA’s fare collection system upgrade project. The ongoing project will give passengers new, more convenient ways of paying for bus fare, including online accounts, reusable “smart” cards, and the option of purchasing fare products at many more retail locations throughout the state. By having online accounts in the future, passengers will be able to add monetary value to their cards as they need it.
The project also will include an updated version of the mobile app which will make it compatible with “validators” that will be installed on all buses, giving passengers the ability to simply scan their mobile devices as they board. For now, passengers will be required to show drivers the active ticket on their phone so operators can verify its authenticity. RIPTA bus operators will not be handling passengers’ phones and passengers are being instructed to make sure they have their electronic tickets ready to show the driver when they board. Since the app is still in beta mode, RIPTA will be monitoring the performance of the app and collecting customer feedback. Currently, the products that are available for mobile purchase are a single trip (with no transfer), a single trip (with transfer), a 5 trip and transfer bundle, a Day Pass and a Seven Day Pass.
RIPTA has created an online video to show passengers how to download and use the new app, and it can be viewed at: https://bit.ly/2tLrA96.
Earlier this year, RIPTA announced that it had selected INIT, Innovations In Transportation, Inc., of Virginia for the fare system upgrade project. Based in Chesapeake, Virginia, INIT is the worldwide leading supplier of integrated ITS and fare collection systems for buses and trains. For more than 30 years, INIT has been assisting transit companies in making public transport more attractive, faster and more efficient.