There are so many pieces of technology that agencies would love to offer their riders. Budgetary concerns, however, tend to limit and hinder agencies to this end. So it is great news that Frederick County Transit has been able to take advantage of TripSpark’s mobile ticketing ezFARE app. The conditions were perfect for them to be able to afford and implement this solution to meet the exact needs of their ridership.
We recently had the opportunity to discuss the launch of “TransIT ezFARE” with Adrienne Moretz, Community Relations Manager for TransIT Services of Frederick County, MD. She describes the decision and conditions that led up to the implementation of the new fare app.
Ms. Moretz tells us that 60% of their riders have mobile Internet access. They derived this analysis from the results of their TransIT Triennial Survey (2013.) This statistic is still quite humble when compared to the national average that shows that 81% of American adults use the Internet. She says they “predicted that mobile ticketing would be a successful outlet for TransIT,” and that “it was time for an update.” Their faring methodology has remained the same for the past 25 years.
Until now, cash payment and paper tickets have been the only fare payment options.
They wanted to institute a more convenient and technologically advanced option. They knew what they wanted, but was it financially feasible?
Moretz describes some of the decision-making factors that led to their installation of the new technology. She cites that ezFARE requires none of the expense of set up and infrastructure required with other payment methods. For example, a smart card reader system costs a significantly higher amount, making it a less attractive add-on. Despite its reduced cost, ezFARE still provides the same (if not even more) functionality desired in a mobile ticketing system.
Frederick County found themselves in a fortunate situation. The needs and desires of its ridership were able to be matched by the budgetary capacity of the transit agency. With all the conditions in place, they were able to launch the new app and service as of Jan. 1st.
In the first week, they are pleased to say that 30 people have downloaded the app and registered for the service.
Most of their Administrative and Operations managerial staff were involved in the design and technical aspects of the app. Moretz claims that their staff “downloaded and vigorously tested the Beta version” of the app. All major kinks were worked out, ensuring that it would be user-friendly for the typical rider. To save initial deployment costs, they are currently operating the system with visual pass validation by the drivers. As rider adoption of the technology increases and future funding becomes available, they will have the option to upgrade to an automated onboard validation device. This makes it even easier for riders and drivers to move the fare collection process along. They held driver trainings and open office hours to ensure all questions were answered long before the app hit the streets. Check out their Training Guide.
“We have had several compliments on the app! One rider exclaimed that the only suggestion would be to add real-time bus arrivals and, conveniently, we will be adding that feature in the upcoming fiscal year!”
Talk to your sales rep today to find out how affordable, yet technologically rich, this simple mobile ticketing app can be. Learn how EZFare can provide an increased level of service at a minimal cost and set-up time.