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Ohio Transit Agencies Embrace ‘Smart’ Technology for Fare Payment on Buses, Trains

Originally published in Akron Railroad Club

Ohio Transit Agencies Embrace ‘Smart’ Technology for Fare Payment on Buses, Trains

May 30, 2016-

Some Ohio transit agencies are beginning to embrace smart card smart phone apps to allow passengers to pay their fare.

The move is expected to speed up service because it will eliminate dwell times while passengers pay their fares in cash.

Cleveland RTAA 2012 study of the 10 most popular bus routes of the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority found that buses spent twice as much time waiting for passengers to pay than they did waiting at red lights.

Cleveland RTA has launched a six-month “flash pass” mobile fare card pilot program that is expected to begin in June or July through mobile payment provider Passport.

The Central Ohio Transit Authority in Columbus plans to seek requests for proposals for a new payment system to replace cash-only fare boxes. COTA also plans to offer wi-fi aboard its buses.

In Cincinnati, the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority has reached an agreement with Passport to develop a mobile ticketing app to be used on buses and the under construction streetcar line.