The Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA) wanted to launch a fully functional mobile ticketing solution that would provide an easier transit experience for their riders. Along with other technological initiatives, this mobile ticketing app was a part of JTA’s larger vision of a more connected transit system. To coincide with the launch of Jacksonville’s new Bus Rapid Transit System (the First Coast Flyers) and other technology updates, JTA selected Passport to deliver a new mobile ticketing app in under 90 days. Passport also built software for 10 test on-board validators so riders could easily scan their app to board the bus.
“Everything we do at JTA is with the customer in mind. This app gives customers more choice, more flexibility and improves the customer experience. For JTA, it’s much more cost efficient and it prepares us for the future.” – Greg Hayes, CFO, Jacksonville Transportation Authority
The Jacksonville Transportation Authority debuted the MyJTA app in record time. The app is available for all JTA buses, ferry, and Gameday Xpress fare purchases. MyJTA allows riders to plan, track and pay for their fares, while providing the Jacksonville Transportation Authority with insightful data on their riders. The mobile solution contributed to JTA’s Outstanding Public Transportation Achievement Award from APTA in 2016.
Expert Launch Team
Utilizing Passport’s experience in large scale deployments, the team worked closely with JTA to maintain constant communication and identify important deadlines. From kick-off in September 2015 to the app’s launch in early December 2015, Passport’s Finance, Operations, and Marketing teams conducted daily updates with JTA to beat the original goal launch timing by 27 days in order to coincide with other major initiatives.
With increased mobile utilization JTA saw a significant decrease in the amount of physical tickets printed, leading to over $40,000 in savings from print and paper costs alone. In addition to these savings, mobile ticketing reduces the authority’s reliance on expensive hardware (ticket vending machines) that is prone to wear and tear, and reduces administrative and maintenance processes.
In addition to creating the MyJTA mobile ticketing app, Passport built the software for hardware validators in less than one month. The validators were installed on over 200 buses in March 2018. Riders are able to scan their mobile tickets through the MyJTA app as they board the bus, leading to reduced dwell time. The mobile ticket also includes passback logic, which prevents riders from rescanning tickets, therefore reducing fraud and protecting the agency against violators.
Unprecedented Data and Insights
JTA was able to use location data collected by Passport which revealed where riders were making their ticket purchases. By layering this data on top of a map of existing TVM locations, JTA was able to identify new locations for additional TVMs to serve cash-based riders. This has led to increased ticket sales and a better overall experience for JTA’s customers.
With 83% of the population using smartphones, it’s no surprise the MyJTA app has been a success. Year-over-year, JTA achieved a 550 percent increase (or 5.5x increase) on the mobile platform from mobile tickets bought through the app, and that number continues to grow. With a mobile app, JTA can stay at the forefront of technology and make its transit system more accessible to its customers — even expanding its customer base.
The future of transit
JTA is a leader in the transit industry, exploring alternate modes of transit to continually make service to their customers easier and more efficient, including autonomous vehicles for their Ultimate Urban Circulator program. They are in need of a payment system that can support these future initiatives, like the MyJTA app.
“As we look forward to the future of JTA and other programs that we’re working on — the ultimate urban circulator program, which will be run by autonomous vehicles, there are a number of systems that have been discussed in how we will accept customer payments. We have to have a system that is flexible enough to be able to adapt to that type of customer, and I believe the mobile app we have is scalable and expandable enough to handle that in the future.” – Greg Hayes, CFO, Jacksonville Transportation Authority