Santa Monica, Calif.’s Big Blue Bus (BBB) launched a mobile ticketing application pilot in partnership with Token Transit that gives customers a new and cashless fare payment choice.

As part of BBB’s commitment to providing a better customer experience, the Token Transit application will evolve fare payment methods and allow customers to purchase and activate BBB passes using their smartphones before boarding the bus.

More than three-fourths of BBB customers own a smartphone and a system for easy mobile payments creates accessibility for everyone. With more accessibility, BBB hopes to attract and engage with new customers who might not ordinarily choose public transit as a means of mobility.

“We believe the app provides another great option for cashless travel on BBB, and that will seamlessly integrate into the lifestyle of current and potential new customers,” said Ed King, director, transit services.

Forty-seven percent of BBB customers still pay fares by depositing cash into the farebox, as opposed to using prepaid forms of payment. A cashless fare transaction takes four to five seconds to conduct when boarding, whereas depositing cash in the farebox takes approximately 22 seconds. To improve trip time speeds, which continually rank high in priority in BBB customer feedback surveys, BBB has rolled out a new solution to provide customers another option to pay fares and reduce cash payments.  

The program will be evaluated after a six-month period to determine whether customers feel that the app fare payment is beneficial, in addition to BBB staff determining the cost/benefit of adding the app to BBB’s suite of fare media products.

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