CapMetro’s new fare-capping pilot program and new way for riders to purchase tickets will help boost equity and accessibility to transit services in the Austin region. - CapMetro

CapMetro’s new fare-capping pilot program and new way for riders to purchase tickets will help boost equity and accessibility to transit services in the Austin region.

CapMetro

Texas’s Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority (CapMetro) is rolling out several new features to increase equity and accessibility for transit riders in the Austin area.

Through a six-month, fare-capping pilot program, CapMetro riders will be able to use transit services without deciding in advance what type of pass they want, while still reaping the benefits that come from purchasing a longer-period pass.

After purchasing a predetermined number of tickets over a set period of time, CapMetro riders will receive an unlimited use pass for the remainder of the period. For example, if a rider purchases two single-ride passes within a day, the rest of their trips will be free for 24 hours after the first pass is activated. Additionally, when a customer buys 33 single rides in 31 days, they will automatically receive a 31-day pass. CapMetro’s local and commuter services will each have separate fare-capping counts.

The pilot program will include up to 200 participants for an initial six months. Customers enrolled in health and human services programs, such as Medicaid, CHIP, TANF, or Central Health Medical Access Program, will be eligible to apply.

The fare capping feature is built on the Bytemark Passage account-based fare payment solution, which is part of the Bytemark Bridge Plan, Book & Pay platform.

The new feature rollout also comes along with another CapMetro improvement — the chance for riders to purchase tickets or load their mobile wallets by making cash retail payments. Riders can make payments at more than 250 locations in the agency’s service area, powered by InComm Payments’ Vanilla Direct solution. The change marks the first program rollout under a partnership entered between Bytemark and InComm Payments in August. The integration is built on the Bytemark Transact Payments-as-a-Service solution.

“We’re proud to collaborate with our longtime partners at Capital Metro on solutions that will improve the rider experience for so many in the Austin area,” said Bytemark CEO Eric Reese. “The hard work on all sides allowed us to move quickly from expanding our partnership with Capital Metro and entering our partnership with InComm Payments to rolling out the two exciting launches.”

“These initiatives are mindful of transit customers who can benefit from greater accessibility and equal access to fare products,” said Dottie Watkins, COO and chief customer officer for CapMetro. “The fast, easy, and safe payment solutions provided by Bytemark offer personalization and optimization of the travel experience that build on our recently introduced in-app stored value wallet.”

CapMetro’s continued collaboration with Bytemark builds on a valued partnership that began in 2012. CapMetro serves the greater Austin area, which has more than 2.2 million residents. The agency’s fleet includes 368 MetroBuses and 55 MetroRapid vehicles, 10 diesel electric trains, 257 vanpools, and 108 paratransit vehicles.

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