Spokane Transit Authority (STA) announced it has launched the Connect fare system, an account-based fare collection system supplied by INIT, according to the agency's news release.
Connect encompasses both physical cards and mobile payments within the eConnect mobile app, delivering electronic fare payments across the Spokane region in Washington State, according to the news release.
STA said the Connect fare system will improve the customer experience by delivering real-time account management, facilitating new payment options, maintaining customer data security, and enabling the use of mobile devices to pay fares.
Riders can take advantage of balance protection and account management by registering their account online. The website and mobile app provide features for riders to add funds, utilize an autoload option, view ride history, and check their current balance. The mobile app allows the rider to create a virtual card (eConnect) and use it to pay their fare using a barcode, according to STA.
Using the INIT fare validators inside STA buses, riders board, tap, scan, and ride.
STA added that the core of the Connect fare system is MOBILEvario, INIT’s back-office fare management, and processing software. MOBILEvario delivers the ability for STA to offer riders a more socially equitable fare payment structure called Fare Capping.
“STA embraces new technology to improve both the customer experience and our operations,” said E. Susan Meyer, STA CEO. “The tap and go feature also makes boarding quicker and keeps our buses and Paratransit vehicles running on time. Connect makes it easier for our customers to ride transit without needing to purchase daily or monthly passes. They can add value on their own terms and with fare capping, they don’t risk paying for rides they may not end up taking.”
Utilizing MOBILEvario, STA will onboard the Universal Transit Access Pass (UTAP) programs that serve the region’s colleges and universities in addition to the City of Spokane and Spokane County employees. Additionally, STA said it has expanded its fare structure with reduced and zero-fare options.