Open payments, a component of the Flamingo Fares account-based fare system from INIT, have been implemented by the Hillsborough Transit Authority (HART), Hernando County (The Bus), and Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA), according to INIT's news release.
Riders can now tap to ride across the Tampa Bay region using credit and debit cards, digital wallet-enabled smart devices, as well as the Flamingo Fares card or mobile app.
“Contactless payments will make navigating our region much simpler for the tens of thousands of tourists who visit all that Pinellas County and the Tampa Bay region has to offer,” said Brad Miller, CEO of PSTA. “You can still pay with your Flamingo Fares card, but now have more options to use public transportation and reduce your carbon footprint.”
The transit agencies are the first in Florida to implement contactless payments using Visa’s global urban mobility framework, allowing riders to pay their fare using any digital payment credential – whether it be a contactless card, mobile device, or wearable – with the same trust and security as any other payment processed on Visa’s global payment network.
“The adoption rate of open payment media in public transit has skyrocketed over the last few years, and that number will continue to rise as more and more people acclimate to using what's in their wallets to pay for travel,” said Andy Singh, COO at INIT.
Following the introduction of open payments in Tampa, more INIT open payment projects, including those in Grand Rapids and Spokane will be launched in 2023.
Other cities with INIT fare projects are still finalizing their launch dates to leverage this open payment platform.