New Orleans RTA forms new partnership with Transit app

The New Orleans Regional Transit Authority (RTA) has formed a new partnership with Transit app for riders to easily navigate public transit in more than 300 cities worldwide. RTA joins transit systems worldwide that use Transit app for riders to plan, track and pay for their trips without downloading a new app while traveling.

Through this partnership with Transit, a single sign-in enables a seamless multimodal experience. RTA riders only need to enter their payment information once to purchase rides across multiple modes and services – in New Orleans and other cities across the country.

In addition to RTA’s official app, Le Pass, riders can now also purchase tickets in the Transit app by using the “Buy ticket” button at the bottom of their screen. Users can create an account and enter their credit card information to purchase a ticket. When boarding, riders display the activated pass to their driver for visual validation.

The new Transit app partnership continues RTA’s commitment to making riding transit in New Orleans a world-class transit experience for locals and visitor alike.

The Transit app is available free of charge and can be downloaded through the Apple App Store and Google Play. 

Transit sells its millionth fare with agency and ticketing partners

A new milestone has been reached by Transit: Riders have used the app to make one million fare purchases, including passes used for trips with more than 50 partner transit agencies across the U.S. and Canada. 

During the pandemic, transit agencies and riders alike embraced mobile ticketing as a way to encourage contactless payments. Since then, it’s become a must-have for any agency wanting to improve the passenger experience and encourage ridership recovery. Now, the number of fares sold through Transit is more than 300 percent higher than before the pandemic.  

The rise in Transit mobile ticketing is also significantly outpacing ridership growth, as fare transactions in Transit have nearly doubled since the start of 2021. In comparison, U.S. stats from Transit’s APTA Ridership Trends dashboard estimate a 31 percent increase in trips since the start of this year. 

“Transit is built by transit riders, for transit riders. We know firsthand that the best fare payment experience is almost invisible—without the hassle of multiple downloads and multiple logins,” said David Block-Schachter, chief business officer at Transit. “Mobile ticketing was an indispensable tool for transit agencies during the pandemic. Now the numbers we’re seeing make it clear. As riders return, they want everything they need in one place, so they can focus on what really matters: getting where they need to go.” 

For transit agencies such as the Greater Dayton Regional Transit Authority (RT) in Ohio, mobile payments have become a staple for riders, with more than 30 percent of trips paid for with Transit and cash transactions reduced from 43 percent to 10 percent of boardings. 

“Since first launching mobile ticketing in June 2020, our customers were quick to jump on board as many were already using Transit to plan their trips,” said Brandon Policicchio, chief customer and business development office, Greater Dayton RTA. “Now that fare capping is available, we can provide our customers the lowest possible fare every day, and greater fare equity than our previous payment system.” 

Since Transit launched its first fare payment integration in April 2019, the number of riders using the app to pay for trips has grown to more than 130,000 across North America. Over this period, Transit has expanded its mobile ticketing functionality to integrate offerings from Masabi, Token Transit and Bytemark, three fare payments companies working with transit operators of all sizes.  

Along with Transit, these companies and transit agencies are taking an open approach to Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS), integrating fare payment and trip planning into one platform. 

“As Transit’s mobile ticketing launch partner, we are today live with more than 27 agencies across North America, delivering a best-of-breed experience which increases the discoverability, accessibility and convenience of public transit,” said Brian Zanghi, CEO, Masabi. “From launching mobile ticketing in cities including Denver and Las Vegas to enabling multi-state regional initiatives with NEORide’s EZfare, Account-Based Ticketing for RTS in Rochester and Greater Dayton Regional Transit Authority, and delivering, stored value accounts, cash digitization options at retailers, transit centers and at Ticket Vending Machines nationwide, Masabi consistently leads the market and is excited for the next chapter in our partnership with Transit.”  

Because Transit integrates multiple MaaS data sources together in a single account and app experience, riders can pay all types of fares using a familiar, unified app interface. This integrated approach also enables riders to plan a multimodal trip, track their ride in real time and make connections to on-demand microtransit, bikeshare, shared scooters, carshare and more. Fare payment is accessible directly from Transit’s home screen, with a prominent Buy Ticket button next to the agency’s logo as riders look up arrival times for buses and trains. 

With just a few taps, riders can create a Transit account, pay their fare and board using either visual validation or barcode validators. In multiple markets, Transit also allows users to add value to smartcards, benefit from fare capping, and load cash to the app at fare vending machines or retail locations, which gives riders the benefits of mobile ticketing without needing access to a credit card. 

‘A little bit of Island Uber’: On-demand transit coming to Bowen Island – BC

It’s not quite Lyft or Uber, but transit users on Bowen Island will soon have on-demand transit service.

The mobile app TapRide will allow users to set pick-up and drop-off locations, estimate trip times and track bus locations. In addition to the app, there will also be an online and phone-in booking system.

The on-demand service will consist of two shuttles that will complement existing bus services on the island.

B.C. government to start taking ride-hailing applications in September, key rules still unknown

Bowen Island Mayor Gary Ander said he is very enthusiastic about the pilot program.

“It will be a little bit of Island Uber for us,” he said.

“A lot of parts of the island are very isolated that aren’t on the main route now, so this is going to fill in a lot of those little holes.”

The pilot will run from July 15 to September 15 and will run from 4:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on weekends.

The pilot project will be closely reviewed, according to TransLink. If successful, a similar model could be used in other areas of Metro Vancouver.

North Shore to SkyTrain express bus service could hit the road next year

“In our ideal universe, you’ll be able to optimize all of your trips from a common app, whether it’s ride-hailing, a fixed route bus, or a bike share to complete your entire journey so you don’t necessarily have to drive yourself,” TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond said. “That is the way to enhance overall mobility in the region.”

— With files from Catherine Urquhart

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

iOS 13 could add support for Hong Kong’s Octopus transit card


Lines of code discovered on a public Apple services content server reference iOS 13 support for Hong Kong’s Octopus, suggesting the widely used touchless payment system could arrive on iPhone this fall.

Smart Octopus in Samsung Pay

Spotted by Japan-centric Apple blog Ata Distance, a code snippet in Apple’s JSON backbone for Wallet now displays supported credentials for Octopus card on iPhones running iOS 13. The transit and retail payment card is also available via Express Card NFC technology.

Apple Watch is not yet supported, with Apple’s server showing a minimum supported watchOS value of “999.0,” though that could change as the company continues work on watchOS 6.

Launched in 1997, Octopus card was the second contactless “smart card” to hit the consumer market and is considered a forebear of modern reloadable electronic payment solutions. Initially marketed as a physical tap-to-pay card, Octopus expanded to smartphones with Smart Octopus for Samsung Pay in 2017.

Since it is based on the FeliCa standard, Smart Octopus is technically compatible with iPhone 7 and newer Apple devices, though an exclusivity agreement has so far kept the payment platform restricted to Samsung handsets. That could change this fall with the launch of iOS 13.

Initially developed by Sony as an RFID chip solution, FeliCa was later hybridized for cellphone use with the cooperation of Japan’s leading cellular provider NTT Docomo. That version, called Mobile FeliCa, served as the basis of Apple’s NFC Type-F implementation in iPhone and Apple Watch, and ultimately Apple Pay integration with Japan’s Suica mobile transit card system in 2016.

According to Ata Distance, Octopus’ Apple Pay device profile is identical to that of Suica, meaning users can generate and manage new cards without leaving the Wallet app on Japanese market iPhone 7 and 7 Plus models, and all iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, iPhone X, iPhone XS and XS Plus and iPhone XR variants.