Pennsylvania Port Authority Unveils Mobile Payment App for Bus Passengers


(TNS) – The Port Authority is set to roll out its smartphone payment system for bus riders, but it will likely not be available to tram users until early next year.

This is because the Federal Transit Administration has different fire safety requirements for vehicles traveling underground, and contractor Masabi LLC had to change the design of the recording device known as the validator. for light rail cars. This work continues and the devices may not be manufactured and installed until January.

As a result, the agency will have a “soft launch” of the mobile payment app known as Ready2Ride “very, very soon,” authority spokesman Adam Brandolph said. The app will be available, but the authority won’t do a big promotion because it doesn’t want to confuse customers who switch from bus to light rail and couldn’t use the app at both locations.

“At this time, this will only be a soft launch,” said Brandolph. “The most important aspect is that it will initially only be for buses.”

Since April, the authority has had the Ready2Ride mobile application tested by around a hundred bikers. About 400 had volunteered to try it, but with lower attendance during the pandemic, less than 100 used it regularly.

There were a few minor issues along the way, Mr Brandolph said, but they were fixed.

As part of the pilot, the authority conducted a Title VI analysis of the federally mandated mobile app to determine whether it would be discriminatory, as its introduction would exclude any group from using the system. Ellie Newman, section chief for service development, told the technology committee of the board last week that this would not be discriminatory because there would be a difference of less than 20% between all groups when it comes to l access to a smartphone.

When mobile payment becomes available, Ready2Ride will be available for free on any Apple or Android smartphone. Cyclists will also be able to use the mobile application called Transit.

Either way, Newman said, the agency is developing additional ways for customers to get fare products, including individual tickets. This should include a series of retail outlets that will be able to use a laptop to print tickets instead of needing an expensive ATM machine.

Analysis found seven communities that have access to public transit but have no fare products available within half a mile: McKees Rocks, McKeesport, Wilkinsburg, Braddock and the Pittsburgh neighborhoods of Spring Hill, Hill District. and Lincoln-Lemington. The agency has found locations in the Hill District and McKeesport, but continues to seek locations in other communities.

The agency has also identified a series of outlets that will provide transit products, but they have yet to sign contracts, Brandolph said. The agency also plans to make products available in offices and public buildings.

The tech committee recommended that the full board accept the Title VI analysis at its meeting on Friday.

© 2021 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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