A new era in public transportation has been begun as 13 transit agencies have recently launched EZfare, an app-based, cashless, fare payment solution that aims to make riding public transit easier and more convenient.
Laketran launched EZfare in June and 12 additional transit systems plan to do the same by the end of the year, the agency reports.
In addition to Laketran, seven other systems have also launched the app:
– MCPT (Medina County)
– METRO RTA (Summit County)
– PARTA (Portage County)
– Sandusky Transit (Erie County)
– SARTA (Stark County)
– TARTA (Lucas County)
– WRTA (Mahoning County)
BCRTA (Butler County), SORTA (Hamilton County) and TANK (Northern Kentucky) will launch Oct. 23.
The Cincinnati Bell Connector (Cincinnati Streetcar) is launching Oct. 30 and Lancaster-Fairfield Transit System is launching on January 2020.
According to Laketran, all are members of NEORide, a council of governments comprised of 13 transit systems dedicated to the development and promotion of regional public transportation services.
Available as a free download from both the App Store and Google Play, EZfare enables customers to purchase fares and travel to their destination with just a few touches and swipes of their smartphone or tablet screen.
“We set out to create a seamless payment and mobile ticketing system that will vastly improve the service we offer existing riders and help our agencies attract new ones,” said Laketran CEO and NEORide Board President Ben Capelle. “People don’t always carry cash these days. It shouldn’t be difficult for someone who doesn’t have cash in their pocket to be able to ride the bus.
“Today, a customer must order a pass online and it is mailed to them or they must have cash to pay their fare, and if a trip involves using multiple systems to reach a location in another county, you have to do that for each system. EZfare eliminates those challenges by eliminating the need to obtain paper tickets or carry cash.
“We’re already the most affordable transportation option, and EZfare represents a significant step forward in making us the most convenient,” Capelle said. “That’s why we’re excited about the launch and eager for the public to take the app for a spin.”
Once a customer downloads EZfare, their smartphone or tablet becomes their ticket to ride to any of the thousands of destinations served by NEORide’s systems.
“EZfare is, quite simply, the easiest way to pay for and use public transit,” Capelle added.
Along with improving the rider experience, Capelle detailed that EZfare will enable NEORide and its member agencies to accomplish two other project goals: developing regional transportation networks that make it easy for people to use public transit to travel from county to county and to reduce fare collection costs for collaborating agencies.
“EZfare eliminates the need for transfers between neighboring transit agencies creating a one-stop shop for your fares,” he said. “I’m excited that Greater Cleveland RTA recently joined NEORide and I hope they will join EZfare to eliminate the need to use paper transfers between RTA and Laketran.
“With each additional transit system joining EZfare, we have been able to grow the volume of fares collected and in return reduce our transaction fees, saving money for transit agencies and taxpayers across Ohio.”
Experience, talent and innovation played major roles in the creation of EZfare, Capelle noted, adding NEORide’s members knew what they wanted, and that Masabi, a global leader in the development of Software-as-a-Service ticketing platforms, possessed the expertise needed to make the vision a reality.
“Transit users across the state and beyond are going to benefit from our collaboration today and well into the future,” Capelle said.
Laketran Board President Brian Falkowski believes the app to be an example of how regionalism and collaboration can work to reduce costs in government.
“The cost of technology can often be a barrier for smaller transit systems, but by working together on projects such as EZfare, we can provide modern amenities to our customers.”
For detailed information about the app and download links, visit www.EZfare.us.
The app can be found in the App Store and at Google Play by searching for “EZfare” and is also available via Transit App.