Modeshift & SCTA: A Timeline Of Success

Modeshift & SCTA: A Timeline Of Success

We are more than happy to announce that our smart mobility pilot with South Central Transit Authority (SCTA) has been transformed into a 5-year contract!

Who are SCTA?

South Central Transit Authority was founded to serve public transit in the County of Lancaster and County of Berks. It comprises Berks Area Regional Transportation Authority (BARTA) and Red Rose Transit Authority (RRTA), and provides fixed-route bus service and door-to-door paratransit service to roughly 5.1 million passengers annually. Its fleet of 93 buses and 124 paratransit vehicles, as well as a dedicated team of transit professionals, is on a mission to provide safe, efficient, convenient, and dependable transportation for the citizens of Berks County and Lancaster County.

Why did SCTA need to upgrade its existing transit system?

SCTA needed a turnkey contactless ticketing system to modernize its fare collection process. As the COVID-19 pandemic struck, it became obvious that such a system is not only a step towards improving the customer experience but also a necessity to provide safety for both riders and agency personnel.

What was Modeshift’s proposal?

SCTA got in contact with Modeshift and both teams immediately recognized the opportunities that lie in a partnership between them. Modeshift put on the table its 360-degree mobility platform specifically designed to tackle the problems of small and mid-sized cities. It offered a full stack of tools that could help SCTA implement account-based fare collection and contactless ticketing in times when hygiene and social distancing were of paramount importance.

To further prove to SCTA that its platform is the right fit for the agency, Modeshift proposed a 6-month pilot during which it equipped more than 100 buses with validators.

The pilot

As the pilot took place amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, Modeshift worked remotely with SCTA to deploy the equipment and the software. We used the help of a local consultant who supervised and assisted with the installation and testing of more than 200 validators in under a month, while our IT team worked round the clock to provide a seamless transition to account-based ticketing.

The platform helped the SCTA team manage their day-to-day operations – from rider accounts and customer groups to scheduling. What’s more, it provided SCTA with a real-time reporting tool to track vital metrics to improve performance.

Listen to Greg Downing from SCTA in The Modecast Podcast >>

As a result of the implementation, both BARTA and RRTA were able to offer their riders a fully functioning account-based fare collection platform in less than six months. Riders can reload their accounts via the dedicated portal for each agency, by visiting a service window or via the dedicated mobile apps. The paper ticket option ensured no rider was left behind.

Modeshift provided two mobile applications branded to represent BARTA and RRTA respectively. These mobile applications ensure that riders can securely reload their accounts without having to visit a service window and also validate contactlessly once on board.

The pilot: results

From day 1, the Modeshift platform proved that it does exactly what it’s supposed to – not only improve the transit experience but also attract new riders. During the first 4 weeks of the pilot, 25% of the riders embraced the mobile ticketing option in an environment that was previously cash-only. During this time, close to 100% of the overall ridership of the agency transitioned to the Modeshift platform, too, utilizing the smart cards we provided. This was a ratio that we had never hoped for and paved the way to our success in the following open bid.


To support the pilot we helped SCTA’s own marketing efforts with a marketing pack specifically designed for their needs. It included brochures, stickers, videos and social media posts that communicated clearly the benefits of the system and how to use it. We believe this helped riders better understand the service and how it fits into their daily commuting routines.

The bid & the contract

After an open bid SCTA awarded the contract to Modeshift in a competitive procurement race against 5 other competitors. The notice to proceed became effective as of July 1, 2021, for a period of 5 years.

Ready to take a step towards smart mobility? Contact us today so we can redesign public transit together!



Ilina Chipilska is a marketing expert with more than 10 years of experience being involved in a wide range of projects. At Modeshift she manages all marketing activities and the company's online presence.