South Central Transit Authority was founded to serve public transit in Lancaster County and Berks County. It comprises Berks Area Regional Transportation Authority (BARTA) and Red Rose Transit Authority (RRTA).

As the COVID-19 pandemic struck, it became obvious that a contactless ticketing system is not only a step towards improving the customer experience but also a necessity to provide safety to both riders and agency personnel. The agency contacted Modeshift following a recommendation from an industry expert and Modeshift immediately 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.

A smart transit pilot in the time of COVID-19

The pilot took place amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and 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.

In under six months, the Modeshift team implemented and tested the account-based solution in its entirety: mobile ticketing via a branded mobile app, CAD and AVL systems, a reporting system, hardware integrations and smart cards.

Results that surpassed expectations

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.

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.

During this time of caution because of the virus, Modeshift provided us with a modern, efficient, touchless fare payment option for customers. Combining the product with the customer service and step by step implementation they helped make the integration of the system for customers and RRTA a win – win for all parties. Thanks Modeshift!

Greg Downing
Executive Director, SCTA

The city of Sofia is constantly growing in population and so do its new residential and office districts. This leads to an increased number of vehicles and more traffic. Air pollution is one of the major issues the city is facing, with measurements often exceeding the maximum thresholds of nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide and fine particulate matter.

Modeshift Europe are helping Sofia take upon an ambitious project to launch an on-demand green public transport in partnership with the InnoAir initiative.

The Platform

On-demand green transport works by substituting the e-buses’ pre-defined routes with a map based on rider demand submitted via mobile application. The project will be based on an online platform and a mobile application – it will collect data (e.g. rider demand, traffic, weather, etc.), analyze it and then create the most efficient route for each ride, picking up as many passengers as possible along the way.

Modeshift Europe will engage a team of developers and data scientists and perform a series of advanced urban simulations to enhance the scaling capabilities and uptake of InnoAir. Our niche expertise allows us to contribute with innovation – design a concept for the On-Demand Public Transportation Platform and the necessary machine learning algorithms that need to be embedded. Telelink City and Modeshift Europe will develop the On-Demand Public Transportation Platform (WP5) which will include architecture design, installation and operation guide, interoperability and machine learning capabilities which are essential part of the concept.

The Goal

InnoAir’s overall objective is to improve air quality in the city of Sofia by introducing a holistic set of tools and a novel paradigm of public transportation, shifting the way people travel and dramatically reducing the use of personal vehicles – one of the major contributors to air pollution. The project will result in а significant behavioural change and broader use of public and active transport. PM and CO2 emissions will be reduced, contributing to the improved quality of air and, as a consequence – the health of the citizens.

This innovative public transport service will be implemented together with a wide array of initiatives: low emission zones, green corridors, congestion charge and promotion of active mobility. This coordinated effort of the city of Sofia is aimed at reducing air pollution, while also modernizing and innovating public transport. 

Visit InnoAir’s website to learn more >>

The InnoAir project is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund through the Urban Innovative Actions Initiative. 

Sinaia, Romania has a population of only 15 000 people but is visited every year by over 200 000 tourists, both Romanian citizens and foreigners, who are attracted to the beautiful authentic fortress and breathtaking mountain views.

The municipal authorities had a vision for the city and wanted to take mobility and tourism to the next level. That included laying a solid foundation for upcoming innovations and development. They entrusted Modeshift with the task to revamp the existing transit system and provide a user-friendly solution that can later be integrated with other services for citizens and tourists, like bike sharing, digital parking, museum admission, telegondola lift, etc.

The Modeshift Fare Collection Solution

Modeshift Fare Collection was a great fit for Sinaia because it provided a variety of new, yet simple ways to use city transit. Vending machines, kiosks, onboard validators, and a web portal are part of the new ticketing system. The user-friendly and intuitive mobile application makes purchasing fares and validating them onboard extremely accessible. The diverse authorization methods that were introduced (smart cards, QR codes, NFC, mobile ticketing, and smart bracelets) were embraced from the get-go because of their simplicity and high level of security. Riders are also incentivized to use Modeshift Fare Collection because of the integrated route planning and schedule features. The real-time analytics and reporting portal help local authorities reduce high-risk operations and optimize the time needed for data-driven decisions. 

Happy riders = more riders

The new mobile ticketing system increased ridership from day one. Eleven new hybrid buses (the very first of their kind in Romania) were introduced and fully equipped to accommodate the upgrade. Riders were eager to try the modern solution which provided guidance on each step of the process – from choosing the type of fare to validation and route planning. Naturally, rider satisfaction increased.

Varna (population of over 400,000) is an all time favourite Bulgarian summer resort. That’s why it was facing serious problems when it comes to parking. During the summer season, Varna becomes a temporary home for over one million tourists. This leads to traffic overload and blocked city center areas that become difficult to reach, leaving insufficient parking space. The city’s management was looking for an urgent and reliable solution that could be integrated with their available payment processors and additionally provide flexible payment options. And more so, be the first step towards an investment into a single MaaS program that would combine all transit options in the city and improve the overall mobility for both citizens and tourists.

The Modeshift Account Based Parking Solution

An account-based system was developed to provide a working solution to the city’s predicament. The system is highly reliable, including integration with the available payment processors, a modern mobile app, and high availability to citizens and tourists, delivered utilizing cloud technology. It is a great convenience for the administration since they can manage everything in the process themselves – tariff changes, users rights, and schedule.

Additionally, Modeshift’s software provided a strong system for control, fast and efficient training of the onboard staff, and a user-friendly back-end.

Return on investment, economic boost, and a better city

With Modeshift Parking, Varna’s transit authorities had 15% more revenue than planned through parking fare collection and a much faster investment recovery period. There was a positive influence on the economy as shop owners commented their revenue increased significantly because customers can find a parking space nearby. The general unloading of the traffic, optimization of parking zones, and improved process of finding a parking space easier and faster, contributed to a more pleasant city and calmer citizens.

We are pleased with the functionalities and the flexibility of the platform and highly recommend it to other cities that are planning to modernize its mobility and are focused on the end-user experience.

Mladen Ivanov, Director of Municipal Car Parks and Blue Zone

The town of Slobozia, Romania, has a population of over 45 000 people. The main challenge in front of their local transit authorities was to revamp the existing transportation system quickly and with limited resources – both in terms of budget and expertise. Over 70% of the population of the town were not happy with the existing system which put pressure on the mayor himself to act fast. This required an integrated solution that would be easy to deploy without having to increase staff or invest in new equipment.

The Modeshift Fare Collection Solution

With the Modeshift Fare Collection, Slobozia found the right ally to fix the current transportation system and improve the citizens’ satisfaction. The already developed software and hardware solutions were optimized to fit the town’s needs, thus enabling the new fare system to be deployed in just a few months. Since the equipment is part of the MaaS model of the solution, and no new staff was needed, the low budget wasn’t an obstacle. The existing staff were quickly introduced to the intuitive new system by the Modeshift team. 

One team handles it all

Another advantage of Modeshift Fare Collection in this case was the fact that the whole operation was handled by a single team. Fare Collection, CAD/AVL and equipment in vehicles are all installed by Modeshift, and the local team didn’t have to manage multiple suppliers which proved to be crucial for decision-makers.

Apart from the short time that was needed for the solution to be deployed, Modeshift offered extensive guidance that goes beyond the scope of the project, helping local authorities take full advantage of the pay-as-you-go model.

We received all the systems from a single provider. Ticketing, CAD/AVL, and all equipment in vehicles is installed by one company and we do not have to manage multiple suppliers.

Adrian Mocioniu, Mayor

Bistrita, Romania, has a population of 75,000 people. The public transportation system was in dire need of a revamp due to low customer satisfaction and declining ridership, but the local transit agency was reluctant to invest in new tech due to the many failures they had witnessed. Despite the risk, they decided to entrust upon Modeshift the development of a customized free pilot and, having seen the flexibility of the system, they decided to implement the full product. 

The Modeshift Fare Collection Solution

Modeshift Fare Collection proved to be the investment Bistrita needed – with the help of its adjustable functionalities, public transportation was quickly transformed into a much more convenient service which showed in the increase of passengers from the first month. The lack of predictability and inefficient management of the old system gave way to an easy bus schedule preparation and monitoring that helped optimize the workflow for the transit agency and the drivers. Riders were incentivized to use public transportation with the help of the easy-to-use account based ticketing system that incorporated all the functionalities they have been looking for.

Happy riders = more riders

During the first months after the implementation, Bistrita’s transit agency saw a 10-20% increase in ridership, as well as an overwhelmingly positive feedback from riders themselves. The free pilot offered by the Modeshift team proved to be a decisive step to mitigate the risks involved in the investment, and provided the local authorities with a valuable insight into the efficiency of the system.

The most important result of the implementation of the system in our city in 2019 was the improved customer experience. We witnessed a significant increase of the satisfaction of passengers and a trend of rising public transit usage.

Titan Vasile, Chief of Public Services

Craiova, Romania, has a population of 269,000 people and its transit agency deals with an average of 21 000 000 passenger rides per year. The transit system in the city was suffering from problems related to the old-fashioned equipment, but since it wasn’t in a bad state, the city wanted to still use it and build upon it a better, more modern public transportation system. Craiova’s transit agency, RAT Craiova, was also facing fare collection issues and low levels of passenger satisfaction that needed to be dealt with on a rather tight budget.

The Modeshift Fare Collection Solution

RAT Craiova, with the help of Modeshift Fare Collection, implemented the first account based ticketing system in Romania. The end-to-end solution for automated fare collection and CAD/AVL provided valuable real-time data to the transit agency which optimized both the work of the transit agency and the passengers’ experience. The mobile application with route planning, flexible payment and fare options (including discounted subscriptions) proved to be an important part of the transformation as it helped increase ticket revenue collection. 

Low budget – stunning results

Due to the agility of the Modeshift Fare Collection system and the ability of the team to adapt the system to the already existing hardware, RAT Craiova yielded great results without a large initial investment with a high risk factor. By using an intuitive mobile application and allowing citizens to pay in different ways depending on their preferences, ticket revenue collection was increased by 20% and monitoring became easier for the RAT Craiova staff. Real-time data became a valuable resource for further optimizations.

Real-time passenger information makes the service predictable. Payment is easy and the extremely low validation dwell time eliminates unnecessary delays. As a result, RAT Craiova recorded ridership increase. The reliable fare collection and control system led to a 20% increase in ticket revenue collection.

Sorin Manda, General Manager RAT Craiova

Braila, Romania, has a population of more than 180,000 citizens. During the past few years, Braila has invested in modernization efforts aimed at creating a more livable city, with one of these efforts being the introduction of a smart public transit management system. Modeshift stepped in to provide a solution to reuse the old validators available in the public transportation vehicles and create a seamless experience for users. The city was also facing budget limitations and Braicar, the local transit agency, needed a quick solution that didn’t require any IT expertise, data centers, servers, and new staff.

Modeshift Fare Collection Solution

Modeshift Fare Collection proved to be the right fit for Braila thanks to its agility. As the city needed to invest in both AVL/RTPI and Automatic Fare Collection, our team created a plan to integrate the full package of the MaaS solution during a few phases, thus ensuring a seamless transition for transit agency staff, drivers and riders. The migration between the old, media-based system to a modern account-based system was done reusing the existing validators in the vehicles, thus reducing the cost of the project to fit into the city’s tight budget.

Seamless, budget-friendly and reliable

Modeshift Fare Collection was successfully implemented in just a few months, and ongoing upgrades and updates have been seamlessly implemented to improve the system. This resulted in several thousand app users and thousands of happy riders using the real time passenger information online and the info panels at bus stations. 

The as-a-service approach makes it feasible for us to implement this modern solution with all the limitations of our budget and the fees we pay are largely covered by the revenue increase and cost savings that we achieved as a result of using the system.

Dipl. Eng. Cornel Sandulescu, General Manager

Stara Zagora, Bulgaria, is home to 150,000 people. The main challenge for the local transit agency when they approached Modeshift was to provide an all-in-one mobility system through which multiple transit options in the city would operate seamlessly. There had been a prior investment in a CAD/AVL/RTPI system but it lacked a mobile ticketing option and was more of a burden to the riders than a working solution.

Along with other smaller cities, Stara Zagora was facing the issue of the migration of young people to the capital or abroad. Naturally, this put pressure on the Mayor and his team to start thinking of ways to revamp the economy and create a more livable city where people want to stay and work. The first step was piloting MaaS options to improve the mobility services for all citizens, utilizing the Modeshift platform.

The Modeshift Fare Collection Solution

With the Modeshift Fare Collection, Stara Zagora’s transit authorities were able to overcome a series of transportation issues which automatically led to improved riders’ satisfaction. The system’s fast deployment, as well as the MaaS software that didn’t require IT expertise, made the solution easy for the staff to adopt and work with. 

Single Mobility System That Offers Multiple Transit Options

The advantage of Modeshift Fare Collection is that it can provide a single system for all transit options in the city. Easily adaptable to a legacy third party CAD/AVL/RTPI system, our MaaS (Mobility as a Service) solution is highly customizable so that it can meet the needs of both riders and drivers. An additional feature in the process was a new mobile application for public transportation – a logical step since the majority of users are university students. 

The whole implementation from beginning to end was handled by a single team, which also included providing and installing new equipment in all vehicles and at bus stops, as well as timely support and guidance for the staff onboard throughout and after the whole process. 

A key achievement of Telelink and Modeshift is the successful integration with our existing AVL/RTPI solution that allows us to utilize and build upon our prior investment. The account-based architecture of the solution is allowing us to integrate multiple modes of transport into a straight-forward passenger experience.

Jordan Nikolov, Deputy Mayor