We are happy to announce that the account-based fare collection system that we provided for our latest client, Monroe Transit (City of Monroe, LA), is fully operational! The agency used funding from the CARES Act (a $2.2 trillion economic stimulus bill that the US government passed to tackle the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic).
What were the needs of the agency?
We entered Monroe Transit’s bid to provide alternative fare media to minimize the use of cash and provide convenience for customers in September 2020. They needed a technically proven account-based fare collection system delivered as a service. The need for such an innovation was already apparent before the pandemic, but the tumultuous 2020 sped up the process significantly.
As customer experience was of paramount importance, we approached this project with the idea of providing a user-friendly platform that can integrate all functionalities needed by the customers and the agency:
- Mobile ticketing
- Onboard validation
Based on our previous experience with the implementation of our fare collection product during the pandemic, we started working with Monroe Transit (MTS) after winning a bid. We met their requirement to deliver a proven solution which is very important against a background of providers who can’t guarantee whether their solution will work as expected.
MTS also needed a working integration for their already existing CAD/AVL system. Modeshift’s account-based fare collection system comprises several add-on products, one of which is a CAD/AVL back end that covered their needs:
- Simple sign-on for the transit agency personnel
- GPS capture of routes
- Mapping of ticket purchase information with GPS information
To achieve that, we provided the equipment needed for their operations – validators for 18 buses, as well as on-site installation support and maintenance.
We’re excited to provide a safer experience for riders and staff while improving the customer experience for booking and managing trips. Using Modeshift’s technology, users will experience an intelligent transport system that makes booking and planning trips far easier.Marc Keenan, General Manager, Monroe Transit System
Ready for testing and acceptance in 4 months
Modeshift’s Account-based fare collection system is a full suite of tools that can be customized to fit any agency’s needs. With Monroe Transit, we implemented the standard fare collection product based on personal accounts. It took us less than 4 months to have the system ready for testing and acceptance – an achievement on its own, especially during a pandemic. Both the Monroe and Modeshift team relied heavily on video conferencing, and a trusted member of our team flew to Monroe to help with the equipment installation and support.
How does it work?
Each rider can create their own account via a dedicated mobile app or web-based app both provided by Modeshift). Riders can then top up the amount stored in their account using a variety of options, the main focus being the mobile application as a quick and easy way to both purchase fares and validate.
The mobile app can be used for trip planning, fare purchase (including automatic reload), fare capping, accessing rider profile, purchased fares, and transaction history. The application covers more than 90% of smartphone users in the US and is available for free download on Google and Apple’s app shops.
As part of our account-based fare collection system, we complete the set of fare purchase and validation options with custom-designed smart cards that can be connected to the rider’s account, as well as paper tickets bought at an MTS ticket window.
Depending on how busy the system is every month, there is a noticeable increase in the users of the Modeshift system. The ease of use of the mobile application has transformed the everyday life of MTS riders and has proven a valuable ally in attracting new riders on board. For MTS, Modeshift proved itself as a trusted partner in trying times and provided a much-needed simplification of the agency processes.