10 sep 20

Moovit simplifies public transport for millions of Midwesterners

Use one single app to buy and validate trips across more than a dozen different transit authorities? Thanks to a collaboration between NEORide, Masabi and Moovit, that seamless, contactless option is now a reality for millions of public transit users in the Midwestern US states of Ohio and Kentucky.

“With seamless integration of mobile ticketing and payment providers, users no longer need to search pockets for change or stand in line to top up monthly transit passes,” says Yovav Meydad, Chief Growth and Marketing Officer at Moovit.  

So, how does the collaboration actually work?

  • NEORide, an alliance of 15 public transit authorities in the Midwestern US, is the creator of common payment solution EZfare. Its members include Cincinnati METRO, Sandusky Transit System, Transport Authority of Northern Kentucky (TANK) and the Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority (TARTA).
  • Masabi’s constantly-updating platform Justride gives more than 80 public transport authorities across 11 countries easy access to the latest innovations in Fare Payments-as-a-Service (FPaaS). This improves the journey experience for passengers and reduces the cost of fare collection for operators. 
  • Mobility-as-a-Service specialist Moovit, a subsidiary of Intel, is the creator of the world’s leading urban mobility app. It has already helped 840 million users get around 3,200 cities across 106 countries. 

Local riders in the area covered by the collaboration can now use the Moovit app to easily buy and validate EZfare tickets via Masabi’s Justride platform. Via the Moovit app, riders can:

  • Input their destination and select a trip.
  • See the total fare, even if the trip involves changing modes and agencies.
  • Buy tickets in-app (no physical money required).
  • Generate a unique QR code for ticket validation. 

The collaboration makes it a lot easier to find and pay for multimodal, multi-agency trips. But by replacing the need to handle cash, cards and direct contact with the simple scan of a QR code, it is also a good way to maintain social distancing, even on public transport. 

Considering the remarkable scale of this project, we had a few questions for Moovit. Mr Meydad was kind enough to provide the answers.

For Moovit, what is special about this cooperation? 

“A couple of things. This is the first time we’re launching mobile ticketing with 13 transit agencies at the same time. This partnership will benefit millions of residents in Ohio and Kentucky. Also, this is our first partnership announcement with Masabi. We look forward to continuing this partnership and launching it with more agencies.”

What does Moovit hope to learn from it?

"Firstly, we want to help riders get back on public transit. We recently published the result of a survey on how to do this. The main concern people have is maintaining social distancing. When we ask how they want to do this, the main recommendation is: increase the frequency of service, so there’s no overcrowding. A close second: provide accurate real-time arrival info, so people don’t have to wait too long at stops. In third place: touchless payments and mobile ticketing, which around 30% of Americans said would encourage them to get back on public transit." 

"Secondly, we hope to help transit agencies move towards digitisation. Especially in the face of the coronavirus, contactless payments are an important technology to help restore rider confidence and increase ridership. Of course, there’s always more to learn. We’ll learn about the changing habits of riders, so we can keep helping agencies, operators and municipalities make riders feel comfortable and safe." 

Will you be rolling out this kind of project elsewhere?

"Mobile ticketing integration is certainly reproducible. As lockdown restrictions are easing, there has been a high level of interest from transit agencies, especially in North America. For not only does mobile ticketing make public transit easier to use, it also keeps riders and employees safe." 

"Moovit’s vision is to aggregate mobile ticketing vendors into the Moovit app. This requires the collaboration of transit agencies, and we’re happy to see more and more of them adopting mobile ticketing. This will help make MaaS a reality in cities around the world. Where will we launch similar projects? Stay tuned for some exciting news in the very near future!"

Final question. How does mobile ticketing fit in with corporate mobility policies?

"Both operators and riders of corporate fleets can benefit immensely from a plan-pay-ride experience. As an example, we’ve launched on-demand shuttles to help the employees of Israel’s largest bank get to work safely during the pandemic. It’s proof that MaaS isn’t just for cities and transit agencies. Private companies can benefit as well." 

"Combining a smart mobility app, which suggests your best mobility option to get to work for example, with mobile ticketing is a huge asset. Simply put, it creates a seamless and effortless user experience. In the long term, that convenience will create a shift towards public and shared transit. And it can stimulate micromobility. Both will decrease congestion and reduce parking issues, including for businesses." 

Authored by: Frank Jacobs