New York State’s Rochester gets new contactless fare system

Posted: 23 November 2020 | | No comments yet

One of New York State’s most populous cities will now provide passengers with the option to pay via smartphone on its transit services, as it launches RTS Go in partnership with Masabi.

Rochester , New York

Rochester's buses will now support contactless payments thanks to RTS Go.

The City of Rochester in New York State has a new contactless fare payment solution in place on its Regional Transit Service (RTS) public transit system.

Provided by Masabi and utilising the Justride platform, RTS riders will no longer need to buy a ticket and will be able to use their RTS Go smartcard or RTS Go mobile pass in the Transit app to tap and ride, knowing they will be charged the best possible price for their journey. 

Because of the integration of a payments system within the Transit app, passengers in Rochester will now be able to add stored value to their accounts and tap around the transit network. The combination provides RTS customers with an integrated mobility experience including trip planning, real-time information and connections to third-party mobility services, so they can plan complete journeys and simply tap and ride when they’re ready to travel, all from within the same application.

Customers using RTS Go will pay $1 per ride, but thanks to Rochester’s fare capping system, never more than $3 a day or $56 a month – which corresponds to the price of a daily and monthly pass. The account-based back office fare engine knows when a rider has reached these limits and stops charging them for the rest of that day or month.

RTS says customers in Rochester who don’t have a smartphone will be able to purchase an RTS Go reloadable smart card online or at one of the new ticket vending machines. RTS Go cards can be topped up using the transit app, online using the new web portal, or from a ticket vending machine.

Masabi’s Justride is now used by more than 80 public transit agencies and operators across 11 countries, including; New York’s MTA, Boston’s MBTA, Denver’s RTD, Las Vegas’ RTC, Calgary Transit, Bucharest’s STB, EMT Valencia and National Express.

RTS CEO Bill Carpenter believes the new payments system will benefit passengers: “As businesses in our region continue to open and adjust to new realities from the COVID-19 pandemic, RTS is happy to implement our new RTS Go fare payment system and provide customers with new and safe options to manage and pay their fares.

“In addition to integrating a new mobile app and reloadable smartcards into our system, the technology behind RTS Go adds a new layer of safety for customers on the bus through contactless fare payment. I thank our partners at Masabi and Transit for their innovation and for helping us bring this project to life.” 

Brian Zanghi, CEO of Masabi, thinks this could signal the end of paper ticketing methods: “This deployment is the beginning of the end for the traditional fare collection industry as we know it, with full fare payment systems delivering agencies of all sizes the latest ‘Fare Payment’ innovations ‘as a Service’, quickly and for a fraction of the cost of bespoke systems. At the same time, Fare Payments-as-a-Service is helping agencies keep up with the pace of technology change with constantly improving features and functionality, including the foundations for MaaS,”

“It’s a genuine win-win for both riders and agencies and will be the de facto way agencies run their fare payment systems. With this world first, RTS is leading the way and it’s a testament to their forward looking, passionate and dedicated teams that this project was possible.”