Austin, Texas, Oct. 28, 2012 – Just in time for the 2012 Formula 1 U.S. Grand Prix, Capital Metro is making it easier to ride transit with the launch of its free app.
The app allows riders to avoid the lines at the ticket vending machines and eliminates the need for exact change or cash to purchase transit fares – essentially turning an Apple or Android smart mobile device into a transit pass.
“Capital Metro will be the first transit agency in the nation to offer this type of mobile payment and ticketing solution across both our bus and rail services,” says Capital Metro President/CEO Linda S. Watson. “Through an innovative partnership, we’re able to test drive this new technology at no cost to Capital Metro, allowing our riders to have the option to conveniently and securely purchase fares through their mobile devices, with no added fees. This is just another example of Capital Metro’s leadership and financial stewardship.”
Capital Metro has partnered with Bytemark to develop the app and make it available during Formula 1 as a demonstration project to test the viability of mobile ticketing. Capital Metro is exploring new payment systems to coincide with the implementation of MetroRapid.
The free app (Austin Capital Metro) will be available for download in the App Store and Google Play beginning Wednesday, Oct. 31. It is designed to function on most Apple iPhones and iPads (Operating Software Versions IOS 5 and 6), and Android smartphones (Operating Software Versions Android 2.3.3, 4.0 and 4.1).
Riders can use the app to purchase fares Nov. 10-24.
App Features Include:
• The ability to use the app and a credit card to purchase 1-Day or 7-Day local, regional and reduced passes in advance. Passes can be activated at the rider’s convenience. To use, riders simply show their phone screen to the bus operator or fare inspector.
• The app meets all Payment Card Industry security standards and will accept Discover Card, Visa, MasterCard and American Express payments.
• The app gives access to Capital Metro’s mobile trip planner, service alerts, maps and schedules – everything a rider needs to ride is available right on the mobile device.
• Multiple passes can be purchased on one device for a group, for example, a family traveling together.
• The app produces a visually-verifiable virtual (V3) animated screen and includes several levels of security. The bus operator or rail fare inspector may request the rider to touch the screen as a further validation, which will activate a visual change to the screen.
• The app will only be available for mobile fares between Nov. 10-24, and no refunds will be given.
“Bytemark worked closely with Capital Metro to develop an innovative and efficient mobile solution that could be available during the global Formula 1 event,” said Micah Bergdale, Bytemark CEO. “Bytemark originally developed and launched this technology for NY Waterway, a ferry transit company in New York City. The NY Waterway app has been very successful, and we are confident Capital Metro’s customers will have a great experience with the app during Formula 1.”
Capital Metro will use the information gleaned from the demonstration project to further inform and accelerate its plans for a permanent mobile payment system for transit riders.