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DART's GoPass featured in Mass Transit Magazine December 2013.


  • 28 DECEMBER 2013/JANUARY 2014 Mass TransiT www.MassTransitmag.com


    For Nat Parker, CEO of GlobeSher-

    pa, mobile ticketing makes a lot

    of sense in todays increasingly

    electronic world.

    Mobile phones especially

    smartphones are now common

    devices possessed by the vast ma-

    jority of the populous of North

    America. Everywhere you look,

    someone is using one of these

    phones for various tasks ranging

    from banking to menial updates to

    their social media accounts.

    Parker noticed a lot of people use

    their smartphones while on a bus or

    a train, but not to access transit.

    Were transit riders, Parker said.

    You know, its funny, it blows me

    away how many developers when

    we go to APTA or the Smart Card Al-

    liance is a lot of them dont ride the

    bus and they dont really ride transit.

    For us, we believe in staying in touch

    with the experience of the user on an

    ongoing basis so we can ask ourselves

    how we can make this easier.


    Fare collection companies and transit

    agencies are pushing mobile ticketing

    because of opportunities it presents

    to lower fare collection costs while

    ofering appealing ways for riders

    to pay. Kim Green, president of SPX

    Genfare, said unlike traditional fare

    media, riders purchase the majority

    of the equipment as opposed to the

    transit agency and with a Pew Re-

    search Center showing 91 percent of

    adults have cell phones, it shows a

    deep market penetration.

    In transit its still kind of new, but

    there have been a number of pilot

    programs using mobile ticketing with

    some very impressive results, Green

    said. We expect to see this widely ad-

    opted in the next several years.

    According to a mobile ticketing

    report by Juniper Research, one in

    eight mobile subscribers will use

    their device for airline, bus, rail fes-

    tival, cinema and sporting events by

    2015. About 500 million people are

    projected to use a mobile device for

    transit access by 2015.

    On Sept. 16, Dallas Area Rapid

    Transit launched GoPass, its new mo-

    bile ticketing option for customers.

    When launched leaders planned to

    have 50,000 people download the app

    and use it by years end, but just six

    weeks into the program, ofcials said

    25,000 people had it on their phone.

    At this point weve had to revise

    our overall year end to 60,000, said

    David Leininger, executive vice pres-

    ident and chief fnancial ofcer for

    DART. But when we launched it, we

    thought at the time that 50,000 was

    a little aggressive.

    About 1,000 people per day are

    downloading GoPass, Leininger said.

    With all the downloads, he said theyre

    also happy with the feedback DART is

    getting about the mobile option.

    Going Mobile

    Mobile ticketing lets transit agencies leverage customer phones to provide more efficient ticketing.

    Joe Petrie

    Mobile ticketing growth continues as popularity explodes with riders.

    mass_28-31_1213Mobile.indd 28 11/26/13 2:59 PM

  • 29

    It has been a very, very good intro-

    duction and the customers really, really

    like it, Leininger said. Customers have

    been giving a lot of positive feedback

    and weve gotten a lot of positive press.

    TriMet and the Portland Streetcar

    also launched its new ticketing app

    in September, which was developed

    by GlobeSherpa to work on both

    systems. In its frst six weeks, Parker

    said there were 16,000 regular users,

    18,000 total users, 158,000 tickets sold

    and more than $700,000 in sales.

    We didnt know what to expect, but

    TriMet had some numbers that were

    much lower, Parker said. We were

    very bullish on mobile payments.



    Amol Deshmukh, vice president of

    mobile fnancial services solutions

    at Gemalto, said mobile payments

    are attractive because of the advent

    of near feld communication (NFC) in

    cell phones, which changes the tick-

    eting infrastructure for transit agen-

    cies, who dont have to use their own

    equipment as fare media.

    It also transforms how passes are

    used because riders can then use

    the same app to purchase goods at

    a nearby store or for other events,

    which allows agencies to have their

    app become a common tool for riders

    to use in everyday life.

    Were seeing a lot of interest from

    diferent players in diferent indus-

    tries, he said. We have the phone

    ready to use, so why not have them

    use it then when they go to Hertz to

    access a car, or when they check into a

    hotel. Why does the user have to stop

    at a front desk when they can start

    getting their room key on their phone

    thats enabled for the hours theyre

    supposed to be there, so they can then

    walk directly to their room.

    GoPass is a little more intricate

    than just acting as a ticket for getting

    onto DART buses and trains. Te app

    can also be used to board nearby Den-

    ton County Transit Authority (DCTA)

    and Fort Worth Transit Authority (Te

    T), which see a lot of crossover into

    DART due to the three systems prox-

    imities in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

    Te app also has ofers and spe-

    cials for events in the region, next

    bus information and an integrated

    trip planner allows users to fnd their

    transit route on any system utilizing

    Google trip planning.

    Leininger said theres a lot of in-

    terest with large venues in the area

    to allow the GoPass to be a single

    transaction unit for access to con-

    ventions and theyre also develop-

    ing a push notifcation system, which

    with permission by the user, could

    allow GoPass to send information

    about events and specials, making

    it even more versatile.

    We really wanted more than a

    payment product, Leininger said.

    We wanted this to be a robust transit

    product riders will get to use a lot.


    Security is a concern for DART, Le-

    ininger said, so when setting up the

    app, planners took the extraordinary

    measures to make sure the agency

    or Unwire doesnt have access to the

    customers credit card information.

    Tat was very important because

    the whole issue of who has access to

    the credit cards, the names, the pass-

    codes is something we dont have to

    worry about, he said.

    Green said a lot of longtime tran-

    sit riders like the security of having

    a traditional fare card as opposed to

    mobile tickets, but questions about

    the new technology can be overcome

    with proper planning of new fare col-

    lection equipment.

    We believe that agencies need to

    have a whole myriad of options for

    customers, he said. Some appeal

    more than others to everyday riders.

    Unlike changes from cash and pa-

    per media to fare cards or smart cards,

    mobile ticketing can be implemented

    for less cost given mobile devices are

    purchased by the users, not the agen-

    cy. Parker said the agency can either

    implement NFC devices on fare ma-

    chines or scanners or mobile ticketing

    can also be used in a fash pass fashion

    with proper training to operators.

    You can do a tap where the color

    changes or theres an animation, so

    riders cant just take a screenshot and

    give it to a friend, Parker said. Like on

    the TriMet ticket it looks like a TriMet

    bus and you see a city scape, but when

    you tap on it, it turns on the lights and

    thats the Easter egg type of features

    that riders just absolutely love.

    Deshmukh said theres also added

    safety built into the fact that people

    are more protective of their smart-

    phones than other items, so they take

    extra care to keep them secure.

    It can start saving money now

    in costs for cards lost and stolen, he

    said. Te mobile phone is owned by

    the user and even when it comes to a

    credit card, if I leave it at a restaurant,

    I dont go back in to get it, I cancel it. Fareboxes can be set to take both mobile and traditional media.

    SPX Genfare

    Scanners can pick up fare media set up on smart phones.

    SPX Genfare

    mass_28-31_1213Mobile.indd 29 11/26/13 2:59 PM

  • 30 DECEMBER 2013/JANUARY 2014 Mass TransiT www.MassTransitmag.com


    Maybe that makes me lazy, but it

    is easier to go home and call and

    cancel it. But if its my phone I leave, I go

    back and get it. I never leave the park-

    ing lot not knowing if I have my phone.


    Mobile ticketing can also be put in place

    quickly. Leininger said DART signed its

    contract with Unwire in October 2012,

    so it only took 11 months to bring it

    online. Te biggest issue with setting

    up mobile ticketing was training more

    than 1,000 operators and customer ser-

    vice agents, then developing customer

    awareness about the new product.

    Te technology and this kind

    of medium is what Id say is noth-

    ing new, Leininger said. Were not

    breaking atoms or anything like that.

    Gemalto is


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