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Portland's TriMet ushers in mobile ticketing for smartphones

Portland's TriMet ushers in mobile ticketing for smartphones
Zachary Lutz
Zachary Lutz|May 16, 2013 8:46 PM

Not all of Portland, Oregon is dreaming of the '90s. As proof of that, the region's transit system, TriMet, is taking a step into the future by launching the beta test of an electronic ticketing system that lets riders purchase fares from their smartphones. The ambitious effort extends to all of TriMet's major operations, which includes city busses, the MAX light rail, the WES commuter rail and the Portland Streetcar. As it stands, 150 participants will take part in the beta trial before the program opens to all riders later this summer. The push toward modernization is made possible by a Portland-based company, GlobeSherpa, which has developed a payment system and ticket validation app that also allows for fleet optimization and provides service alerts to riders. Currently, the TriMet app is available for Android and iOS, but GlobeSherpa tells us that it'll deliver future versions for BlackBerry and Windows Phone. Hit up the break for a peek at what's in store for The City of Roses.

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GlobeSherpa and TriMet Launch Mobile Ticketing Beta Test; Technology Designed To Save Agency Millions

TriMet Beta Test Released Today is First by a U.S. Transit Agency to Allow Bus, Train and Streetcar Riders to Buy and Use Fares From Their Smartphones

PORTLAND, Ore., May 16, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- GlobeSherpa, a leading provider of secure mobile ticketing and payments software, and TriMet, Oregon's largest provider of bus, light rail and commuter rail transit services today launched a public beta test of TriMet Tickets, TriMet's mobile ticketing application. During the test, select riders will be able to buy and use tickets for buses, MAX trains, WES Commuter Rail and the Portland Streetcar anytime, anywhere using only their smartphones. This new technology will help save the agency millions by reducing the operating cost associated with printed and cash fares. TriMet is expected to rollout their mobile ticketing system to all riders later this summer.

"Mobile payment systems like the one GlobeSherpa developed for TriMet reduce the cost of fare collection, help optimize fleet operations, and improve the rider experience," said Nat Parker , CEO of GlobeSherpa. "Our solution gives riders the convenience of purchasing tickets anytime, anywhere and provides transit agencies a wealth of data on system use."

Abxout 150 beta testers were chosen from more than 1,500 applicants to test the TriMet Tickets application.

"Mobile ticketing gives our riders an easy-to-use, secure and convenient option for purchasing fares and once again places TriMet on the forefront of innovation," said Chris Tucker , Director of Revenue Operations at TriMet. "With today's release we are one step closer to a state-of-the-art electronic fare collection system that will improve the rider experience and save the agency money."

GlobeSherpa's technology allows consumers to purchase transit tickets directly from their phone providing an alternative to ticket vending machines, neighborhood ticket outlets and fare boxes. The solution allows riders to check schedules, receive alerts, plan trips and get deals with local retailers. GlobeSherpa's software includes an inspector application that allows fare inspectors to check for valid tickets and a back-office management tool called TOMS™ – Transaction Operations Management System – that allows transit analysts to set pricing, rules, and appearance for their tickets in real-time.

Portland's TriMet ushers in mobile ticketing for smartphones