TriMet has signed a contract with local software company GlobeSherpa to pilot the company’s mobile ticket system for its buses, MAX light rail and WES Commuter Rail. GlobeSherpa’s mobile ticketing system, TransitSherpa, will allow riders to buy and use tickets to ride TriMet from their smartphones.
TriMet is among a handful of transit agencies from around the country that are testing mobile ticketing, including Boston’s Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) and Dallas's Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART).
TriMet has been an innovator in the field of mobile technology and this is the first step toward moving to electronic fares.
“Whenever we can, we look for innovations to make it easier for our customers to ride our system,” said TriMet General Manager Neil McFarlane. “This will truly be a convenient and faster option for our riders to buy and use tickets. It’s also exciting to be working with a local firm on this endeavor.”
- TriMet fares can be purchased anytime, anywhere and it will also allow multiple tickets to be purchased with just one transaction
- Mobile ticketing is paperless and requires no cash handling
- Faster fare purchasing and easy for fare inspection
- Adds convenience at minimal cost since it requires no capital and equipment investment by TriMet
“We’re delighted to be working with TriMet to power their new mobile ticketing service,” said Nat Parker, CEO of GlobeSherpa. “Smartphone applications that leverage open data have transformed the transit sector. We’re taking that innovation even further by allowing users to buy tickets, with no exact change or ticket vending machines required.”
Once the TransitSherpa application is available, riders will be able to download a free app for iPhone or Android mobile phones and register a debit/credit card on a secure system. TransitSherpa tickets use a combination of visually authenticated elements including a day-code, time and date stamp, and dynamic animation to provide an authentic format.
TriMet and GlobeSherpa will launch an Alpha test of the platform through December, with a Beta test expected to begin in January and a full public launch in the spring 2013. In mid-December, TriMet will recruit a cross section of riders to participate in the Beta test.