Fare technology updates: Metro Transit, WeGo, Community Transit

April 10, 2024
Metro Transit and WeGo Public Transit are implementing new ways to pay for fares throughout their systems while Community Transit is proposing eliminating fares on its commuter bus fare.

Metro Transit in the Twin Cities awarded a contract to upgrade its Go-To Contactless Fare System while WeGo Link is now available in the Transit app and Community Transit is proposing to eliminate its commuter bus fare when the routes go away later this year. 

Metro Transit

Metro Transit will upgrade and modernize its Go-To Contactless Fare System under a contract awarded to Cubic Transportation Systems (CTS). Under the new program, Metro Transit will join other major cities, including New York, Chicago and San Francisco, in leveraging CTS’ state-of-the-art cloud technologies, real-time wireless and account-based processing solutions while opening the system to contactless bank card acceptance.  

“For nearly 20 years, Cubic has proudly worked with Metro Transit on Go-To, providing regional transit riders the ability to use a contactless smart card to pay fares across the Twin Cities’ light rail, bus rapid transit (BRT) and commuter rail operations,” said Matt Newsome, CTS senior vice president and general manager. “These upgrades will not only foster a more efficient Metro Transit, but one that enables a broad range of new rider conveniences to the traveling public.” 

Leveraging CTS’ Urban Mobility processing platform, Metro Transit’s 40 million annual riders will be able to tap their contactless bank cards, including those residing in Apple Pay and Google Pay, to seamlessly pay for fares with no need to separately procure a dedicated smart card or ticket.  

“These enhancements provide significant improvement in convenience for our visitors, tourists and occasional riders while preserving a full range of incentive and concession capabilities for all user groups,” said Dennis Dworshak, senior manager, fare collections for Metro Transit.  

CTS says the new regional system is designed to ensure equity across all user demographics while providing the maximum level of convenience to visitors and occasional and everyday riders. The platform is also designed to support a range of open interfaces to allow for flexible extensions over time, including more powerful smartphone utilities and integration with additional modalities such as micro-transit, ride share, car share and parking. 

The upgrade includes the replacement of the CTS-hosted back-office fare management software with the most recent Cubic enterprise management system to reside in the Microsoft Azure Cloud. The new platform includes the latest release of Cubic payment gateway software (Cubic Payment Application) that is network certified to meet both PCI and EMV requirements and includes the processing logic to encrypt and protect bankcard data, allow flexible fare pricing and aggregate fare transactions to control processing costs.  

CTS notes Metro Transit operations will also benefit from reduced operating costs associated with fare policy management, reporting operations and IT operations, along with more advanced security management and administrative tools. As part of the agreement, CTS will provide Metro Transit with application support services for five years from launch of the new cloud-based system. 

The complete range of fare terminals, including those on more than 2,000 regional buses and across 140 light rail, BRT and commuter rail stations will be upgraded with the latest state-of-the-art reader/processor technology to enable the new features supported by the cloud-based system. Buses will receive new multi-media contactless fare validators while station equipment will be upgraded in place to maximize the return on investment by extending the useful life of the equipment. 


Nashville, Tenn., transit riders can now access WeGo Link using the Transit app, helping them to plan bus trips with discounted rideshare connections. 

WeGo Link offers subsidized Uber connections to transit stops within 13 service zones in Davidson County, Tenn, Riders can download a reusable voucher and receive up to $8 off each WeGo Link ride, with most rides costing customers $2. After selecting their trip in Transit, they’ll be linked directly to the Uber app to finish requesting their ride. 

“WeGo Link makes our transit network more accessible to more people and places. We might not be able to run a bus route on every street but we can connect people to the nearest available route so they can use WeGo,” said WeGo Deputy COO Dan Freudberg. 

“Integrating WeGo Link to Transit is a huge win for on-demand transit in Nashville, Tenn.,” said David Block-Schachter, chief business officer at Transit. “By making the service accessible in the app WeGo riders are already using to plan multimodal trips, WeGo is helping its customers make the most of its entire network. We’re excited to continue our collaboration with WeGo and bring riders an easy way to use WeGo Link as a flexible option to simplify their commutes.” 

Community Transit 

Community Transit is proposing to eliminate its commuter bus fare when the routes go away later this year. 

The Snohomish County, Wash., transit agency currently charges a higher fare for commuter routes that travel to Northgate and downtown Seattle. After light-rail begins operating in Snohomish County later this year, Community Transit will stop operating those routes so there is no need for the higher fare category. 

The agency is inviting people to comment on this fare change proposal through May 3. 

If the fare change is approved, all standard adult fares would be $2.50 for local bus, Swift, Zip Alderwood Shuttle and Dial-A-Ride Transit paratransit services. The new rate would also apply to Community Transit Express routes that will be introduced later this year. Reduced fares for ORCA LIFT, disabled and Medicare riders would remain the same at $1.25. Youth ages 18 and under ride free. 

Starting in September, Community Transit buses will no longer serve Northgate and downtown Seattle, with the exception of Route 424, which does not travel on I-5. Route 424 riders will move to the standard $2.50 fare. Other Seattle-bound riders will connect to Link light rail at Lynnwood, Mountlake Terrace, or Shoreline to complete their trips to Seattle. Some Sound Transit buses will continue to serve Seattle. 

Community Transit conducted a federally mandated Title VI analysis, which found the proposed fare change does not have a disparate effect on minority or low-income populations. 

About the Author

Brandon Lewis | Associate Editor

Brandon Lewis is a recent graduate of Kent State University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lewis is a former freelance editorial assistant at Vehicle Service Pros.com in Endeavor Business Media’s Vehicle Repair Group. Lewis brings his knowledge of web managing, copyediting and SEO practices to Mass Transit Magazine as an associate editor.