Piedmont Authority for Regional Transportation introduces TouchPass Mobile and Smartcard Ticketing

July 31, 2019

The Piedmont Authority for Regional Transportation (PART) now offers system-wide digital payment methods in the form of TouchPass Mobile and Smartcard Ticketing, giving riders more convenience and speeding up the boarding process.

PART plans to transition all passengers to TouchPass by the end of September 2019 and will stop selling magstripe paper passes on August 5.

 With the new TouchPass system, passengers can create a TouchPass account where they can buy and keep track of bus passes, load stored value and monitor activity such as transfers. They can then access these pre-loaded accounts to ride PART buses by either downloading the TouchPass app, or by linking their account with a physical reloadable Smartcard that can be purchased online or at the Coble Transportation Center ticket window. This account-based system also ensures that passengers’ passes and stored value are safe if they misplace their Smartcard. If they’ve fully registered their TouchPass account, they can transfer the money from one card to another.

“We are constantly trying to discover and design ways that will provide our passengers with safe, affordable and convenient commuting options, and we believe that the TouchPass system is another component that helps us achieve that,” PART Executive Director Scott Rhine said. “We are looking forward to seeing how the system will enhance the rider experience and make commuting throughout the Triad even faster and more convenient for everyone.”

The TouchPass app and Smartcard are designed to shorten and simplify the boarding process by allowing passengers to simply tap their Smartcard or scan the QR code on the mobile app to board. Although PART buses will continue to accept cash as a fare payment, the agency has already seen positive results from the system and is encouraging riders to try it for themselves.

“Now that the TouchPass mobile app has been implemented, boarding the bus has become so much easier,” said Jennifer Chapman, a PART rider of seven years. “Rather than having to keep track of cash, change, or a pass card, I can use something I already have (my phone) to quickly and easily board the bus.”

In addition to simplified boarding, the new system features several other advantages including automatic transfers that can be stored in a passenger’s account, eliminating the need to get a paper transfer from bus drivers. Online purchases of passes and stored value can also be made using the app or online through the TouchPass system.

One of the most significant features is the PART Rewards program that is available to passengers who utilize the stored value feature in the TouchPass system. The system automatically keeps track of trips and payments and will put a cap on a passenger’s account, saving them money. Once a passenger spends $5 per day or $80 per month, they will not have to pay for additional trips the rest of the day or month.