Port Authority of Allegheny County launches first phase of mobile ticketing

Aug. 17, 2021
Mobile ticketing is available throughout the bus system with plans to expand to the light-rail system in 2022.

Port Authority of Allegheny County bus riders have a new way to pay for their fares with the launch of Ready2Ride mobile ticketing. The mobile ticketing option will be available to incline customers by the end of the week.

This launch for the first phase of the Port Authority's mobile ticketing system is from Masabi, the international company Port Authority contracted in May 2019 to bring the technology to its customers, and Transit, the real-time app more than one in three Pittsburgh riders use to plan their Port Authority trips.

“I’m thrilled that we are able to offer this service to riders, which has been several years in the making,” said Port Authority Vice Chair Jennifer Liptak, who chairs the Board’s Technology Committee. “Investments in tools like these further modernize our transit system, making it more accessible and efficient for all users.”

The system allows Port Authority riders to purchase their fare with a debit or credit card and scan their device to validate their fare. The system is now available on Port Authority's entire fleet of more than 700 buses and will be available at the Monongahela and Duquesne inclines before the end of the week. The light-rail system is expected to go online in 2022.

Mobile payment can be made using either application -- Ready2Ride or Transit -- which are both free and available in both the App Store and Google Play beginning today. They can be downloaded at www.portauthority.org/gomobile

"Paying your transit fare should be fast, easy, and convenient,” said Port Authority CEO Katharine Kelleman. “The adoption of mobile ticketing technology represents a big leap forward for Port Authority and another step in the right direction for our region.”

Mobile ticket pricing will match Port Authority’s current fare structure and will be updated when the Authority's recently adopted fare structure goes into effect in early 2022. Another aspect will allow customers without smartphones or bank accounts to use cash to buy their fares at a wide variety of retail locations.

Port Authority riders for years have expressed their desire for a cashless fare option. Although planning, installation and execution of the mobile ticketing system began before COVID-19, the pandemic has further demonstrated the importance of having a touchless payment system.

“Convenient, expedient and low-touch ticketing is vital for public transit,” said Brian Zanghi, CEO at Masabi. “Following a successful pilot in early 2021, we are delighted to begin the full rollout of the Ready2Ride app and mobile ticketing with our partner Transit, offering Pittsburghers a safe and modern alternative to waiting in line, cash and paper tickets.”

Port Authority received 11 proposals from mobile ticketing vendors in November 2018. Masabi has implemented mobile ticketing programs in more than 50 cities, including New York, Boston, Los Angeles, Denver, London and Madrid. Fare payment through the Transit app is also available in more than 50 cities across the U.S. and Canada, including Cincinnati, Las Vegas, Denver and Oakland.

“We work hard to make riding public transit as simple and stress-free as possible,” said David Block-Schachter, chief business officer at Transit. “Port Authority passengers already rely on Transit to plan their next trip and track their ride in real time. Adding the ability to buy fares gives riders everything they need in one app.”

With more than 40,000 active users in the Pittsburgh region, Transit is the most-used trip planning application for Port Authority riders. It was recently announced as the mobile application for the city of Pittsburgh’s Move PGH initiative, which brings together a variety of transportation options, including Spin electric scooters and HealthyRide bicycles.