INIT fare technology powers RIPTA’s free fare pilot

March 30, 2022
RIPTA intends to demonstrate how the use of technologies like Wave can enhance transit services and increase ridership.

INIT’s fare technology is being used by the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) for its recently launched campaign in the city of Central Falls.  

Utilizing the INIT back-office fare management software, the agency set up a zone-based fare structure by creating a geofence around the city of Central Falls. The geofence identifies all stops within the boundary as eligible for fully discounted fares. 

Installed onboard RIPTA buses, INIT fare validators detect each bus's orientation along the route, so that when the bus stops within the geofence and a boarding rider scans their Wave card or smartphone app barcode, the fare system applies the full-fare discount. The Wave fare system, born from a partnership between RIPTA and INIT, today serves 36 of the state’s 39 communities with fixed-route, paratransit and flex service. 

“We are excited to offer free fares with Wave in Central Falls as part of this pilot. This program will demonstrate technology from INIT and will allow us to collect the statistical information we need to help us make informed decisions about future innovative services that are beneficial to our passengers,” said Scott Avedisian, RIPTA CEO. 

INIT’s back-office fare management system allows RIPTA to set up various fare types to accommodate specific groups of riders. In addition, it delivers benefits like fare capping which allow riders to pay for a day or monthly pass as they go. Removing the burden of the upfront costs of purchasing these passes is a benefit to the agency’s lower-income riders for whom transit passes and fares constitute a financial burden. 

Funded by the Federal Transit Administration’s Accelerating Innovative Mobility initiative, RIPTA intends to demonstrate how the use of technologies like Wave can enhance transit services and increase ridership. Other goals of the agency are to promote car-free travel that connects with a Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) structure linking alternate modes like biking, reservation-based transit services, or walking. 

RIPTA’s service to the densely populated city of Central Falls will help the agency better understand ridership trends, which informs service planning decisions for future partnerships, and improvements to service. Using INIT’s smart fare technologies, RIPTA can offer riders a much-needed alternative during a time when gas prices are cost-prohibitive and getting around can be more difficult.