Baton Rouge CATS launches Umo contactless transit payments

Aug. 17, 2022
With Umo, CATS riders can plan multi-modal journeys, make contactless payments, receive real-time travel information and earn rewards through fare capping.

Contactless payment is coming to 25 Capital Area Transit System (CATS) bus lines in the Baton Rouge, La., area, delivering payment convenience and improving safety for riders and operators.  

CATS selected Umo, an account-based fare collection platform by Cubic Transportation Systems, using funding from a federal grant under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. With Umo, CATS riders can plan multimodal journeys, make contactless payments, receive real-time travel information and earn rewards through fare capping. 

“CATS is excited to partner with Umo to bring contactless payment to our transit system,” said Theo Richards, senior director of business development and outreach, CATS. “Umo’s capabilities will help optimize the boarding process by simplifying payment while ensuring all riders enjoy our system with the same access and convenience, whether they prefer to use cash, card or a mobile device to pay.” 

CATS riders can manage their user account through the Umo platform, offering online or mobile transit account management and fare product purchases. Whether riders use a credit or debit card, pay with cash or do not have access to a smartphone, all riders will have the same experience with the power of Umo, which is structured to equitably serve communities with diverse needs. 

Umo offers prepaid stored value and pass products so riders can easily purchase and pay via smartphone, web or retail and board by scanning their phone using the Umo mobility app. Riders who prefer cash can purchase electronic fare cards at convenient retail locations, reload their Umo cards and tap to board.  

Paper tokens, such as printed QR codes, are also available, and in the future, student or employee ID cards will integrate with the platform. The app includes an integrated journey planner, including links between transit and connecting multimodal services and provides service alerts, bus arrival notices and other convenience features to enhance mobility. 

“Bringing payment flexibility and enhanced rider tools to cities like Baton Rouge, where Umo can help optimize mobility and safely move people along their journeys, is critical to improving access to jobs, education and healthcare,” said Bonnie Crawford, vice president and general manager, Umo. “We are pleased to welcome CATS to the community of Umo agencies working to increase ridership through equitable programs and great customer experiences. For years, Umo has served Louisiana transit riders and we look forward to our new partnership with CATS to continue enhancing transportation for the people of Louisiana and the broader southeast region.”