Transit agency app developments: MDOT/MTA, Valley Metro and UP Express

July 6, 2023
New features, new ways to pay for fares and better mobile experiences are all being brought to riders through these updates at various agencies.

Three agencies across North America have made recent changes to their mobile apps that will result in improved customer experiences through improved planning options, new payment options and accessibility enhancements.


Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Transit Administration (MDOT/MTA) launched CharmPass mobile transit fare payments for Mobility riders on July 1. The CharmPass allows for users to pay for regional fares via their smartphones.

Prior to July 1, Mobility customers and caregivers needed exact cash fare or relied on ticket books that were sent through the mail or purchased at MDOT/MTA’s downtown Baltimore Transit Store. These means of fare payment remain available and the addition of CharmPass is designed to offer a convenient option for Mobility customers to pay for fares.

“The CharmPass app has been noted in surveys as one of the most user-friendly fare payment apps in the nation,” said Maryland Transit Administrator Holly Arnold. “We are proud to put that technology to work on behalf of our thousands of mobility customers who use our service every day.”

Valley Metro

Valley Metro has enhanced the Valley Metro app to allow riders to subscribe to rider alert push notifications for their favorite routes or stops. Additionally, the app now has a satellite view option that gives users a birds-eye-view of their destination.

Users can select between satellite map view and a transit map view.

UP Express

Metrolinx reports its UP Express mobile app has been decommissioned with the roll out of a mobile-optimized, which “has all the functionality of the app and more.”

Metrolinx says this is the first in a series of planned improvements to the UP Express website that have been planned through customer feedback and supported by accessibility enhancements and new technology. Users will have access to personalized trip planning and real-time information. Accessibility upgrades include updated color combinations with improved contrast and keyboard-only navigation capabilities.

Metrolinx says the new customer profile feature provides more opportunities for users to customize experiences. Once a profile is created, they will see a homepage featuring trips, topics and notices based on personalized preferences, which can be used across, and, On the GO alerts and

About the Author

Mischa Wanek-Libman | Editor in Chief

Mischa Wanek-Libman serves as editor in chief of Mass Transit magazine. She is responsible for developing and maintaining the magazine’s editorial direction and is based in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Wanek-Libman has spent more than 20 years covering transportation issues including construction projects and engineering challenges for various commuter railroads and transit agencies. She has been recognized for editorial excellence through her individual work, as well as for collaborative content. 

She is an active member of the American Public Transportation Association's Marketing and Communications Committee and serves as a Board Observer on the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) Board of Directors.  

She is a graduate of Drake University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a major in magazine journalism and a minor in business management.