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Austin transport authority expands partnership to upgrade fare collection

Bytemark will upgrade Capital Metro’s existing account-based system to include tap-and-go contactless payments plus a host of other functionality aiming to provide fast, easy, and safe payment solutions.

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Capital Metro serves the city of Austin, Texas, and the surrounding areas
Capital Metro serves the city of Austin, Texas, and the surrounding areas

Mobility- and payments-as-a-service specialist (MaaS and PaaS) Bytemark is expanding its partnership with Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Capital Metro), which serves the city of Austin, Texas, and the surrounding areas.

 

Bytemark will upgrade Capital Metro’s existing account-based fare payment system to one that will feature tap-and-go contactless payments plus a host of other functionality aiming to provide fast, easy, and safe payment solutions.

 

Contactless in-demand

 

The expansion comes at a time when contactless payment options are in demand because of the Covid-19 outbreak. Bytemark will add functionality from Bytemark Connect, the account-based fare payments suite from its plan, book and pay platform, Bytemark Bridge.

 

It will include new ways to purchase and pay for fares, such as a tap-and-go payment option and adding reload opportunities in local retailers. Additionally, it will include new features such as stored value accounts.

 

With the changes, Capital Metro passengers will receive more ways to pay, faster boarding, and a central way to manage all fare media while Capital Metro will be able to troubleshoot customer problems faster.

 

“This technology will give us the tools to allow customers faster and easier options to pay fares, including touchless payment options, even for those customers without credit cards,” said Capital Metro chief customer officer, Dottie Watkins. “Our focus at Capital Metro has always been on the safety and ease of our customers while using our services, and this new technology will help achieve that.”


Bytemark’s new solutions provide the opportunities for personalisation and optimisation of the travel experience. They also build on Capital Metro’s recently introduced in-app stored value wallet, which allows users to add funds for ticket purchases. One upgrade, later this year, will include a cash retail network integration, letting riders pay for tickets or load their stored wallets with cash at participating retailers.

“Our focus at Capital Metro has always been on the safety and ease of our customers while using our services, and this new technology will help achieve that”

Upgrades to Capital Metro’s existing fare collection system include the ability to manage the in-app stored value wallets on the agency’s existing customer website and physical, reloadable account-based smart cards, which will replace the current smart card system that offers limited-use cards pre-loaded with a cash value.

 

“These upgrades will enhance the experiences of passengers across central Texas and help achieve the goal of returning riders safely, all the while improving the customer experience and making it easier to ride,” said Eric Reese, Bytemark chief executive officer.


Bytemark will offer riders web-based or in-app smart card management and the ability to create, manage, and use a barcode-based virtual card in the app.


Expansion will focus on tap-and-go payments. Other possibilities include trip planner enhancements or integrations and first- and last-mile mobility providers.


“We are excited to provide Capital Metro, the riders, and the community with a solution that increases access to transportation as well as a cutting-edge solution that makes it easier for all to ride, safely,” Reese added.


Capital Metro serves Austin, the fourth-biggest city in Texas, and the surrounding areas. Its fleet includes 368 MetroBuses and 55 MetroRapid vehicles, 10 diesel electric trains, 257 vanpools, and 108 paratransit vehicles.

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