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Miami-Dade rewards public transport users and monetises app

Miami-Dade Department of Transportation and Public Works’ incentive programme enables travellers to earn ‘stars’, based on a digital loyalty currency owned and operated by Cubic.

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Miami travellers are incentivised to use public transport to get around the city
Miami travellers are incentivised to use public transport to get around the city

The Miami-Dade Department of Transportation and Public Works (DTPW) has rolled out a loyalty-based incentive programme for transit riders using technology developed by Cubic Transportation Systems (CTS).

 

CTS’ Cubic Interactive is a loyalty rewards platform that enables transit agencies and authorities to incentivise travel on public transportation. Miami’s DTPW recently launched an ‘all-new’ mobile app, GO Miami-Dade Transit, which encompasses features such as tracking, trip-planning and mobile passes as well as a rewards programme powered by Cubic Interactive.

 

Public transportation

 

 

One of several new features of the rewards programme is that travellers using public transportation can engage with advertising content from brands such as Ricola, Bausch + Lomb, Johnson & Johnson and Paragon Vitamins, earning them loyalty points they can redeem for Miami-Dade Transit (MDT) value.

 

Travellers will earn ‘stars’ – a proprietary digital loyalty currency, owned and operated by Cubic – when they view or interact with ads on the transit agency’s mobile app, or when they use loyalty-based transit service provided by MDT.

 

Collected stars can then be turned into transit value and used to subsidise or pay for transit rides or redeem for various in-app offers.

 

Miami-Dade County will receive a quarterly share of ad revenues as well as ‘star’ revenues.

 

Collected stars can then be turned into transit value and used to subsidise or pay for transit rides or redeem for various in-app offers.

 

“As a user, it’s not often you can be paid with something real and tangible like transit value to watch an ad, but that’s exactly our business model and value proposition for users,” said Cubic’s Senior Product Director, Robert Sprogis.

 

“We are excited to be the first transit agency to adopt this loyalty-based interactive service that rewards riders,” commented Alice Bravo, director of transportation and public works for Miami-Dade County.

 

“The programme is a great way to incentivise our current riders and invite new ones to give transit a try. It provides the building blocks that will help us increase the use of transit to reduce congestion.”

 

Shifting the peak

 

According to CTS, Cubic Interactive allows transit agencies to build custom loyalty programmes that reside within their existing mobile transit apps, or future app innovations, to help shift peak transit patterns, ease the pressure on the transit network and promote smarter and healthier mobility choices. Miami-Dade Transit is the first agency to implement Cubic’s full end-to-end solution.

 

“Cubic Interactive offers unique benefits for not only advertisers but also transit agencies and travellers all over the world,” added Laurent Eskenazi, interim president of Cubic Transportation Systems.

 

 

“As a user, it’s not often you can be paid with something real and tangible like transit value to watch an ad."

 

“We are able to not only offer travellers incentives to travel in ways that reduce congestion and streamline commutes, while providing new revenue streams for transit agencies, but also advertisers with the opportunity to tap into a highly valuable and captive audience – something that hasn’t been done before in the public transportation space.”

 

New revenue

 

CTS claims Cubic Interactive also helps agencies become valuable and attractive advertising partners, generating a secondary revenue stream by monetising not only their mobile apps but also transit infrastructure including gates, ticket vending machines and other previously under-utilised physical assets.

 

Sprogis said revenue opportunities for operators could potentially be “very, very sizeable".

 

Some may have concerns about advertising being pushed to citizens in this way via a public sector app. Miami-Dade’s Bravo believes this is no different to previous advertising models.

 

She said: “Advertising is and has been available on transit assets, including vehicle interiors and exteriors, stations, bus shelters, and digital screens across the system in Miami-Dade County, similar to other transit systems across the country. Advertising on transit assets generates revenue that supports system operation.”

 

However, Sprogis agreed that some agencies may have reservations about advertising.

 

“We have seen this in fact, and for these particular transit agencies, we recommend our loyalty-only approach.”

He added: “We worked with the Miami DTPW very closely in the design of the user experience. The advertising is placed within the app in high visibility locations but will never interrupt a user’s experience or transaction flow, meaning you’ll never get an ad pop-up as you are trying to figure out where your bus is.”

 

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