Monday, September 09, 2013

Texas transit trio sets GoPass mobile app

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Starting Sept. 16, 2012, public transit riders in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex can use their smartphones "to buy, store and activate passes for DART, The T and DCTA," the three area transit entities jointly announced Monday, Sept. 9.

GoPass℠ mobile ticketing application being offered "is free in Apple's App Store and the Google Play Store. The Danish firm Unwire won the contract based on its experience overseas with mobile ticketing in large urban markets with multiple agency participants," the agencies said.

The North Texas agencies assert they are "are among the first in the country to offer mobile ticketing and are Unwire's first U.S. client. Since this is a joint effort, the three agencies chose a neutral name for the product: GoPass℠."

Officials at DART (Dallas Areas Rapid Transit), The T (Fort Worth Transportation Authority), and DCTA (Denton County Transportation Authority) estimate that half of their collective ridership carries smartphones.

Downloading the app, registering and entering payment information take just a few minutes, and the GoPass℠ app guides users through the process. Once a rider is registered, it takes a matter of seconds to buy a pass.

Before boarding, customers activate a pass from a digital wallet, even when an active Internet connection is not available. Color coding quickly indicates recent activation or expiration to bus operators or fare inspectors. A countdown timer informs customer when the pass expires and prevents riders from using bogus tickets.

"It's not the ticketing that makes this interesting," DART CFO David Leininger said. "It's the convenience factor." Added DART Chief Marketing Officer Nevin Grinnell, "Customers buy passes on their terms, not ours."

GoPass℠ also contains a trip-planning tool powered by Google Transit. Customers can access rider alerts and schedule information, check real-time bus and train arrivals, and find information about transit-accessible activities and events.

In 2014, the agencies will offer combination tickets that cover transit fare and event admission to a variety of North Texas' arenas, museums, arts facilities, fairs, festivals, and expos.

More information and how-to videos about the GoPass℠ mobile application are available at www.GoPass.biz.