INIT to implement new fare collection system in Atlanta in time for the
FIFA World Cup

First INIT ticketing system to be hosted completely in the cloud

MARTA train approaching a railway station. (© MARTA Transit)


Karlsruhe – 19 February 2024

The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) in Atlanta, USA has contracted INIT to provide a smart ticketing solution titled AFC 2.0 (automated fare collection). The new ticketing system will be state-of-the-art and include contactless payments for all MARTA’s buses, trains, streetcars and other revenue vehicles throughout the Atlanta metropolitan region. It is INIT’s most comprehensive ticketing project in the United States to date and the first one to be hosted completely in the public cloud with cloud-native services.

“Tap and go” payments with debit/credit cards and mobile wallets

The new system will provide many benefits to MARTA and its roughly 500,000 daily riders by introducing various payment options: They will be able to use a simple “tap and go” service that allows them to pay their fare with their debit card, credit card or mobile wallet without having to use a vending machine. This will make the system more intuitive, shorten the fare payment process, and reduce wait times at ticket vending machines.

The system will include all transportation modes. Regional partners can be integrated quickly into the system. Passengers can tap at fare gates in rail stations and at more than 1,800 terminals on station platforms, and onboard vehicles. They will be able to monitor their travels and their fare expenses by logging into MARTA’s website.

Ticket vending stations and ticket office terminals

Included in the contract are more than 275 user-friendly VENDstation ticket vending machines (TVM) that enable contactless payments for the purchase of passes and closed-loop cards. On these cards value can be topped up. The TVMs will also accept cash transactions and dispense exact change in both bills and coins. In addition, ticket office terminals at third-party outlets under contract to MARTA will also provide all functionalities of the TVMs and be equipped with INIT’s external card reader PROXusb and an advanced sales application.

Flexibility thanks to INIT’s back-office solution MOBILEvario

The new system will be an expandable and adaptable system. The back-office is provided by INIT’s Fare Management and Clearing System MOBILEvario which will enable MARTA to be flexible with pricing. With MOBILEvario, MARTA will be able to set various tariffs and handle employer initiatives, reduced fares for senior citizens and students as well as offer discounts for events.

The system is hosted in the cloud, which will provide many advantages. It is scalable and gives MARTA peace of mind as they will rely on the utmost in IT security, guaranteed among other things by a multi-factor authentication method. It will be easily accessible from anywhere via standard web browser instead of the common remote desktop solution.

Additional services can easily be integrated as the AFC 2.0 smart ticketing system has been built using an open architecture design that facilitates the integration of customer-oriented perks such as trip planning and Mobility-as-a-Service from MARTA’s partners.

System ideally suited for the many FIFA World Cup 2026 visitors

With Atlanta set to host eight matches, including a semi-final, for the upcoming FIFA World Cup 2026, the city is expecting numerous visitors from the United States and abroad. Therefore, it was crucial for MARTA to have a convenient open payments system capable to handle the large number of visitors expected in two years. MARTA General Manager and CEO Collie Greenwood is enthusiastic about the new system: “First and foremost, this new state-of-the-art fare collection system will improve service and provide customers with a better overall experience. And from our side, AFC 2.0 will allow us to further optimize our operations and increase farebox recovery. It’s a major win for both MARTA and our passengers.”

Dr Jürgen Greschner, INIT CSO, believes MARTA’s system is a blueprint for modern ticketing: “Today, everyone expects to be able to purchase their tickets simply and economically using their mobile device or credit card. With our smart ticketing solutions, this is precisely what we can provide whilst simultaneously relieving public transport companies of the entire handling and payments clearing process.” Using INIT software and hardware systems, public transportation in the Atlanta metropolitan region with its over six million inhabitants will reach a new level of excellence.


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Andrea Mohr-Braun

Head of Department Corporate Marketing
INIT worldwide
Phone: +49 721 6100 113
Fax: +49 721 6100 399