In the Suncoast region of Florida, the Regional Working Group (RWG) sets new standards when it comes to inventive ideas. As a provider of transit services that enhance the quality of life in the Florida Suncoast area, it set out to implement a region-wide, Electronic Fare Management (EFM) and mobile ticketing solution with INIT as its partner.
Project at a glance
square mile service area
account-based EFM system
The goal of the Regional Working Group (RWG) was to set up a regional fare structure that would incorporate three agencies, while allowing each to pick and choose from a combination of fare media options. The choices were as varied as the agencies themselves. Some wanted only passes and closed loop cards, while others opted for open payments, smart cards and/or mobile tickets. Additionally, special consideration for integration with different Long-Term Evolution (LTE) carriers as well as various vehicle layouts and internal Internet Protocol (IP) schemes was part of the scope.
Individual vehicle hard and software configurations had to be taken into account because incorporation with their respective vendors was necessary to build a fully integrated solution. The EFM system would also need to easily operate in tandem with third party CAD/AVL systems, general ledger applications, and legacy backend applications.
The installation of fare validators on nearly 400 vehicles ranging from fixed route buses, to historical streetcars, to beach trolleys would be part of the challenge, but the RWG chose to partner with INIT for the company’s experience with implementing successful regional account-based fare systems globally.
The scope of the RWG project includes the installation of INIT’s PROXmobile3 fare validators on nearly 400 vehicles. The validators serve as real-time ticket validators for mobile 2D barcodes while supporting contactless EMV fare cards (open payments), branded regional fare media (closed loop) and third party contactless ID media, e.g. college IDs.
INIT’s back-end clearing and revenue processing system, MOBILEvario serves as the core intelligence of the EFM project. MOBILEvario facilitates the management of the individual customer accounts, setting of fare rules, revenue processing, and statistical evaluation reporting. MOBLEvario is the key to integrating the three counties’ various fare structures, while ensuring secure administration of each agency’s data.
Also included in the project are Interactive Voice Response (IVR) applications and new enhanced web portals to allow customers to check their balances, register their cards and load values, as well as manage mobile payment applications using their smartphones.
The system was designed following an open architecture approach. Using open APIs allows many partners associated with the project to be integrated without changes to the core system. These partners included payment service providers, mobile and web applications, as well as third party suppliers.
- Increased operational efficiencies through reduced costs of cash handling and improved boarding times.
- More fare payment options through smart cards and mobile tickets.
- Higher security with account-based fares.
The RWG’s new account-based system will increase operational efficiencies by reducing the costs of cash handling, improving boarding times at stops and giving passengers more control over their own accounts. Integrated IVR and institutional web portals allow institutions and other contract-based entities to manage media, participants and products based on their individual contracts (MOUs).
Riders will have greater convenience using public transit throughout the Florida Suncoast region with the INIT account-based EFM system. The Flamingo Fares project will provide passengers with more fare payment options through smart cards and mobile tickets, higher security with account-based fares, and greater pricing equity through fare capping opportunities.
Senior Director, Business Development