INIT, Spokane Transit Authority introduce contactless payments

Chesapeake, Va. / Spokane, Wash., August 14, 2023.

Spokane Transit Authority (STA) has implemented contactless debit and credit card payments in collaboration with INIT. In addition to STA’s Connect cards and cash, riders now have the convenience of using credit or debit cards and digital cards in their mobile wallets to pay for bus fares. With INIT real-time fare validators located onboard STA buses, passengers can simply tap their card or scan their barcode, and ride.


The convenience of our Connect system is now even better with contactless payments. We are thrilled with the adoption rate of Connect and are excited to offer our customers another option to make riding the bus even easier.

Carly Cortright

Chief Communications and Customer Service Officer, STA

STA encourages frequent riders to use a Connect card where they can manage their own accounts by registering online. They have the freedom to add funds, employ an autoload option, view their ride history, and check their existing balance via the account website and mobile app. The mobile app enables riders to establish a virtual card (eConnect) and pay their fare using a timed barcode. A Connect card offers the benefit of monthly fare capping in addition to daily fare capping.

Fare capping is utilized for contactless payments and ensures that passengers will never pay more than the cost of a daily pass, regardless of how many times they ride that day. To take advantage of fare-capping, passengers must use the same form of payment for each ride. These contactless payments are ideal for infrequent riders. 

In the first six months following STA’s introduction of the Connect fare system in 2022, mobile and smart card payments obtained a promising 54% adoption rate among riders. STA expects the use of credit and debit cards to be popular due to the convenience of paying for transit with the same media as paying for everyday purchases such as a cup of coffee. 

STA marks the fourth contactless open payment system by INIT in the United States, following Portland (Oregon), Grand Rapids (Michigan), and Tampa (Florida.) In 2023, Nashville (Tennessee) is expected to join the ranks as the next INIT-built open payment project.

Learn about other INIT contactless payment projects.