Milwaukee County Transit System to modernize fare collection system
MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS) announced Wednesday, Feb. 9, a new fare collection system that will connect riders to not only its bus services but to other forms of transit across the region.
The new Umo Mobility Platform by Cubic Transportation Systems is expected to launch in fall of 2022. The system will eventually replace the current M-Card and mobile app.
COMING FALL 2022! We're excited to announce our new fare collection system designed to make purchasing fares easier, ensure customers pay the best price, and increase equity and accessibility for all!— RideMCTS (@RideMCTS) February 9, 2022
Learn more: https://t.co/ypqwRuAtAE pic.twitter.com/yCIHufvNmS
According to a news release, the communities MCTS serves will benefit from improved transportation equity. The new fare collection system is made to fit the needs of all transit riders, including those without smartphones or who don’t have a bank account.
Riders can choose to pay for their transit trips whichever way they prefer, including via contactless credit cards, mobile phones using the new app, a new smart card reloadable online or at retail outlets, or cash on board the buses. More plentiful retail locations based in a larger number of neighborhoods, multi-lingual capabilities, and options for the visually impaired further boost access to transit. With fare capping, riders will pay the lowest price, no matter how many times they ride.
“Making public transit more accessible is key to achieving racial equity in Milwaukee County. To create more connected communities, we must reduce the barriers that keep our neighborhoods, and their residents, separated today,” said Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley. “MCTS is working to reduce barriers to accessing public transit by introducing flexibility in transit fare collection to accommodate the needs of all potential riders.”
MCTS Managing Director Dan Boehm said, “The ability to fare cap means riders can purchase as much or as little as they can afford, and still get the discount of a weekly or monthly pass. The new system recognizes when riders reach the equivalent of a pass, and automatically rewards them with free rides for the remainder of the period. Now, everyone can access a faster, more convenient way to pay and travel to jobs, education, entertainment and other destinations.”
The news release says, because the platform is cloud-based, it works faster than the current fare collection system, offering immediate on-board payment validation via mobile app or smart card. The mobile app will also provide real-time bus tracking and trip planning. To use Umo, passengers create an account via the app and then add funds to their account using their credit or debit card or with cash at more than 200 retail locations.
In the coming months, MCTS will begin educating its rider base how the account-based system works. On-bus validators are expected to be installed later this fall. This new system will eventually replace the current M-Card and mobile app. The education campaign will include a timeline of when the old system will be phased out and the new one begins. There will be an introductory period allowing riders time to transition to the new system.
For more information about the Milwaukee County Transit System, CLICK HERE.