The STL is currently testing open payment on board its buses. With open payment, the user only needs to tap their card on the terminal to pay for their trip.
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Integrated mobility fare pricing and technology solutions
What is integrated mobility?
Integrated mobility, or MaaS (Mobility as a Service), is a practice that aims to meet people’s global mobility needs by simplifying access to sustainable mobility services View definition such as public transit, taxis, carsharing, biking, self-serve cars and rental cars. A one-stop mobility shop acts as an interface between all mobility services and citizens to offer them a flexible fare package that meets their mobility needs and that they can manage themselves. Integrated mobility facilitates mixed-mode commuting; that is, the simple and efficient use of many modes of transport that meet all mobility needs. Citizens can take advantage of complementary services offered within the same trip, on a daily or seasonal basis.
Modes of transport can be defined by the two key characteristics of access and use:
- Access to modes of transport indicates whether the service is offered to the public or a specific group of people. For example, access to the métro and bikesharing is public, but access to carsharing is private.
- Use of a mode of transport indicates if the service is used by one person or several individuals. For example, the métro is used collectively, while bikesharing is used individually.
These two characteristics have a major impact on how integrated mobility is organized in terms of the service offer, fares and technology. Currently, the metropolitan area already benefits from integrated public transit fares.
Thanks to the integrated mobility fares offered within the ARTM territory, people could put together personalized packages adapted to their needs.
The fare reform exercise provides an opportunity to analyze and develop new fare offers that promote co-modality View definition by meeting the specific needs of different travelers. Mobility then becomes simple, integrated, seamless and efficient.
A good example of this is “à la carte” mobility offers that are adapted to the seasons, such as fare packages for bikesharing and public transit during the summer season and carsharing and public transit offers in winter.
Fare pricing for integrated mobility must be adapted to the usage frequency of mobility services. It must be flexible and easy to use for people who use it on an occasional as well as a regular basis.
Technology solutions for fare pricing
Technology, which helps create an improved mobility experience, plays an important role in the lives of people who use public transit.
The Montréal metropolitan area already boasts a top-notch asset: the OPUS system. This system, which is owned by the ARTM, offers the OPUS card, a single smart card that gives users access to different public transit services and other specific mobility services such as carsharing or bikesharing like Communauto and BIXI.
As part of its mandate, the ARTM is currently working on implementing a one-stop mobility shop for the entire metropolitan area. By building on the solid foundation established by the OPUS system and with the collaboration between the mobility partners in the region, it would be able to integrate all mobility services for the metropolitan area. This one-stop mobility shop would also provide citizens with a simplified and integrated payment and management experience and make it easier to travel in the metropolitan area.
Testing underway now and in the future
Many technology-based mobility projects are being piloted in the metropolitan area.
The open-payment system allows public transit riders to use a credit card to access transit by paying directly on a farebox or at métro turnstiles.
The “My OPUS profile” experiment:
The “My OPUS profile” experiment in which PTA employees are currently taking part could lead to the development of a centralized client mobility account that stores information on riders’ fare purchases and payment as well as travel history. People would be able to access their accounts online or with the Chrono mobile app. The goal is to help riders find the best fare for their travel needs by offering personalized and private access to their trip history within the public transit network. This would lead to the creation of a client mobility account that keeps track of purchases, payments and travel history in one centralized location.
The ARTM plans to develop a one-stop mobility shop for the metropolitan area, which offers a 360° vision of mobility services and allows citizens to take advantage of personalized integrated mobility services that are adapted to their needs. The tool would allow users to consult information on services offered, status of real-time services as well as fares. They could also purchase mobility fare packages and consult the history of their service use in one single location.
Citizens at the heart of integrated mobility and new technologies
Throughout the ARTM fare reform exercise on integrated mobility fares and new technologies, we have kept citizens top of mind in order to offer them the easiest, most fluid and most efficient travel experience possible. Getting all our mobility partners on board and securing their buy-in will be key to achieving this ambitious goal.