Statewide Transit Innovation Grant Will Enhance Rider Services
ELKTON, MD. -- The Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Transit Administration announced the award of five competitive Statewide Transit Innovation Grants (STIG) on September 14, 2018 totaling $515,377.
Cecil County was awarded $108,752 to develop the Easy Pay Mobile Ticketing and Transfer System Project that will automate fare collection, give transit riders trip planning capabilities using real-time tracking and integrate with third-party transit providers for mobility options like Uber, Lyft and bike-sharing services.
Customers will continue to have the option to pay fares with cash; however, paper tickets will be replaced with automated bus passes purchased and validated through a smart phone application. Frequent transit users will realize savings by utilizing period passes (daily, weekly or monthly) and subscription services thereby creating a transfer system which will allow easy and affordable access across Cecil Transit’s fixed route network.
A user-friendly web portal will provide passengers with a rich customer service experience allowing them to manage their accounts, add funds to their balance, purchase a bus pass, request a refund, sign up for Short Message Service (SMS) notifications for low balance alerts and view a log of all transactions and rides associated with their account. The web portal will also serve as a convenient means for community partners to manage their customer’s accounts, and will, in fact, foster the development of additional collaboration with local human service agencies, medical institutions, employers, etc.
“We are extremely pleased as this grant will provide us the opportunity to implement a transfer system where riders will be able to purchase daily, weekly and monthly electronic passes; while this will allow Cecil Transit to focus on key transfer points between routes, it will also make transit services more affordable to our ridership” said David Trolio, Director of Community Services.
According to Suzanne Kalmbacher, Cecil Transit Chief, “The security of our customer’s data is paramount in considering software solutions for customer transactions. Only systems with a robust security framework will be considered to ensure that any risk of fraud or data breaches are mitigated.”
Full implementation of the project should be completed by December 2019. Beginning in mid-2019, Cecil Transit will hold outreach meetings and trainings for partner agencies’ staff and the general public. Several outreach events will be held throughout the community to educate the public on fare options and assist with creating customer accounts through the web portal.
The competitive STIG program is in its first year and allows local transit agencies to apply for funding to plan, design, or construct innovative transit projects.
Public Information Officer
Cecil County Government