Monday, September 21, 2020

MATA Rolls Into 'Cashless Economy' With App, Website

Posted By on Mon, Sep 21, 2020 at 12:59 PM

click to enlarge JUSTIN FOX BURKS
  • Justin Fox Burks

Last week Memphis Area Transit Authority launched a redesigned website and new app aimed towards modernizing and streamlining its bus service.

The app, GO901 Mobile, is a free mobile fare app that allows passengers to purchase single fare tickets and all-day passes on their smartphones using a debit or credit card. The app also enables users to add money to and manage their account balance allowing them to buy multiple passes or tickets and store them for future use.

Once downloaded, riders will be able to hit the “use ticket” or “use pass” button to display their single-use ticket or all-day pass. They then need only to scan their pass on the scanners located in the front of MATA vehicles.  

With the launch of the app, MATA also rolled out a new version of its website. The changes included a new sleek design as well as integration for the new mobile app. The website allows users to more easily manage their account balance and ticket purchases with the new GO901 app.

“A few years ago, we began making a concerted effort to improve communications by implementing a series of actionable recommendations,” said MATA spokeswoman Nicole Lacey. “When we met with key stakeholders at that time, one of the biggest takeaways was that we needed to improve the mobile interactivity of the website. We think we have accomplished that and hope that visitors find it to be more appealing, more informative, and more engaging.”

The redesigned website and new app are the most recent changes in a long line of modernization efforts by MATA. Last December, MATA began offering wi-fi access on all of its fixed-route buses, para-transit vehicles, and rail trolley cars. The next step for MATA will be the implementation of new ticket vending machines and point of sale systems.

While MATA had plans to introduce new buying options before the outbreak of COVID-19, the pandemic heightened the need to offer cashless fare options.

“We’re seeing all across the country how the COVID-19 pandemic has caused more industries — including public transportation — to take a second look at how to operate in a cashless economy,” said MATA Chief Executive Officer Gary Rosenfeld. “With the introduction of the new GO901 mobile app, it will hopefully remove the fears associated with the virus and paper money as well as offering passengers more convenient payment options and the possibility of attracting new customers who don’t want to carry cash or go to the transit centers to purchase passes.”

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