Next Generation Fare Payment System Makes Travel Easier and More Convenient in the Twin Cities
Moorestown, NJ – Flowbird Transport Intelligence, a division of Flowbird Group and leader in transit fare payment systems, is proud to announce it will be expanding its fare payment solutions for Metro Transit, the public transportation operator in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area of Minnesota. The expansion includes 185 Strada StreetSmart Ticket Vending Machines (TVMs), including Flowbird’s cloud-based analytics platform, Flowbird Hub, that will service the agency’s new Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) routes.
Metro Transit is ranked as one of the best transit systems in the United States, with ridership making its way back up to Pre-covid levels of 270,000 riders per day. With Metro Transit being the largest public transportation operator in the state, commuters rely on the system daily to reach their destination safely and on time. The agency currently operates the METRO Blue and Green light rail lines, Northstar commuter rail line, and more than 100 bus routes. This year, Metro Transit announced their newest expansion to the system, the Orange line (light rail) and the D-Line (BRT).
Metro Transit partnered with Flowbird in 2016 for off-board fare collection for its A-line BRT route, serving some of the busiest corridors in the system. Flowbird successfully delivered Strada Ticket Vending Machines to make travel easier and quicker for riders. Since then, boarding and dwell times have greatly reduced.
This new expansion will feature a total of 185 Strada StreetSmart ticket vending machines to service the new BRT routes. Featuring an easy-to-read 9.7” touch screen, the new TVM’s will allow riders to conveniently purchase fare tickets on-site before boarding. Each machine is equipped to accept a variety of payment methods including coins, bills, credit and debit cards, as well as contactless payments. Riders can select from one or multiple fare options from the LED touchscreen display and can choose from several different language options. Each machine is carefully designed to withstand the region’s harsh winter climate – where the average annual snowfall is almost double the US average, and average temperatures do not climb above freezing.
The central data system, the Flowbird Hub Fare Payment Platform, manages and controls all sales and devices remotely, while providing the ability to update fares and purchase items. Information is consistently fed back to the cloud-based monitoring system so that potential issues can be addressed. The user-friendly platform allows agency staff to easily monitor each device and view important diagnostics.
By expanding their modernized fare collection, Metro Transit will be able to continue to offer convenient payment options, increase access to the transit system, speed boarding time, and reduce other operating costs of fare collection.
Installation of the new TVM’s will begin on the BRT lines with light rail to follow.
Many transit agencies in the U.S. are working toward modernizing payment and ticketing as part of their overall fare collection system. The partnership between Metro Transit and Flowbird continues Flowbird North America’s growth in the transit sector where it serves major transit agencies such as New York City Transit, Community Transit, Houston METRO, Lane Transit, M-1 Rail, and Portland Streetcar.