Project Description

Flowbird ticketing technology – including an innovative solar-powered mobile vending solution – has been introduced into the new Minneapolis Transit bus rapid transit (BRT) system to meet the needs of 250,000 passengers travelling the prestigious A-line route.


  • Minneapolis is the largest city in the state of Minnesota and the 46th largest city in the United States, with an estimated population of 413,651.
  • Metro Transit is the primary public transportation operator in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul area of the U.S. state of Minnesota and the largest operator in the state.
Parkeon Strada ticket vending machines
accept coins, cards, bills, coupons and tokens
passengers a year use the service
tickets sold and validated each year

The Challenge

Metro Transit introduced the A-line route in 2016, serving some of the busiest corridors in the BRT system, including Snelling Ave., Ford Parkway and 46th Street. The new BRT project was designed with the objective to make travel easier and quicker for citizens, and included features such as traffic signal priority for buses, low floor buses, raised curbs at new stations and off-board fare collection.

As well as the need for permanent ticket vending machines along the route, the city also specified a number of mobile vending machines that could be used tactically at venues – including major sport events – to ease the pressure on fixed terminals and enable patrons to purchase tickets without undue delay.

The Solution

Metro Transit appointed Flowbird to provide both fixed and mobile ticket vending solutions capable of accepting payment by coin, bill, credit and debit card as well as coupon and tokens. In total, Flowbird delivered and configured 92 Strada ticket vending machines with 7” colour display user interfaces.

  • 82 of these were deployed along the A-Line BRT routes within the city.
  • All of the devices are connected and managed via Flowbird’s cloud-based back office system
  • The TVMs include a user friendly colour screen interface, with multiple language options such as Somali and Hmong
  • 10 solar-powered portable machines were supplied support travellers attending large sporting events including baseball and football games in the city. These TVMs were equipped with wheels for ease of mobility and incorporated 4G wireless communication for speedy ticket transactions.
  • The TVMs are designed to withstand harsh weather conditions
  • Each machine provides multiple payment options to speed up ticket purchase. These include locally available coupons and tokens.

Flowbird’s TransFolio back office system was specified to manage and control the distributed sales and validation devices, and provided the ability to update fares and tariffs, monitor equipment, manage subscriptions and report on revenue and network performance.

The Benefits

  • The Flowbird solution allows service users to quickly and easily purchase their fare to ride the A-line using multiple payment means – bills, coins, credit/debit cards as well as locally used coupons and tokens.
  • Boarding and dwell times are greatly reduced.
  • Metro Transit is able to manage and operate the system independently and in real time via a hosted cloud-based back office system

“The tramway is an undoubted success story as it helps to develop sustainable mobility, to rethink and modernise urban areas, promote architectural heritage and to contribute to the development of towns and employment.”

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