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Posted on July 31, 2019 at 8:55 AM by Brooke Kochanski
For Immediate Release - July 30, 2019
Brooke Kochanski, PART Marketing Manager, (336) 291-4331, firstname.lastname@example.org
Beginning August 5th, the Piedmont Authority for Regional Transportation (PART) will be offering two new digital payment methods system-wide in the form of TouchPass Mobile and Smartcard Ticketing. This electronic fare technology will allow passengers to conveniently purchase passes online or through the app, pay fares easily with a scan or a tap, and ultimately speed up the boarding process.
PART plans to transition all passengers to TouchPass by the end of September 2019 and will stop selling magstripe paper passes on August 5th.
With the new TouchPass system, passengers can create a TouchPass account where they can buy and keep track of bus passes, load stored value, and monitor activity such as transfers. They can then access these pre-loaded accounts to ride PART buses by either downloading the TouchPass app on their Smartphone, or by linking their account with a physical reloadable Smartcard that can be purchased online or at the Coble Transportation Center ticket window. This account-based system also ensures that passengers' passes and stored value are safe if they misplace their Smartcard. As long as they’ve fully registered their TouchPass account they can transfer the money from one card to another.
“We are constantly trying to discover and design ways that will provide our passengers with safe, affordable and convenient commuting options, and we believe that the TouchPass system is another component that helps us achieve that,” PART Executive Director Scott Rhine said. “We are looking forward to seeing how the system will enhance the rider experience and make commuting throughout the Triad even faster and more convenient for everyone.”
The TouchPass app and Smartcard are designed to shorten and simplify the boarding process by allowing passengers to simply tap their Smartcard or scan the QR code on the mobile app to board. Although PART buses will continue to accept cash as a fare payment, the agency has already seen positive results from the system and is encouraging riders to try it for themselves.
“Now that the TouchPass mobile app has been implemented, boarding the bus has become so much easier,” Jennifer Chapman, a PART rider of seven years, said. “Rather than having to keep track of cash, change, or a pass card, I can use something I already have (my phone) to quickly and easily board the bus.”
In addition to simplified boarding, the new system features several other advantages including automatic transfers that can be stored in a passenger’s account, eliminating the need to get a paper transfer from bus drivers. Online purchases of passes and stored value can also be made using the app or online through the TouchPass system.
“In the past I have misplaced the paper passes and had to buy new passes early,” PART rider Natrina Jones said. “I love having TouchPass on my phone and being able to purchase and use it electronically. It has made riding PART more convenient.”
Of all the enhanced features this system boasts, likely the most significant is the PART Rewards program that is available to passengers who utilize the stored value feature in the TouchPass system. The system automatically keeps track of trips and payments and will put a cap on a passenger’s account, saving them money. Once a passenger spends $5 per day or $80 per month, they will not have to pay for additional trips the rest of the day or month.
To learn more about PART’s TouchPass Mobile and Smartcard Ticketing system and how to utilize these services, visit https://www.partnc.org/TouchPass. Riders who sign up for this program will get their first ride free.
The Piedmont Authority for Regional Transportation (PART) serves the Piedmont Triad with Express Bus service, Regional Vanpool service, and other commuter and employer transportation resources. PART is excited to announce this additional service for Triad residents and employees. Learn more at www.partnc.org.