Mobile Commerce Insider Featured Article

January 28, 2014

Austin Transit Provider to Use Ticketing App Developed by Bytemark

Bytemark announced on Monday the release of its mobile ticketing application. Passengers who ride on MetroRapid vehicles within the CapMetro system will be able to use their smartphones or tablets to purchase transit passes and get real-time status updates on arrivals.

Capital Metropolitan Transit Authority (CapMetro) is the regional transit provider for the greater Austin, Tex. area, serving cities in Travis and Williamson counties. The agency provides bus, commuter rail and a specialized express bus service, MetroRapid.

New York-based Bytemark develops mobile paperless ticket applications for entertainment and transit applications that use the latest technologies. The company’s patented V3 ticket uses an animated watermark and multi-layer validation. Barcodes and QR codes are also supported. The company also uses Amazon’s EC2 cloud service to host its platform.

Many aspects of riding MetroRapid were designed with speed and efficiency in mind. The buses are 60 feet long to accommodate more passengers than a normal bus and have an accordion-like midsection to facilitate turning corners. Instead of having to enter from the front door only, passengers with the CapMetro app can display a barcode on their mobile device and run it through a scanner at one of the three doors on the vehicle to pay fare. Additional technology allows the bus to spend less time waiting at traffic signals.

Another one of the benefits of the CapMetro app is that it provides real-time arrivals of buses. This is a huge improvement over printed schedules, which only work in a perfect world where delays due to weather, traffic and mechanical issues never happen.

Bytemark’s app is the latest example of technology eliminating the need for paper tickets and it ties in well with other efforts to make public transit convenient and efficient. Other types of operations like sporting events and performances also support e-tickets by smartphone, but there are still some kinks to work out. While one person can buy multiple tickets to a ballgame, the ticket agent still prints out receipts for all paid attendees as proof of admission, so the goal of being paperless has not yet been realized, but it is a step in the right direction. 




Edited by Cassandra Tucker




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