TriMet Tickets Mobile Ticketing Beta Test

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What will happen during the beta test of the TriMet Tickets app?

  •  The beta test of the TriMet Tickets mobile payment and ticketing application will launch this week and last for about a month.
  • About 150 beta testers were chosen from more than 1,500 applicants to test the TriMet application powered by GlobeSherpa.
  • Beta testers represent a cross section of riders based on demographics, type of mobile device and operating system, credit/debit card type, trip purpose, fare type, frequency of transit use and use of buses, trains or both.
  • Beta test riders will be able to buy and use tickets on buses, MAX, WES and the Portland Streetcar.
  • „h Following the beta period, feedback will be incorporated and any necessary modifications made to the mobile ticketing app.

 2. What are the benefits of mobile ticketing?

  • Customers can buy tickets and passes anytime, anywhere, with no need to wait in lines or find a ticket vending machine.
  • Tickets can be purchased in advance and validated when ready to board buses or trains.
  • Mobile ticketing is paperless, so no paper ticket to keep track of and no need to carry cash.
  • For TriMet, mobile payments and ticketing adds a convenient option for customers with no capital investment or need for additional onboard equipment.
  • Mobile tickets reduce the need for cash handling.

 3. How does the TriMet Tickets application work?

  • „h The TriMet Tickets mobile ticket application will be available to all riders as early as this summer.
  • „h Once available to the public, customers can download the TriMet Tickets app from the Apple and Android app stores directly onto their phones at no cost. After downloading the free app, the customer will register a debit or credit card in a secure system.
  • The customer can then purchase tickets and passes at anytime, anywhere and the tickets are delivered instantly right to the phone.
  • To board the bus or train, the rider simply selects the fare type and presses “Use”. The rider shows the unique digital ticket displayed on the phone to the bus operator when boarding or when request by TriMet personnel or Transit Police officers on WES and MAX. No additional scanning equipment required.
  • TriMet personnel may verify the ticket by simply launching the unique QR code embedded in the ticket. The QR code is then scanned using a fare enforcement application and the ticket verified within seconds. The code contains pertinent data regarding scan status, time, ticket type and location*. Valid mobile tickets return a green check to the fare inspector’s screen; invalid mobile tickets return a red X.
  • Riders can also plan trips, check next arrival times, get notifications and service updates right on the phone.

* The fare enforcement application allows fare enforcers and Transit Police officers to receive pertinent data regarding location only if the customer has opted into location based services. Upon launch of the app, there is a pop up that asks: “TriMet would like to know your location” and the user must press either ‘allow’ or ‘deny’.

4. Do the mobile tickets have security features to avoid counterfeiting?

  • The mobile tickets are animated, with the date on them and the day code.
  • The expiration date/time will flash for the first four minutes after a ticket has been activated, providing Inspectors with a clear and immediate visual indicator.
  • Tapping the day code launches the QR code embedded in the ticket.
  • Tapping the bus windows turns on the lights inside the animated bus.

 5. When will all TriMet riders be able to use this system?

  • TriMet’s mobile ticket app is expected to be generally available as early as this summer.

 6. What smartphones will the ticket app run on?

  • TriMet Tickets app will initially be available for most iPhone or Android operating systems.
  • Windows and Blackberry operating systems may be supported later in 2013.

 7. Which fares will be available?

  • Adult, Youth, and Honored Citizen customers will be able to buy 2-Hour tickets, 1-Day passes, 7-Day passes, 14-Day passes, and 30-Day passes.
  • LIFT fares may be added at a later date.
  • Annual passes, group passes and employer/school and college programs may be supported at a later date
  • A minimum of $5 purchase is required, such as 2 Adult two-hour tickets, but can be activated individually.

8. What happens if someone loses his or her smartphone during the beta test phase?

  • If a beta tester loses his or her smartphone during the testing phase, they may email mobileticketing@trimet.org to receive assistance.

9. What is the cost to TriMet?

  • TriMet paid no upfront costs for the development of the mobile ticketing app.
  • Five to seven percent per transaction goes to GlobeSherpa
  • Another four percent of the transaction pays for card processing.
  • Those fees do not add to the price of a ticket. Riders still pay the standard fare price.

10. Why is TriMet doing this?

  • The development of this application required no upfront costs to TriMet. This is the same approach the agency has followed with its open data made available to developers, who in turn have developed some 50 apps to make riding transit easier, all without any out-of-pocket costs to TriMet.
  • Providing the hundreds of thousands of daily commuters with a more cost effective, secure and convenient mobile payment solution is another innovation for riders.
  • Fundamentally, mobile payment and ticketing provides for more efficient fare collection. Mobile tickets are paperless and require no cash handling. They are efficient, secure and convenient, and will reduce wear and tear on Ticket Vending Machines.
  • It will bring the agency one step closer to a state-of-the-art electronic fare collection system that will eventually provide all riders – not just those with smartphones – with easy and convenient ways to pay their fare.