A morning commute in Rhode Island can take many forms: a car, a bike, a train, a ferry, and most famously, a bus. Not just any bus, however; we take the big bright green ones operated by RIPTA.
In July, RIPTA launched a new mobile pay app to make its already well-used service more accessible to riders, who hail from all walks of life, from college students to local business owners. “We are committed to using technology to make RIPTA accessible and easy to use,” says its new CEO Scott Avedisian.
The app, named RIPTA Flash Pass, will be available on both iOS and Android devices. Users will be able to purchase select tickets and passes ahead of time, store them in their phone, and forget about the stress of losing a paper ticket to a strong gust of wind or the depths of a handbag. Purchasing bus fare will be made easy between online accounts and reusable “smart” cards.
At the moment, the app is still in beta test mode, which means RIPTA will be monitoring and gathering feedback. During this trial period, riders will be able to purchase single trips with or without a transfer, a five-trip and transfer bundle, a day pass, and a seven-day pass. Eventually, tickets will be scannable at devices installed in the bus; for now, bus operators will be verifying mobile tickets themselves.
For millennial users and busy commuters, virtual payment is a giant leap for local mass transit. For those struggling with the service, RIPTA’s website provides a handy how-to video.
Next time you decide to take a last-minute bus trip or are rushing to the nearest stop with pre-work coffee in hand, you won’t have to fret over where you put your ticket; simply open the app, tap on your purchase, and enjoy your ride.