It wasn’t too long ago that you had to use cash or a credit card at a kiosk to buy a paper ticket before you could ride the bus, take the subway, or any other public transportation mode.
That’s all changed.
With the advent of Mobility Wallets, it’s easier than ever to hop on public transportation, rent a bike or scooter, pay for parking, and even pay a carpool driver.
ITS America defines a mobility wallet as:
An electronic or card-based payment tool or system, applicable to both public and private shared transportation services, that helps to facilitate multimodal mobility.
Mobility Wallet Innovation: Dual Currency
ConnectSmart's innovative Mobility Wallet is designed to be flexible to any Transportation Service Provider (TSP) service payments. Our users like being able to plan, buy, store, and take their trip all within the ConnectSmart app for all TSP services.
ConnectSmart's Mobility Wallet also transcends the traditional concept by introducing a dual currency system, Coins and Tokens.
Coins may be purchased directly or awarded to the users for using the ConnectSmart app or completing an in-app survey. Coins may also be redeemed for various national retailer gift cards (Amazon, Target, Starbucks, etc.), local offers available on ConnectSmart’s marketplace, or donated to a supported cause.
Tokens are gifted by a sponsoring public or private entity who would like to reward their employees with tickets for sustainable mobility options. Tokens can only be redeemed according to the rules set by the sponsoring entity.
ConnectSmart’s successful design and implementation meets the core goals of a Mobility Wallet as defined by ITS America:
Provide users with a single integrated payment option for mobility services. ConnectSmart Mobility Wallet meets this goal by accepting various types of payment, including Apple Pay, Google Pay, debit, and credit cards for Coin purchase. Additional options are currently under consideration that will also enable users and those without access to credit or debit cards, increasing accessibility.
Apply the best fare, taking advantage of available discounts, even when using multiple modes of travel for a single trip. ConnectSmart’s Mobility Wallet meets this goal by offering the user the available fares and any promotional discounts on all travel modes for each trip.
Promote transportation equity, accepting subsidies from both government and private sources. ConnectSmart’s Mobility Wallet meets this goal by including the ability of governments, private companies, and other entities to add funds to an account. For example, an employer who partners with ConnectSmart to promote transit or carpooling among their employees may add funds to a user’s Mobility Wallet.
Intermodal Trip Planning, Ticketing, and Payment
The primary characteristics of ConnectSmart Mobility Wallet are:
Security. ConnectSmart’s Mobility Wallet is PCI compliant and hosted on a secure platform.
Coverage. The Mobility Wallet allows for payment options all in one place. Whether the user is purchasing tickets for transit or paying a carpool driver, they can use Mobility Wallet.
Ease of use. It is quick and easy for users to set up an account, make their purchase, and use the tickets safely stored in their wallet. ConnectSmart also has customer service representatives available to assist users when necessary.
Partnerships are key to ConnectSmart’s Mobility Wallet successful deployment in the Houston metropolitan region. As a result, ConnectSmart is currently working on enabling payment for other features in the Mobility Wallet.
ConnectSmart hosts campaigns and participates in community events, where we encourage new app downloads and ConnectSmart users. Occasionally, ConnectSmart will reward users with Tokens in their Mobility Wallet to purchase tickets for alternative modes of travel.
In addition, ConnectSmart collaborates with employers to encourage their employees to use ConnectSmart and the Mobility Wallet.
Making An Impact
Today ConnectSmart has more than 12,000 users and expects continued growth. The ConnectSmart app is the nation’s largest MaaS app, that transcends the traditional MaaS concept by introducing a robust travel behavior engine as well as feature and functionalities pertaining to safety and advance traveler informatics. ConnectSmart’s launch of the Mobility Wallet in the app is a reflection of the program's values and commitment to provide a pathway for users to take multiple modes of transportation, along with the intention to increase transportation equity.