- Riders on the Metropolitan Tulsa Transit Authority (MTTA) system in Tulsa, OK should soon be able to use a version of the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) GoPass mobile transit app under a licensing agreement between the two agencies.
- The public affairs and communications committee of DART's board of directors unanimously advanced a plan to license GoPass as part of a broader strategy to expand it to transit agencies nationwide. Under the agreement, MTTA would use the app’s various functionalities for its own system, and would also add features like a new website and the integration of ride-hailing.
- MTTA will pay DART ongoing "license and maintenance fees" under the agreement, and will help fund new GoPass features worth up to $245,000. The deal is for four years, with the option for unlimited one-year extensions if both sides approve. The app could launch in Tulsa as early as June, subject to the full DART board’s approval; MTTA's board has already green-lit the project.
DART's GoPass is already used by transit agencies in nearby Denton and Fort Worth, both part of the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area. This expansion to Tulsa signals a broader effort for DART to license its mobile app, which could spark a larger trend among agencies nationwide.
Transit agencies typically partner with private tech companies when looking to roll out an app for their riders, so this is certainly a new way of doing things. Cities including Washington, DC, Los Angeles and San Francisco are in various stages of experimenting with mobile apps, but those are typically in concert with the private sector.
This deal comes with DART officials keen to expand their app's mobility as a service (MaaS) capabilities and make it a one-stop-shop for riders. With MTTA's financial support, DART can make further enhancements while reducing its own financial burden.
Gregory Elsborg, DART’s vice president and chief innovation officer, said it would simultaneously "expand the profile of GoPass" beyond the Dallas area. While it was straightforward to integrate Denton and Fort Worth given their location, Elsborg said working with Tulsa is closer to what DART wants to do with GoPass expansion in the long-term.
"The Tulsa relationship is much closer to how we’re modeling and looking to bring GoPass to the wider market," he said during the committee meeting.