- Riders across 13 transit agencies in Ohio and Kentucky will soon be able to book transit tickets and receive trip planning information through the Uber app as part of the Uber Transit Ticketing initiative, launched in partnership with mobile ticketing company Masabi and the NEORide council of governments.
- Once the initiative is fully rolled out in the coming weeks, riders can select a "Transit" option in the app, where they will receive real-time transit data, trip-planning guidance and directions. Riders can also purchase mobile, contactless tickets from the transit agencies through the app for the same price as regular fares.
- The following agencies will participate in the initiative:
Cincinnati Bell Connector
|City of Cincinnati
|Lake County, OH
|Fairfield County, OH
|Medina County, OH
|Summit County, OH
|Portage County, OH
|Erie County, OH
|Stark County, OH
|Lucas County, OH
|Mahoning County, OH
|Butler County, OH
|Hamilton County, OH
Officials say this partnership is a way to encourage riders to return to public transit, after the novel coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) led to sagging ridership. In recent interviews and webinar discussions, public transportation leaders have said it will be crucial to rebuild trust with riders through enhanced cleaning practices, new technological solutions and maintained accessibility.
"[T]his partnership is Uber's latest step in helping to make transit more accessible so everyday needs like groceries, checkups, and pharmacy visits are more within reach," David Reich, Head of Uber Transit, said in a statement.
The initiative also signals an expansion of NEOride's EZfare app, which launched last summer to provide expanded ticketing options to seven Ohio transit agencies.
Cashless and contactless ticketing options are increasingly seen as the next frontier of innovation for transit agencies, though they bring concerns around equity. Agencies must continue to weigh such concerns to ensure those who are unbanked or underbanked, or who lack access to a smartphone, still have access to public transit amid this evolution.
Masabi has been largely involved in this industry transformation, partnering last year with Transit app to integrate mobile ticketing and payments into its Justride SDK platform, which is also being utilized by this latest effort in Ohio and Kentucky. And the company has attracted some well-known supporters: Earlier this year, oil and gas company Shell invested in Masabi, with the former's vice president of e-mobility Roger Hunter calling for "a revolution in how people make and take journeys in and around cities."