T-CETRA helps its public transit partners and their fare payment providers to transition to a simpler pos method. T-CETRA created an API integration solution for these partners within the VIDAPAY portal to accept cash at its retail locations for mobile and smart card bus passes.


How To Convert Cash Paying Public Transit Riders To A Cashless Solution?

According to the 2017 APTA “Who Rides Public Transportation” report, 60% of bus riders have no bank account (and therefore, no access to a credit card). Transit agencies struggle with balancing the need for a cash option for their low-income riders and competitive demands to move to cashless mobile payment solutions. Lower income families routinely spend a higher percentage of their income on public transit than wealthier families yet are at a much greater risk of being left behind as the methods of payment continue to evolve.

In addition, some public transportation systems spend up to 30% of their cash revenue on simply handling the cash, i.e., counting, sorting, outsourcing or maintaining equipment to store and protect the cash. Simply put, they are losing cash because they are handling cash. A simpler solution to transactions makes financial and operational sense for our transit partners, especially during COVID-19, but has historically proven difficult to implement among their hard-to-target, cash-preferred, un/derbanked customer base.

bus transportation partners
girl walking by a bus - transportation partners
man on bus looking at his phone - transportation partners
In the past, riders had to go out of their way to purchase a prepaid debit card to use a mobile transit app—and those cards come with hefty upfront costs, as well as monthly and transaction fees. T-CETRA offers a better path that doesn’t financially penalize bus riders.
RTA logo
COTA logo
Masabi Logo

Using T-CETRA’s retail web portal found at locations often within walking distance of their home, riders can now pay cash to load bus pass values to mobile accounts without the need for a debit card and at no extra cost to the rider. Increasing access via T-CETRA’s plentiful retail outlets and offering a convenience-based approach is an enormous benefit to both riders and the public transit agency, and significantly expands retail presence in neighborhoods previously deemed unreachable.

It also enables our transit partners to migrate cash paying riders to mobile bus pass solutions and reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 as the bus fare is scanned from the mobile phone to a bus fare reader, allowing for a contactless riding experience.