COLUMBUS, OH – Given the critical need to stop the spread of the coronavirus in North America, Transit agencies are faced with the challenges of temporary fare suspension, service reductions, higher cleaning costs, and a severe decrease in ridership. There is a need to enhance driver and rider health safety if public transportation is to continue to be viable in this new era of social distancing.
ZED Digital, a transit technology company headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, with offices in Montreal, Cleveland, Jacksonville and Los Angeles, recently launched a patent-pending touchless fare collection technology that can enable continued fare collection and at the same time enhance driver and passenger safety.
ZIG is a smart-phone based Mobile Ticketing solution that enables hands-free vehicle entry for passengers. Riders purchase tickets via smart-phones using credit cards from their homes. This avoids a visit to transit centers or grocery stores to purchase tickets or tap cards. ZIG comprises of Internet of Things sensors that connect over-the-air with the rider’s smart-phones to validate fares as they board. Riders need not wait around the validators nor touch them, thereby reducing line-ups.
These validators can be installed at the rear or front doors of buses and connect with a visual display unit installed up-front where drivers can monitor boarding. Furthermore, drivers and control rooms can receive signals for fraud or alerts raised by fellow passengers about fraud or other unsafe activity on the bus.
“More and more agencies have adopted rear door boarding in recent weeks to avoid overcrowding near the driver area. However, they have had to go fare-free due to the lack of technology available to facilitate fare collection at the rear-door. Our touchless fare processing first introduced in 2019 at the Transit Authority of River City Louisville KY is one of its kind to solve this problem. Allowing riders to use both sets of doors still has the potential to reduce boarding times by as much as 50 percent. Our solution can restore confidence in public transportation in a post-Covid-19 era.”, says Sumithra Jagannath, ZED’s president.
ZIG has the capability to provide streaming real-time data directly from vehicles. Bluetooth sensors stream real-time bus location, passenger capacity, speed, origin, and destination of trips in seconds directly to the cloud. In times of social distancing, riders can see the capacity of a vehicle in real-time, so they don’t board an over-crowded bus.
The solution is significantly less bulky than most fare validation solutions currently in the market. The ZIG validators are about the size of a smart-phone, making them a flexible solution that can be affixed almost anywhere. Moreover, they are 3-10 times less expensive than fare boxes and are quick to install.
“ZED’s solution is a reasonably priced way to get into the touchless fare collection and mobile ticketing options in your system.”, comment Dwight Maddox, Jr., Director, Information Technology of TARC. The TARC Mobility as a Service platform powered by ZED Digital was named winner of the 2019 METRO Innovation Award.
“Even if an agency currently has a mobile ticketing solution, we can help them update their technology and enjoy the benefits of our validators with their existing solution.”, declare Sumithra.
About ZED Digital
ZED Digital is a transit technology company headquartered in Columbus, Ohio. We provide a smart mobility platform called ZIG which help Transit Authorities, Airports, and Government agencies to provide Mobility as a Service platform with multimodal trip planning integrated payment solutions using cutting edge Internet of Things technology (IoT).