Manatee County Government Administrative Center First Floor, Commission Chambers 9:00 a.m. - February 13, 2018
REVISED February 13, 2018 - Regular Meeting
Agenda Item #45

Mobile Ticketing Fare Payment Option for Transit Passengers, One Year Pilot Program


Contact and/or Presenter Information

William Steele, Transit Division Manager, William.Steele@mymanatee.org, (941) 747-8621 x7440

Chad Butzow, P.E., Deputy Director of Field Operations Services, Chad.Butzow@mymanatee.org , (941) 708-7450 x7432

Action Requested
Approval of a one year Pilot Program to provide mobile ticketing purchases as a fare payment option for transit passengers; and authorization for the Board Chairperson to execute the agreement with Token Transit, Inc., to provide mobile ticketing services during the one year Pilot Program evaluation period.

Enabling/Regulating Authority
  • Chapter 341, Florida Statutes
  • Manatee County's 2013 Ten-Year Transit Development Plan (TDP) major update, Manatee Connects
  • Manatee County Comprehensive Plan, Mass Transit Element

Background Discussion
  • In 2012, transit partners in the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) District VII approached Manatee County with respect to participation in a Regional Smart Card fare payment program.
  • The concerns with the Regional SMART Card program are the additional onboard equipment and ongoing back-office operating expenses that are involved. Over time, the undefined operating costs for back-office operations generated significant concern; and in 2016, Manatee County opted out of the Regional SMART Card Program.
  • In 2017, the Public Works/Transit Division staff started  investigating mobile ticketing as a very simple and cost-effective approach to purchase bus passes (i.e.,tickets) using mobile devices such as smartphones and Androids. This approach provides a new fare payment option that is simple and expedites the boarding process. This approach is similar in concept to the recently developed Universal Pass (U-Pass) program for fixed route travel benefiting area colleges and universities.
  • The one-year pilot program makes available to Manatee County transit passengers the Token Transit software application to purchase bus passes. Once a bus pass is purchased by a customer, the County is simply remitted the fare payment, minus a small portion of the fare which is retained by the vendor, Token Transit Inc.
  • While Manatee County receives slightly less passenger revenue (i.e.10% less) for passengers utilizing the mobile ticketing fare option, in return, the County sponsors a new fare payment option for customers; and the visual validation for each mobile ticket expedites boarding (i.e., there is no need to "swipe" a bus pass or provide cash during boarding). In addition, this pre-payment option requires no farebox revenue counting, as no cash is involved. In effect, the passenger's phone is their fare media. 
  • Since no onboard equipment is necessary, the County incurs no capital costs; and the cost for back-office operations(the vendor services) is paid by the vendor retaining a small portion of the fare payment on each transaction. The advantage to the customer is a new fare payment option that expedites boarding, requires no cash or added cost, and does not require a transaction either onboard the bus or in advance at a Transit Station. Over time, as more transit agencies utilize mobile ticketing, passengers can utilize fixed routes for regional travel in a seamless manner.
  • The one-year pilot program provides an opportunity to market the mobile ticketing concept and develop work processes to make the program effective procedurally for the County. Over thirty (30) transit agencies utilize Token Transit mobile ticketing for their customers, including a pilot that is currently underway in Tallahassee, Florida.
  • The mobile ticketing pilot program implementation date is scheduled for April 3, 2018.

County Attorney Review
Other (Requires explanation in field below)

Explanation of Other
The attached agreement with Token Transit, Inc., was reviewed extensively by the County Attorney's office.

Reviewing Attorney

Instructions to Board Records
Please provide four (4) signed copies of the agreement to Ryan Suarez, Transit Planning Manager, Public Works Department (Ryan.Suarez@mymanatee.org, Ext 7622).

Cost and Funds Source Account Number and Name
No operating costs

Amount and Frequency of Recurring Costs
Only pre-paid fare revenue

Attachment:  Token Transit info Sheet .pdf
Attachment:  TT Pilot Software and Subscription Services Agreement_Revised01_31_17.pdf