Siemens Mobility announced it will work with Bytemark, a Siemens Mobility partially-owned subsidiary, to provide a common payment solution for Columbus, Ohio’s Smart Columbus travel app – the first-ever platform managed by a city, rather than a transportation operator or private party in the United States. The single-payment system that allows for both public and private mobility services to be paid using a single account-based payment system. This payment system will now fulfill the back-end payment portion of the trip-planning capabilities currently provided on the open-source “Smart Columbus” OS platform. With this centralized payment capability, Smart Columbus is pushing the boundaries of current “smart city” applications by seamlessly including multiple public and private modes of transportation as choices when choosing multi-leg trips; making it easier to go door to door with public transportation. The payment for the entire journey (such as public transit and cab fares) is occurring just once, with the respective fares automatically routed to the right services.  The payment platform will integrate all mobility provider payments – spanning both public and private mobility options, as well as multiple modes including bicycles and scooters.

“The beauty of such a system is that you can plan – and pay for – your trips more holistically now,” explained Michael Stevens, Chief Innovation Officer for the City of Columbus. “Instead of checking to see which mode is faster, you can actually map out the fastest multi-mode route – utilizing any/all modes of public and private transportation, including bicycles, scooters, buses, and ride-hailing. And then pay for it all just once at the end.”  He added, “this solution truly brings first mile-last mile solutions into the hands of the consumer.”  “Intermodal transportation is making the lives of passengers all over the world simpler and more efficient. Through one application riders can both book and pay for their tickets across multiple modes of transportation. In the United States, Columbus, Ohio is at the forefront of this and many other smart city movements,” stated Michael Peter, CEO of Siemens Mobility.

“Mobility integration is the key to providing greater access to a higher quality of life,” said Joanna M. Pinkerton, President/CEO at Central Ohio Transit Authority. “Bringing multiple modes of transportation together and providing a way to pay for an entire trip on one platform, is paramount to bringing innovation and efficiency in the way we provide more access to jobs, education and health care in our communities.” One scenario where commuters could benefit is traffic congestion along their typical commute home.  Now with this new all-in-one app, they can identify whether bus, train or Lyft would be faster; and then see how those or other options (bicycle or scooter) can take them home for that final mile.  Once they choose the optimal route, they can pay for the entire trip at one time. Smart Columbus is a joint initiative of the City and Columbus Partnership, which is utilizing government grants and private investment for mobility projects to improve the region’s transportation system. The goal is to act as a “living lab” and document a working plan and playbook for other metro areas to follow.  Siemens Mobility’s vision is to provide easy and seamless access to various forms of public and private transport from a single source: bus, train, car sharing and much more – according to the needs of the passengers and the city’s transport landscape. Together, Siemens Mobility and the Siemens Mobility companies of HaCon, eos.uptrade and Bytemark provide a unique and holistic ecosystem of digital services and solutions. From trip planning across passenger communication to mobile ticketing, payment and comprehensive Mobility as a Service (MaaS) solutions, from fleet management, to train planning systems and mobility data analytics, we share one common goal: enhancing the passenger experience – with our combined power for mobility.

Bytemark offers a comprehensive suite of Transit Fare Collection solutions that digitize transit passes, tickets and fare media in a variety of innovative ways. Purchase of these fare products by transit riders is simple and instantaneous by means of web-based and smartphone-based purchasing experiences. Agencies are provided with powerful fare validation solutions, and cloud-based access to a complete back office portal to manage and report on their operation.  Bytemark products have been implemented for more than 20 transit agencies including New York City Waterway, Toronto Transit Commission, Capital Metro (Austin, TX), and King County Metro (Seattle, WA).

Source: Siemens