Milwaukee County Transit System Modernizes Fare Collection System

MILWAUKEE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS) today announced that it has selected Cubic Transportation Systems’ Umo mobility platform as its new fare collection system following a competitive process launched last May. Umo (pronounced YOU-mo) is a national fare collection system that will connect MCTS riders not only to its bus services, but also to other forms of public transit in the region. The new fare collection system is expected to launch in fall 2022.

Communities served by MCTS will benefit from greater equity in transportation. The new fare collection system is designed to meet the needs of all transit riders, including those without smartphones or bank accounts. Passengers can choose to pay for their public transport journeys in the way they prefer, including through contactless credit cards, mobile phones using the new application, a new smart card that can be recharged online or at points of sale, or in cash on board the buses. More abundant outlets based in more neighborhoods, multilingual capabilities and options for the visually impaired further improve access to public transit. With fare capping, passengers will pay the lowest price, no matter how many times they ride.

“Making public transit more accessible is essential to achieving racial equity in Milwaukee County. To create more connected communities, we must reduce the barriers that now separate our neighborhoods and their residents,” said Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley. “MCTS strives to reduce barriers to transit access by introducing flexibility in the collection of transit fares to meet the needs of all potential riders.”

MCTS Managing Director Dan Boehm said: “The ability to cap fares means passengers can buy as much or as little as they can afford, while still getting the discount on a weekly pass or monthly. The new system recognizes when passengers reach the equivalent of a pass and automatically rewards them with free rides for the remainder of the period. Now everyone can access a faster, more convenient way to pay and travel to jobs, education, entertainment and other destinations.

New system connects passengers to other modes of transport in the region

The fare collection system has the potential to support seamless regional connectivity for commuters traveling to and from Milwaukee County and eventually throughout the southeast region of Wisconsin.

“We are thrilled to partner with Milwaukee Country Transit System,” said Bonnie Crawford, vice president and general manager of Umo. “MCTS sees the future of public transit and the potential to connect their community to all mobility options using a single app, whether they’re taking the bus, catching a scooter, or booking a rideshare, just like other big cities.

Because the platform is cloud-based, it works faster than the current fare collection system, providing immediate on-board payment validation via mobile app or smart card. The mobile app will also provide real-time bus tracking and trip planning. To use Umo, passengers create an account through the app, then add funds to their account using their credit or debit card or cash at more than 200 outlets.

Community education will begin in the spring

In the coming months, MCTS will begin educating its passenger base on how the account-based system works and introduce them to the full features and benefits of the Umo mobile app and fare card. On-board validators are expected to be installed later this fall. This new system will eventually replace the current M-Card and mobile application. The education campaign will include a timeline indicating when the old system will be phased out and the new one will begin. There will be an introductory period allowing riders to transition to the new system.

For more information on the Milwaukee County Transit System, visit www.RideMCTS.com.

About Cubic Corporation

Cubic is a market-leading, technology-driven provider of integrated solutions that improve situational awareness for transportation, C4ISR defense, and customer education worldwide to reduce urban congestion and improve efficiency and the operational readiness of the military. Our teams innovate to make a positive difference in people’s lives. We simplify their daily travels. We promote mission success and the safety of those who serve their nation. For more information about Cubic, please visit www.cubic.com or on Twitter @CubicCorp.

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