VIA payment app

Weekend round-up

Some stories you may have missed last week: VIA launches mobile payment app, MTA kicks off Genius Transit Challenge, and MBTA reviews WiFi upgrade plan.

VIA Metropolitan Transit (TX) launched its new goMobile application last week. The mobile ticketing and trip-planning app will allow bus and VIAtrans customers to purchase fares with a smart phone.  “The VIA goMobile app is part of VIA’s ongoing investment in innovation, and part of several recent initiatives that will help transform the rider experience,” said VIA president and CEO Jeffrey C. Arndt in a statement. “The launch of this new trip-planning and mobile ticketing app signals a major advancement in the way our customers connect to opportunity and to the places where we live, work, and play.” The app was developed by moovel North America.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (NY) kicked off its Genius Transit Challenge with a one-day conference.  The competition is offering three $1 million prizes for the best solutions to three challenges: (1) Modernize signals, (2) Modernize cars, and (3) Increase communications infrastructure. Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and newly reinstated MTA chairman Joseph J. Lhota served as cheerleaders at the event.  “No idea is too crazy,” Lhota said.  He also exhorted would-be millionaires to take a “completely off-limits approach.”  Complementing the genius challenge, Lhota announced a “top-to-bottom audit” and a plan to modernize the subway system within 60 days. This comes in response to Cuomo’s recent declaration of a state of emergency for the New York City subway.  Link to full story in The New York Times.

On Friday, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority announced a 30-day assessment of its plan to upgrade commuter rail communications infrastructure.  According to a statement from the authority, “There will be no construction of poles or other infrastructure during this review, which will include comments and other feedback from customers, elected and appointed officials, and residents.”

Image source: VIA

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