Portage Area Regional Transportation Authority (PARTA) is rolling out a new mobile ticketing application, EZfare, for riders throughout Portage County starting this season. The measure comes in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and allows for passengers a contact-free method of paying fare by scanning a bar code on their smartphones.
“[The app] is very easy and convenient for regular users in Portage County, especially those who are traveling between the two cities of Kent and Akron on Route 90,” PARTA Communications and Public Advocacy Advisor Denise Baba said.
Baba adds that riders can also use the EZfare app through other transit services, like Uber, Moovit, and Transit. However, PARTA bus fares remain the same price as before.
“Another part of [the app] is that you can purchase fare, store it on your smartphone and then activate it whenever you need it before boarding,” she said.
Riders taking multiple routes can also purchase all of their fare at one time, giving them more cost flexibility and time management. Passengers can still ride if their smartphone happens to die, as long as they have exact change.
EZfare is delivered by NEORide, a group founded in 2014 which combines several public transit agencies throughout Northeast Ohio, most notably Metro RTA and Laketran. PARTA, among ten other agencies, received funds of $190,000 from the Ohio Transit Partnership Program to pay for the app’s development.
Mason Lawlor covers the City of Kent. Contact him at email@example.com.