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MARTA to offer fare payment by phone as soon as next year

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System-wide rollout could take years, but could spread to other transit agencies in the metro

Two MARTA buses passing each other.
MARTA riders will soon be able to pay their fare with an app.
James Willamor

Just days after rolling out the new silver Breeze cards for paying fares, MARTA has unveiled its intentions to create a pay-by-phone system.

It’s kind of a big deal.

According to WABE, the transit system has contracted with Kapsch—a Virginia-based IT company—to provide a cardless overhaul for fare collection. The system will be developed over the next few years and is expected to cost MARTA $8.5 million to implement.

With the system, riders would be able to use an app to pay their fares, scanning their phone on a validator to enter a train platform or board a bus.

Streetcar patronage: an app click away soon?
Curbed Atlanta

While the upgrade will be available only on the MARTA system and not other transit systems serving the metro (including GRTA, CobbLinc, and Gwinnett County Transit), those providers will likely be added into the mix for an additional $2.9 million investment.

Additionally, the streetcar will maintain a separate app for fares, though that could ultimately be rolled into the MARTA system as well, WABE reports.

In the meantime, MARTA, who will be taking control of the streetcar, is looking at ways to allow free transfers between bus, rail, and streetcar.

Look for the new mobile ticketing to roll out in the next few years.