Columbus Will Launch Payment Platform Across Transportation Modes
Siemens Mobility announced it will work with Bytemark to provide a common payment solution for Columbus, Ohio's Smart Columbus travel app. It will be the first-ever platform managed by a city, rather than a transportation operator or private party in the United States. The single-payment system will allow for both public and private mobility services to be paid using a single account-based payment system.
This payment system will 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 that "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.
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.