Setting up a five agency Electronic Fare Management (EFM) system in the Florida Suncoast region

In the Suncoast region of Florida, the Regional Working Group (RWG) sets new standards when it comes to inventive ideas. As a provider of transit services that enhance the quality of life in the Florida Suncoast area, it set out to implement a region-wide, Electronic Fare Management (EFM) and mobile ticketing solution with INIT as its partner.

Innovative fare management for the future of the Florida Suncoast region.

The task

The goal of the Regional Working Group (RWG) was to set up a regional fare structure that would incorporate five agencies, while allowing each to pick and choose from a combination of fare media options. The choices were as varied as the agencies themselves. Some wanted only passes and closed loop cards, while others opted for open payments, smart cards and/or mobile tickets. Additionally, special consideration for integration with different Long-Term Evolution (LTE) carriers as well as various vehicle layouts and internal Internet Protocol (IP) schemes was part of the scope.

Individual vehicle hard and software configurations had to be taken into account because incorporation with their respective vendors was necessary to build a fully integrated solution. The EFM system would also need to easily operate in tandem with third party CAD/AVL systems, general ledger applications, and legacy backend applications.

The installation of fare validators on more than 500 vehicles ranging from fixed route buses, to historical streetcars, to beach trolleys would be part of the challenge, but the RWG chose to partner with INIT for the company’s experience with implementing successful regional account-based fare systems globally.

“The Regional Working Group is excited to bring this innovative system to our riders. It will move our region into the future of transit fare collection and allow our riders an unparalleled, flexible rider experience. The project will provide great value to our region, improve on-time performance, and reduce costs.” – Jeff Seward, Interim Chief Executive Officer, HART

The solution

Hernando County Transit‘s The Bus serves Hernando County
with affordable public transit. (Wiki)

The scope of the RWG project includes the installation of INIT’s PROXmobil3 fare validators on more than 500 vehicles. The validators serve as real-time ticket validators for mobile 2D barcodes while supporting contactless EMV fare cards (open payments), branded regional fare media (closed loop) and third party contactless ID media, e.g. college IDs.

INIT’s back-end clearing and revenue processing system, MOBILEvario serves as the core intelligence of the EFM project. MOBILEvario facilitates the management of the individual customer accounts, setting of fare rules, revenue processing, and statistical evaluation reporting. MOBLEvario is the key to integrating the five counties’ various fare structures, while ensuring secure administration of each agency’s data.

Also included in the project are Interactive Voice Response (IVR) applications and new enhanced web portals to allow customers to check their balances, register their cards and load values, as well as manage mobile payment applications using their smartphones.

The system was designed following an open architecture approach. Using open APIs allows many partners associated with the project to be integrated without changes to the core system. These partners included payment service providers, mobile and web applications, as well as third party suppliers.

The conclusion

As the public transit provider of more than 12 million passenger trips annually, PSTA remains on the cutting edge of public transit.

The RWG’s new account-based system will increase operational efficiencies by reducing the costs of cash handling, improving boarding times at stops and giving passengers more control over their own accounts. Integrated IVR and institutional web portals allow institutions and other contract-based entities to manage media, participants and products based on their individual contracts (MOUs).

Riders will have greater convenience using public transit throughout the Florida Suncoast region with the INIT account-based EFM system. The Flamingo Fares project will provide passengers with more fare payment options through smart cards and mobile tickets, higher security with account-based fares, and greater pricing equity through fare capping opportunities.

The local Regional Working Group (RWG)

The local Regional Working Group (RWG) onsists of five county transit agencies: the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority (HART), Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA), Hernando County’s The Bus, Pasco County Public Transportation (PCPT), and Sarasota County Area Transit (SCAT). Together, they cover a 4,056 sq. mile service area. Additional project partners include the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), and the Tampa Bay Area Regional Transit Authority (TBARTA).








For the full whitepaper, please download it here

About INIT

As a worldwide leading supplier of integrated planning, dispatching, telematics and ticketing systems for buses and trains, INIT has been assisting transport companies in making public transport more attractive, faster and more efficient for more than 30 years. Today, more than 600 customers rely on INIT´s innovative hard- and software solutions.

The unique selling proposition of INIT’s integrated telematics system MOBILE is that it comprises all of the daily tasks of public transport providers:

  • Planning & Dispatching
  • Ticketing & Fare Management
  • Operations Control & Real-Time Passenger Information
  • Analysing & Optimising

This creates a solution that covers the complete production process of public transport providing more efficiency and enhanced service quality.

INIT products are recognized for their state-of-the-art technology and may be deployed stand alone or integrated into an intelligent overall system tailor-made for the specific needs of the individual customer. Also a step-by-step extension of the system is possible.

Find out more here:

INIT is an exhibitor at Asia Pacific Rail 2019, taking place from 19-20 March 2019. They will be showcasing their latest technologies and innovations at Booth H05. 

Registration to the free expo is now open. Register for your free pass to visit them here

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