GEOFENCING PILOT: Users will be able to travel for free by scanning their Wave transit card or mobile app

Passengers using transport services provided by Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) in Central Falls in the US will soon be able to travel for free when they scan their Wave smart transit card or mobile app on services originating and operating within the city.

The authority’s Ride Free in Central Falls pilot scheme aims to encourage public transport use and will trial software that creates a geofence around the city, identifies when a passenger scans their transit card or app to board an eligible service within the virtual boundary and automatically waives their fare.

“For RIPTA, geofencing is of interest because it could open the door to targeted marketing partnerships that will increase use of public transportation,” the transit authority says.

“The technology could allow entities such as universities, business associations or social service agencies to sponsor ridership in specific, limited areas. For instance, a city’s business district might decide to partner with RIPTA to offer free transportation within a certain area in order to make a retail area more accessible to customers.”

The pilot is due to last a year and will enable RIPTA to “shape future policy and program initiatives” based on a study of its effectiveness.

Passengers on services crossing the geofence from outside Central Falls will still be required to pay the full fare, RIPTA adds.

Rhode Island trials geofenced free contactless ticketing was written by Tom Phillips and published by NFCW.

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