EZfare app expands benefits to transit riders and agency

Laketran offers pass sales at local retail stores

Laketran riders can now purchase bus passes at over 70 retail stores throughout the county by adding cash to their EZfare account, the agency’s mobile fare payment app.

This new payment option provides a convenient way for riders who have the app, but want or need to pay their bus fare using cash.

“Technology improvement should be inclusive, not exclusive,” shared Laketran CEO Ben Capelle. “It is vital to realize that not everyone has access to a credit or debit card, and that those who still prefer to use cash are not left behind by the advent of digital services. By offering cash digitization, we are enabling all riders to be able to access and enjoy the advantages of mobile ticketing.”

Participating retail outlets include many major national chains including Family Dollar, Dollar General, CVS Pharmacy, 7 Eleven, Speedway, Sheetz, Walgreens and Walmart. Riders can visit any retail outlet to preload cash onto their EZfare app. Retailers add credit by accepting a cash payment and then scanning a barcode in the user’s app. The rider can then use the deposited cash to buy and store bus passes in their in-app wallet.

Watch this video: How to use EZfare and pay with cash

The agency launched their EZfare app in 2019 to provide a cashless option to purchase your fare at the bus stop for people who prefer not to carry cash, but learned customers who rely on paying with cash were interested in the app for its convenience.

Laketran collects a quarter of their Local Route and Park-n-Ride fares are through the app and hopes that number will continue to grow. EZfare continues to reduce the burden and costs of the transit system’s existing ticketing infrastructure and fare boxes.

“This is another step towards reducing our cost to collect bus fares,” explained Laketran CEO Ben Capelle. “Fare boxes require that we manage cash collection and print physical tickets. They also require a lot of maintenance and are expensive to replace. By allowing riders to add cash to the mobile app and then store it for later use, we reduce cash handling and printing costs.”

Laketran removed fare boxes from its 93 vehicle Dial-a-Ride fleet in 2020 and transitioned Dial-a-Ride to a prepaid service to avoid an over $1.3 million replacement cost. By removing the fare boxes, Laketran was also able to begin using smaller vans to provide the door-to-door service.

In addition to the cost savings and customer benefits, EZfare also allows for contactless fare collection, which has improved the safety of transit during the pandemic eliminating the need to touch the fare box and allow for social distancing.