Transportation

Metro Unveils A New Way To Pay Fares

People who ride Houston’s buses and trains can now buy tickets with a mobile app. Metro is rolling out its new high-tech tool in time for Rodeo Houston.

Up until now, most people in Houston only had a couple of ways they could ride transit.

If you didn’t have a Q-Card you had to fumble for the correct change. But now, you can pay for those trips with a few taps on your smartphone.

Katrina Bayer was one of the bus riders who tested Metro’s new mobile ticketing app.

“Now I don’t have to worry about keeping track of my Q-Card, whereas I have to have my phone just to function in my job,” says Bayer. “So this makes sure I don’t accidentally have to leave home without it.”

The new mobile ticketing app allows riders to set up an account. They can buy either single-ride tickets or day passes.

Metro Board Member Diann Lewter says the app could mean a lot less frustration for the people she often sees on the rail platform who are pushing strollers and juggling packages.

“If you have to stop to buy your ticket and you’re trying to corral your kids or it’s raining, wouldn’t it be wonderful to be sitting in your car, download your tickets, walk over, and then just get on the bus or train,” says Lewter.

Metro is debuting the new app as it works to turn around years of declining ridership. The agency launched its new bus network back in August, with the goal of boosting ridership by 20 percent over the first two years.

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Gail Delaughter

Gail Delaughter

Transportation Reporter

From early-morning interviews with commuters to walks through muddy construction sites, Gail covers all aspects of getting around Houston. That includes walking, driving, cycling, taking the bus, and occasionally flying. Before she became transportation reporter in 2011, Gail hosted weekend programs for Houston Public Media. She's also covered courts in...

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