Muni testing mobile ticketing app for select riders

(Courtesy sfmta.com)

Later this year, Muni riders will be able to pay for the bus on smartphones.

This mobile ticketing app was designed by GlobeSherpa in partnership with the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency and is slated for launch in the fall.

Now riders can get a sneak peek. By completing an online survey, 200 Muni riders may participate in testing the app, which is compatible with Android and iOS phones. The deadline to sign up for testing is Oct. 6.

Fill out the survey at http://bit.ly/MuniTest.

The Muni mobile app is designed to allow passengers to pay for single-ride fares and cable car rides, said SFMTA spokesman Paul Rose.

“This is not meant to replace Clipper,” he said, “but to give riders another option to pay for Muni fare.”

Amidst the testing period for Muni’s mobile ticketing app, an official from Lyft addressed hundreds of coders at the Code for America conference last week in Oakland. Emily Castor, director of transportation policy at Lyft, said they were seeking partnerships with local transportation agencies as part of their future app plans.

Mobile ticketing apps, she said, could pay not only for public transit, but for ride-hail tech companies like Lyft, as well — all in one app.

“Once you open that [programming interface], you can integrate them all into a trip planner function to help people piece together journeys across multiple modes, and pay for them,” Castor told the audience.

Lyft has always envisioned itself as a first-mile and last-mile connection option for those who live and work slightly too far from public transit, she said.

“Six to eight months ago we noticed a lot of inbound interest from transportation agencies,” Castor said. “How can we use this network to help make public transit work better?”

When the San Francisco Examiner asked if SFMTA was one of those agencies reaching out to Lyft for an app partnership, Rose said no.

But, he said, that doesn’t mean the app won’t be integrated with other transit systems.

“While the mobile ticketing app is launching for transit customers first, interoperability is one of our innovation goals,” Rose said. “Future applications are potentially open to other transportation providers that we manage and regulate, including taxis, car share, bike share and others.”

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