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Valley Metro receives $1 million grant to develop new mobile app

PHOENIX — Valley Metro has been awarded a $1 million project grant from the Federal Transit Administration in order to develop a new and improved mobile application.

The app will integrate mobile ticketing and other trip planning information in an effort to bridge the gap between public transportation and application-based transportation companies. Valley Metro is partnering with RouteMatch Software, as well as Lyft, Arizona State University and the Phoenix Public Transit Department to create the passenger app.

“Alongside our mobility platform partners, we’ll be adding features such as real-time information, fare purchasing and an optimized trip planner,” Valley Metro Interim CEO Scott Smith said. “Valley Metro will use an open data platform design to allow other public transportation agencies to use the application, adjusting it to meet the needs of their respective service areas.”

The project will be completed in two phases, beginning with improvements to Valley Metro’s current app, Ridekick. During phase one, mobile ticket purchasing and links to Lyft and a bike share reservation site will be installed. Wi-Fi at ASU’s Phoenix and Tempe campuses will be used to validate fares and help keep riders safe.

Phase two will include real-time bus and light-rail arrivals, as well as on-demand reservation and cancellation of paratransit trips for those with disabilities.

“It will be an inclusive application so all riders will receive a greater selection of transportation options, and it provides a technology springboard to arrange multiple and more spontaneous travel modes using a single platform.”

The grant is funded through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Mobile on Demand program, which attempts to leverage emerging mobility services and integrated transit networks to provide safe and easy travel options. The program awarded a total $8 million to cities across the country.

The application will be free to download on all major mobile devices.

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