Port Authority to test cell phone app for bus fares

The Port Authority of Allegheny County is set to begin installing equipment on buses this week that will allow riders to pay transit fares using a mobile phone.

The equipment is being installed on 50 buses on seven routes that will be testing the technology, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported on Friday. The app has been under development for more than a year through a $2 million contract with Masabi. The company will receive a declining percentage of each fare as use of the app increases.

The program will go through two rounds of testing before being made available to the public. Initial testing will be done by Port Authority employees and select groups for six weeks to make sure the monitors that read the cell phone app work properly, the Post-Gazette reported. The second round is expected to include some public participation.