If you own a smartphone, leave the cash and coins at home next time you catch a bus, ferry, or streetcar.
NORTA (New Orleans Regional Transit Authority) recently released their GoMobile app, an app which allows you to purchase and redeem fares for all RTA services.
Tickets are purchased in the app and are stored in the “Ticket Wallet” for up to 12 months. When you’re ready to use your ticket, activate it in the wallet. Once your ticket is activated, you’ll have 5 minutes to board. Upon boarding, scan the QR code for the corresponding fare under the reader on the bus, streetcar, or ferry—and presto! You’re good to go. You can also redeem multiple single-ride tickets at the same time for hassle-free group boarding.
But that’s not all.
The GoMobile app also allows you to plan your trips, check on where your bus or streetcar is in real time (with live updates and visual on a map available), and see which stop is nearest to you, guaranteeing you’ll never miss your stop or waste valuable time waiting in the hot sun or pouring rain.
With much criticism of the shortcomings of the RTA (which I will not go into), the GoMobile app offers a much-needed step in the right direction in terms of improving our public transit.
The Strategic Mobility Plan was unveiled in December of last year and outlines several goals the RTA wishes to accomplish between now and 2040. It represents a new vision the RTA would like to share with the public in an effort to become more reliable, accessible, and trustworthy.
A few noteworthy short-term goals outlined in the Strategic Mobility Plan include the improvement of rider experience by utilizing new technology; providing monthly project updates to the public; installing more shelters, benches, and art; overhauling the bus fleet; and, most importantly, encouraging the development of affordable housing in areas with access to good transit.
The long-term goals include the implementation of new lines and services, a focus on reducing the system’s impact on the environment, and more.
The app also frames the introduction of the inter-parish bus ticket, an all-day pass which allows riders to transfer between Jefferson Parish and RTA lines for $6. Although this ticket is a 6-month trial, it will provide information and data regarding when, where, and how many people transfer between the two lines, opening up the possibility for a permanent solution for easier travel between the two parishes in the future. This pass will be purchasable in the app this coming August.
The GoMobile app, a tangible product of the Strategic Mobility Plan, is a promising improvement that we hope will be the first of many changes. Be sure to give your honest feedback concerning the app and other changes to the RTA, as one of their main goals is to improve communication and trust with the public.
For more information and a detailed guide on the GoMobile app, visit norta.com/Getting-Around/NEW-GoMobile or call 504-248-3900.
For general information/more contact options, visit norta.com.