Salt Lake City, USA

Salt Lake City is Home to the First Transit Open Payments System in U.S.

The Utah Transit Authority (UTA) has always been viewed as an innovation leader in the public transit space. In 2008, Vix Technology collaborated with UTA to deliver an account-based fare collection system.

The agency pushed for a modern light rail system ahead of the 2002 Olympics, which has since become extremely popular with the public for daily commutes and access to sporting, entertainment and cultural events in the city. UTA has also had a long-standing relationship with the local ski resorts and currently provides ski bus service to 10 Utah ski resorts in the agency’s service area. This innovative mindset continued as the agency began looking at upgrading its fare collection infrastructure.

UTA wanted a system that had the capability to accept all forms of payment media: from third-party ski passes to contactless credit cards to ”FAREPAY,” UTA’s own reloadable fare card. It was this unique requirement, combined with the relatively new capability to validate cards on bus readers much more quickly over cellular connection, that led Vix to develop this first account-based electronic fare collection (EFC) system in the United States.

In 2007, Vix deployed readers to the fleet of 20-30 ski buses and ran a proof of concept pilot, allowing season ski passes and contactless credit cards as fare payment validated by our readers (modified CP5000s). The following 12 months were spent building what would become the first version of the account-based system, which was then launched on the ski bus fleet, and followed up by a system-wide launch in January 2009. The student and corporate pass programs were added to the system later that year.

The long-standing relationship between Vix and UTA has allowed our partnership and work on the system to be continuously innovative. Heralded as a model for modern fare collection system design, the award-winning fare collection technology set the standard high in a market that is rapidly seeking out these advanced solutions.

  • Processes nearly 50 million rides annually
  • 15 million trips processed directly through contactless taps
  • Services a population of more than 1 million in Salt Lake City and the surrounding area
  • Fleet of 560 buses, 170 light and commuter rail