INIT introduces Open Payments in Tampa


Open payments, a component of the Flamingo Fares account-based fare system from INIT, have been implemented by the regional working group comprised of Hillsborough Transit Authority (HART), Hernando County (The Bus), and Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA). Riders can now tap to ride across the Tampa Bay region using credit and debit cards, digital wallet-enabled smart devices, as well as the Flamingo Fares card or mobile app.

“Contactless payments will make navigating our region much simpler for the tens of thousands of tourists who visit all that Pinellas County, and the Tampa Bay region has to offer,” said Brad Miller, Chief Executive Officer of PSTA. “You can still pay with your Flamingo Fares card, but now have more options to use public transportation and reduce your carbon footprint.”

“We are excited to offer our customers another way to pay their fare,” said Adelee Le Grand, Chief Executive Officer, HART. “Contactless payments on Flamingo Fares not only provides our customers with greater ease of access, removing another barrier from riding transit, but also assists in speeding up the boarding process, improving travel times.”

“The adoption rate of open payment media in public transit has skyrocketed over the last few years, and that number will continue to rise as more and more people acclimate to using what’s in their wallets to pay for travel,” states Andy Singh, INIT COO.

The transit agencies are the first in Florida to implement contactless payments using Visa’s global urban mobility framework, allowing riders to pay their fare using any digital payment credential – whether it be a contactless card, mobile device, or wearable – with the same trust and security as any other payment processed on Visa’s global payment network.

“We are excited to see INIT work with HART, The Bus, and PSTA to make paying for transit as easy as buying other everyday essentials,” said Julie Scharff, Head of Contactless Payments, North America, Visa. “Contactless payments combined with fare capping means riders have access to the best possible fares, leading to an equitable and convenient transit experience.”

Following the introduction of open payments in Tampa, more INIT open payment projects, including those in Grand Rapids and Spokane will be launched in 2023. Other cities with INIT fare projects are still finalizing their launch dates to leverage this open payment platform.

The design of INIT’s fare system allows for expansion or addition of new partners or products at any time.