Santa Maria Regional Transit will now be offering contactless payment on city buses.
The announcement comes as the city’s public transportation system partners with Modeshift, a provider of fare collection systems.
Santa Maria Transit has launched a new mobile app through Modeshift, where the contactless payment can be accessed. The app is free to download on the Apple App Store and Google Play.
According to Santa Maria Transit, the mobile app will also allow users to plan trips using city buses and allow users to redeem their fares by scanning QR codes at electronic validators. These validators will be installed on 35 city buses.
"We want to demonstrate our commitment to our riders, and those who are considering riding due to gas prices getting as high as they are, in accepting technologies that will aid them and facilitate their use of public transit," said Gamaliel Anguiano, the City of Santa Maria transit manager.
As part of the partnership, Santa Maria Transit will be offering free bus passes to students attending Allan Hancock College.
“We’re excited to partner with Modeshift to offer a free option for students so that affordable, accessible transit is one less thing to worry about when getting their education. Our students are largely dependent on public transit to get to their classes, extracurricular activities, and jobs, so this initiative is very important,” said Cindy Morrison, the City of Santa Maria Transit Grants & Project Manager, in a press release.
City officials say they welcome any other schools or non-profit organizations to apply for free rides.
These free passes will be accessible through the new mobile app.