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South West Transit Association

Tampa Bay region agencies launch tap to pay on Visa's urban mobility framework

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.


About HART

Created on October 3, 1979, the Hillsborough Transit Authority (HART) is the regional mobility provider in Hillsborough County, serving a population of more than 1.4 million residents in the cities of Tampa, Temple Terrace, and parts of unincorporated Hillsborough County, the fourth most populated county in Florida. Its total service area covers 1,000 square miles. HART operates fixed-route local and express bus service, door-to-door paratransit service, flex-route service, and manages the TECO Line Streetcar System. HART’s mission is to take people to places that enhance their lives.


About PSTA

Since 1903, Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) serves as the premier public transit provider for Pinellas County, Florida’s most densely populated county. The SunRunner, Tampa Bay’s first-ever Bus Rapid Transit service, provides a reliable, car-free option from downtown St. Pete and St. Pete Beach. With 41 fixed-route bus routes, two express routes to downtown Tampa, the Suncoast Beach trolley, Jolley Trolley and Looper and their paratransit service Access, PSTA provides 10.2 million rides annually. For more information about PSTA, visit


About INIT

As a worldwide leading supplier of integrated ITS and ticketing systems for buses, light rail, and trains, INIThas been assisting companies in making public transit attractive, faster, and more efficient for more than 40 years.

Additional Info

Media Contact : Ann Derby Director of Marketing & Events (757) 413-9100 ext. 317

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