With cost of living rising and high property taxes in many major US cities, public transportation is crucial to many. The use of mobile bus tickets has already made commuting smoother for smart-phone owners, and one US bus company is making it even smoother with a system that responds to sound in order to authenticatebus tickets purchased or accessible on iOS and Android phones.
Chirp, a pioneer intechnology that transfers data through sound frequencies, is teaming up with OurBus, a New York-based tech company specializing in intercity and crowd-sourced bus routes, to improve the process of authenticating tickets. The application will eliminate the need for time-consuming scanning, creating an easierexperience for passengers.
Chirp sends and receives data via sound, using nothing but a smart phone’s existing speaker and microphone. Information regarding proof of purchaseis converted to an audio signal, received by any device within hearing range, and then converted back to the original data.
Chirp’s functionswill be accessible through OurBus’ iOS and Android apps and e-tickets received by users via email, fully automating the on-boarding procedureand allowing passengers to board more quickly. This means quicker on-boardingfor OurBus’ passengers, more consistent and efficient service, and shorter intervalsat each pick-up location. This is good news for commuters and bus drivers, alike.
On-boarding will be simple, requiring little effort for passengers. Adevice located near the bus driver will tune in when a bus arrives at a stop. The rider, using the OurBus app or e-ticket locatedon their smartphone to show their ticket, will then send thedigital ticket via Chirp. The driver’s device will receive the signal, issued as a sound frequency, authenticating the dataand promptly allowing the passenger to board.The interaction between passenger and driverwill be considerably quicker than was previously possible with the use of digital scanning. QR codes require the screen to be aligned with the driver’s camera, but the bus’s devicecan pick up the necessary sound frequency as long as the passenger’s smart phoneis within range.
There are several benefits to this new technology. In addition to improved boarding speed, OurBus users will gainanother layer of security. Chirp generates a unique frequency for each ticket, making counterfeit impossible and ensuring that each ticket is in the rightful hands of the purchaser. This will hopefully save OurBus money, as less money will be lost to the reuse of dishonestly obtained tickets.
James Nesfield, CEO of Chirp, and Mohit Mohan, CTO at OurBus, have both expressed excitement over the partnership. Chirp and OurBus are committed to reducing both time and stress for passengers using public transformation in their commute. Chirp’s new technology will enable OurBus to offer their customers more efficiency, security, and overall satisfaction, while making OurBus a more cutting-edge competitor in the public transportation market. In addition to these improvements, there is no indication from OurBus that bus fares will go up, which is even more good news for OurBus customers.