Team Proposes Mobile App Transit Subsidy

(Columbus, Ohio) - This weekend, a team of professionals and community members that included Scioto Analysis’s Rob Moore proposed the country’s first low-income subsidy delivered via mobile app.

The subsidy would be provided to low-income transit riders in high-poverty zip codes and would be administered by Franklin County. It would be credited to families through the soon-to-be-released SMART Columbus multimodal transit planning app, a smartphone application that will allow commuters to pay for a variety of different transportation modes through one payment system.

“COTA’s change to a ridership-focused model has been a success in increasing ridership, but has left gaps in coverage,” Moore said. “A subsidy paid through a transit planning app could help people in these coverage deserts reach transit corridors.”

The team proposed a 2019 pilot followed by scale-up and full implementation phases in the coming years.

The proposal was a part of the Transportation Innovation Challenge, organized by The Purple Aisle, a national civic leadership accelerator. See further coverage of the event and other new ideas on ABC 6.