Seamless Transit Payment Across the Greater Detroit Area


At a Glance

  • Client(s)
  • Detroit Transportation Corporation (DTC)
  • Project Location(s)
  • Detroit
One way to pay for transit across Southeastern Michigan. 

Transit providers in the greater Detroit area have been long challenged with declining subsidies, service reductions, and declining ridership. DTC conducted a fare integration study for the newly-formed Regional Transit Authority of Southeastern Michigan (RTA), so the region could best design a regional fare system providing seamless travel across all transit providers with the emphasis on the elimination of tokens, unification of fare media, and a reduction in the use of cash.

LTK designed a high level technology plan, a comprehensive implementation schedule and evaluation criteria for a new fare collection system that included customer benefits, usability, installation costs, operations and maintenance costs, implementation timeline, and payback period. LTK delivered an analysis of solution alternatives for a new fare system taking into account the impact of a regional system on customers, the RTA, and individual transit agencies including their revenue, and ridership. LTK presented findings to the Regional Working Group for further action as the Regional Comprehensive Plan projects are funded and undertaken. LTK has been asked to support RTA during the next phase of the project.

DTC has a plan to take to the State and Federal funding agencies that is comprehensive, and provides the basis for a rational transition to a regional fare system.