Payment processing only took place Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The system was only available to book rides from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week, so if a customer’s plans changed or they wanted to book a ride on the weekend and had no funds in their account, they simply couldn’t do it.
To offset the inconvenience, VTA used an honor system where customers would book rides before the agency had received the money. Not ideal. This had put VTA about $30,000 in negative balances.
"Our passengers were looking for a solution outside of the 8 to 5 restriction," Vogel said. “They wanted their agency to be more customer-focused and at the forefront of innovation, understandably. And they didn’t feel they always got treated with innovations like the rest of society.” He wanted to change that perception, and offer a solution that would serve these customers in real-time, 24/7, with a self-serve online portal.
“Hearing that feedback and considering the number of people who use the internet, we knew we wanted to make a global change, rolling out a system for anybody and everybody,” he said.
VTA also was adamant about getting rid of the honor system that had them writing off as much as $10,000 a year, and finding a more efficient way to manage manual transactions. Essentially, they wanted a system that would improve rider access and experience, and put their books in the black.