After a recent onboard survey of NICE bus riders, Setzer said that nearly 70 percent of them use smartphones, adding that the mobile initiative would help the company connect with customers and create a more convenient commute.
Rosalie Norton, president of the West Hempstead Community Support and Civic Association and a local commuter, said she hopes the app will increase ridership so the bus company can restore some of the service it has suspended — specifically the N6 line through West Hempstead.
“I think that anything that is more convenient for riders to use is certainly beneficial to the NICE bus company itself and the people who use its services,” said Norton. “I think that anyone who has a smartphone would find it convenient.”
Setzer said that the company believes the app will serve as a “low-cost, rapidly deployable and flexible” alternative to its longstanding ticketing system, increasing the rate at which riders remotely pay for bus rides. He also said that the program would help reduce fare-collection costs, given the mounting expense of maintaining outdated fare boxes at local bus terminals.
“While we will continue to coordinate with the MTA for all customers that transfer between our transit systems,” Setzer added, “we made it a priority when NICE was launched to start developing our own payment solution.”
As the company prepares to roll out the program this summer, NICE officials plan to start testing the app this spring with a select group of riders, who can apply to participate at www.nicebus.com.
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