- Industry: Transportation
- Region: North America
- Headquarters: Elk Grove Village, IL
- Company size: 146 employees
Transportation solutions provider Genfare introduced the first mechanical farebox back in 1880. For many years, transit agencies were happy with that basic payment solution. But transit has accelerated rapidly in the past decade. Riders now want multiple payment options—from coins to cards to smartphones—and transit agencies must deliver to keep and grow their customer base. To help these agencies, Genfare completely transformed itself from a hardware company to a software company using Red Hat® solutions and Red Hat Consulting.Genfare is a Red Hat 2016 Innovation Awards Winner
Genfare innovates with Red Hat
As the transit fare-collection industry has moved rapidly to digitization, Genfare realized it needed to transition from a hardware company to a software company.
For decades, people paid for transit fares the same way by dropping coins and cash into a mechanical farebox found on public transportation systems. But now, like consumers everywhere, riders are going digital. They want more payment options, such as smart tickets and mobile payments. To accommodate them, transit agencies need to modernize. “The biggest thing that’s happened in the last 10 years is the move to digitization,” said Darren Dickson, president of Genfare. “If public transportation doesn’t keep pace with digitization, the amount of congestion in cities will be overwhelming.”
Genfare quickly evolves from hardware to software with Red Hat
Genfare partnered with Red Hat to develop Genfare Link, a cloud-based platform for fare management that supports a variety of payment methods. Genfare deployed Internet of Things (IoT) technology to deliver seamless communication among transit agency systems, from fare collection devices at the front of the bus to back-end systems. This makes life easier for transit agencies—and for riders. “We had to go from being a provider of equipment that collects coins and cash to a full-service provider that can take any type of payment, be it a mobile payment, a smartcard, or whatever else the future brings,” said Dickson.
Genfare Link's cloudbased IoT solution helps transit agencies provide better service while reducing IT support, on-premise hosting, and operational costs. It also helps riders by supporting multiple payment options. “Innovation is when you take an idea, you cultivate it, and you make the world a better place,” Dickson said. “Genfare was able to take an idea and create a world that is better for riders across the U.S. and Canada. So it’s pretty exciting.”