Breeze Mobile is the first of its kind — and not just in Atlanta, said Ming Hsi, assistant general manager of information technology.
Other major cities offer public transportation apps, but a lot of them still require a physical card or other service outside of Breeze Mobile, Hsi said.
“What we’re doing here is completely mobile,” Hsi said. “That’s really why were so unique. There’s absolutely no need to have a breeze card once the system’s implemented.”
She said the first users, MARTA workers, like the simple interface. To use it, riders download the app, create an account and attach their credit card information before buying rides and passes.
MARTA will also set up a separate website where users can access their accounts and track their spending.
As MARTA moves its services to mobile, another big step in tech is on the way for Atlanta’s public transit riders — Wi-Fi.
While wireless connection on a bus or train isn’t a new goal for MARTA, Parker said they’re set to make advances in 2017.
About 50 buses already have Wi-Fi, but MARTA plans to install it on the whole fleet by the end of 2016 or beginning of 2017, Hsi said.
Plans are also underway to bring Wi-Fi to three rail stations — Peachtree Center, Five Points and Georgia Dome/Georgia World Congress Center — sometime next year. The first step in that is installing infrastructure that boosts cell signals underground so phones can access the Wi-Fi. After testing the system at those three stations, it would expand to all 38 by July 2018.