ORBT adds new payment system

On Oct 1, Omaha Rapid Bus Transit began charging fares for the first time since its creation in 2020. ORBT’s fare system looks different from other Metro buses. On other city buses, riders can pay with Umo, cash, 10-ride cards, 30-day passes, university/business passes or value cards, which are issued as change after cash payment. Students in grades K-12 ride for free, as do children under age five.

ORBT accepts 30-day passes, university/business passes and UMO. Like other Metro buses, K-12 students and children under five ride for free. Notably, ORBT buses do not accept cash or value cards, using Umo as a substitute.

Umo is an app and payment service that allows contactless payment. Riders can connect the app to their credit cards and pay by scanning their phone against a kiosk inside ORBT buses. The Umo app is free on the Apple App Store and Google Play.

Riders can also purchase an Umo smart card online or at the Metro office. Riders can add money to their cards online or at ORBT stations and transit centers. Similar to the app, Umo smart cards have a code that riders scan when they enter ORBT buses.

The third option for Umo payment is a paper token. These can be purchased at ORBT stations with cash or cards and allow one ride and one transfer.

From ORBT’s creation on November 18, 2020 to October 18, 2021, rides were free. ORBT services stations about every six blocks on Dodge and Douglas streets. ORBT stations are much higher tech than standard Metro bus stops: they are heated, they have screens telling when the next bus arrives, and they are regularly cleaned.

The K-12 Rides Free pilot program began on May 10 and is set to last until June 1, 2022. High school students are required to show student IDs while boarding, while middle and elementary school students can simply inform their driver that they are a student.

While it is exciting to have a new payment system in place, free ORBT rides for all were convenient and accessible. Umo is the next step in the development of ORBT as a city fixture.

Via https://www.ometro.com/umo/