UPDATE (7:55 a.m. PT on Wednesday, Aug. 14) — The Portland metro area’s public transportation agency, TriMet, will retire its mobile ticketing app this week in favor of the virtual Hop Card, which allows commuters to earn day and month passes with the tap of a smartphone.
Beginning Monday, the small percentage of riders who rely on TriMet’s mobile ticket app will be blocked from buying tickets on the platform. Old tickets purchased in the app can be used until the end of the year.
Tickets purchased through the mobile ticketing app brought in a little more than a tenth of TriMet’s fare revenue as of June of this year, according to TriMet spokesperson Tia York. The app’s popularity peaked in 2017.
When the app went live six years ago, it was the first time TriMet commuters could buy a ticket through their phone. But usage has declined since TriMet introduced its electronic smartcard, the Hop Fastpass, two years ago. Now that all smartphone users can access the card on their phone, the mobile ticketing app has become redundant.
“We’re really just trying to streamline our fare system,” York told OPB.
The agency has been slowly phasing out its old foil-stamped paper tickets and passes as well, pulling them from grocery chains like Fred Meyer and QFC, which now stock physical Hop passes instead. Like mobile tickets, the older foil-stamped paper tickets can be used until the end of the year.
TriMet says its MAX and WES station ticket machines now all dispense disposable Hop tickets, good for 2 1/2 hours or a full day. The same tickets are also available when paying cash upon boarding a TriMet bus. These new disposable Hop tickets can’t be reloaded, unlike the plastic Hop cards.
The switch, York said, will save riders money. Both the physical and mobile versions of the Hop Card come with fare-capping, which means if a rider takes two buses in one day, they’ll automatically earn a day-pass. Any follow-up trips that day are free of charge. The same principle applies to monthly passes.
If riders aren’t prepared to use up their mobile app and older foil-stamped paper tickets by the end of the year, they can exchange them for a free Hop Card of equivalent value at the TriMet ticket office in Pioneer Courthouse Square. The agency’s also hosting ticket-exchange events through December.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to clarify that TriMet is retiring its older foil-stamped paper tickets, although disposable tickets are also available under the new Hop system.