Israel’s new company HopOn believes that it has found a solution for long waits to pay for buses.
If you travel frequently on city buses then you know how sometimes there can be a long wait just to pay. This is especially true in countries like Israel where riders are still able to pay in cash without exact change. Delays can be caused by those who take time searching for the right amount of money to pay.
Since most people today use some form of pre-paid electronic card for public transportation then it would seem that bus companies should have a faster and easier way for their customers to pay.
A new Israeli startup has a new way to let all forms of public transportation do just that, by allowing passengers to pay for rides through a mobile app.
HopOn was established in Israel in 2012 and has developed a unique, low cost solution that can be integrated with public transport operators fast and easily.
Its app uses ultrasonic sound for passenger validation enabling many passengers to board the bus and pay simultaneously. The ultrasonic transmitter usually operates at the entrance of the vehicle within an area of 2-3 meters so that passengers do not need to stand on line.
The company says that its system is very smart. When a passenger boards the bus the system detects the line, the boarding station, the ride fare and generates a valid boarding pass, with no effort needed on the part of the passenger.
With HopOn the fare validator is the passenger’s smartphone connected to a cloud. When a passenger enters the vehicle and opens the HopOn app it validates his ride automatically and registers the transaction on the operator’s servers online.
HopOn is the first company in Israel to receive authorization from the Ministry of Transport to collect payments in this manner. It is now possible to pay for trips on Dan routes with HopOn. The company is also currently running a pilot program with five public transport operators in Israel, Kavim Public Transportation Ltd. in Modiin, Rama Golan Public Transport, Metrodan Public Transport in Beersheva, Superbus in Beit Shemesh, and the Jerusalem light rail CityPass.
It is also conducting trials in Monaco and is in talks to do so in England and France as well.
Moti Maimon, a project manager with Israel’s Dan Bus Lines said, “We see a great advantage in working with HopOn, it saves us money, simplifies the boarding process and gives our customers a great ticketing and payment platform. I strongly recommend HopOn!”
HopOn was founded in 2012 by entrepreneurs Ofer Sinai (30) and David Mezuman (30), former accountants at KPMG Israel and PwC Israel. The two came up with the idea for the technology as a result of their own experiences riding the crowded buses in Tel Aviv. They are both graduates of Bar Ilan University.
The HopOn system is already installed in 6 public transport operators in Israel, in a total of more than 1, 800 buses.
In June the company won the Globes and Bank Hapoalim Smartup2 competition, winning a package of benefits and close support from the entrepreneurial incubator EISP 8200.
Mezuman told Jewish Business News, “what we did is we built a very wide system where the validator is the person’s phone. We are now negotiating with a few companies outside of Israel and we know that we have the best answer for swift payments and validation in public transportation. Other devices only let people pay but do not verify the payment.”
As for future investment he said, “Right now we are negotiating with a few private investors looking for a few million dollars so that we can continue to expand outside of Israel and develop our system. R & D and marketing is a big expense. We need to install our unique hardware which transmits the information to the user’s device in every vehicle.