Waiting in long queues to purchase train or bus tickets or struggling to find exact change may be a hassle for customers, but collecting and handling cash is a drag for transit agencies too. The process requires a lot of security and manpower.
That’s why transit agencies such as Austin Capital Metro, Dallas Area Rapid Transit, Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority and New Jersey Transit have deployed mobile ticketing. Customers can purchase digital tickets on their smartphones or other mobile devices in seconds and scan or show them as they board trains or buses, all without any cash exchange. In the process, both users and transit agencies benefit from the convenience.
“We launched mobile ticketing in January 2014 and have sold more than $2 million in mobile passes,” says Francine Pares, Capital Metro communications manager. “The app has been downloaded close to 150,000 times.” The app also includes maps and trip planning functions to assist passengers.
Jane Schroter, Capital Metro’s director of transit systems and IT project management, says, “We’ve seen a significant cash reduction in our on-vehicle fare boxes, retail outlets and online ticket purchases as a result of mobile ticketing.”
Mobile ticketing has also provided Austin Capital Metro with another trove of data, including where customers are when activating their mobile tickets (such as at a nearby restaurant or other attraction), thus allowing the agency the opportunity to develop loyalty programs and partner with popular attractions and special-event organizers for ticketing deals.
“Customers have been delighted beyond our expectations,” says Nicole Fontayne-Bardowell, Dallas Area Rapid Transit’s vice president and CIO. DART’s mobile ticketing application, GoPass, has been lauded by the local press and users.
For more about how transit agencies are using techonology to improve service, head here.