Modern travel: Digitizing public transport

Posted at 2:35 PM, Sep 13, 2016

You may know about new ways to pay for your groceries with your mobile device or a credit card with an electronic chip, but regular purchases aren’t the only modernized transactions.  Public transportation is also on top of the trend.

Many public transit companies throughout the United States are seeking to phase out old technologies such as paper tickets and looking to reduce cash payments for fares. These methods take time, especially when you’re in the business of easy, convenient transit.

Existing tools for payment

Most people own or have access to a smartphone or other mobile device. With this in mind, local transit providers are finding different ways to allow travel documentation via electronic tickets and passes.

Soon, paying your bus fare might become as simple as scanning your cellphone’s screen or an electronic ticket you’ve bought ahead of time. Transit authorities are confident, with these new measures, travelers are likely to save time and use public transportation more often than they do now.

As these changes are implemented, it’s important to stay ahead of the curve and avoid potential pitfalls.

Advantages of digital ticketing

When people have the option of using their phones for payment, it opens a world of convenient possibilities. Using a mobile phone or other digital method for ticketing allows several conveniences.

For one, when you're in a hurry to catch a public transportation, you can quickly buy a ticket on your smartphone. Another relic of the past will be forgetting tickets at home — it simply won't happen when your smartphone is the ticket. In addition, you'll be able to easily integrate with on-board Wi-Fi and receive passenger updates in real time. You already know how to use your phone and usually have it with you, so a digital ticketing method is convenient and user friendly.



Established connections

Unlike previous mobile payment methods using radio frequency identification technology, near field communication (NFC) ticketing may solve many of the problems mobile payments have had. Rather than relying on two devices pairing to the same code to complete the transfer (much like a Bluetooth connection), the NFC method has an established connection and payment safeguards in place.

Likewise, mobile point-of-sale solutions allow users to download an app to their devices and use it as their secure card reader.

Large cities in the U.S., metro areas in Europe and Asia, already use a variety of such technologies with success. Both travelers and transit companies benefit from a streamlined and convenient ticketing and transaction process.

Just like any change in life, these things take time to get just right. However, with modern technology on your side, you’ll soon be able to use public transit through the ease and convenience of your personal device.