More than nine in ten transit agencies (92%) are planning to introduce new mobile and contactless fare payment solutions to help support a return to pre-pandemic passenger levels, a survey has found.
Of these, 55.93% plan to implement or add mobile ticketing, 49.15% contactless EMV fare payments, 35.59% account-based ticketing and 32.2% a Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) solution.
More than one third (35.59%) plan to add cash top-up services for unbanked transit users, while 15.25% aim to stop accepting cash onboard vehicles.
“Amongst North American agencies, there is a strong interest in using contactless EMV payments,” the researchers say.
“Agencies are also moving towards retail cash support for unbanked riders, a feature that accelerated during the pandemic and aligns with the trend to take cash off buses in North America.”
The results published in The State of Fare Collection 2021 report also show that 37% of the agencies taking part in the survey maintain a bespoke in-house automatic fare collection (AFC) system and software infrastructure, 22% use a bespoke cloud-hosted solution and 10% use a shared ‘cloud native’ platform.
According to the survey, 42% of agencies say they are planning to migrate to a Fare-Payments-as-a-Service (FPaaS) shared platform model next time they upgrade their ticketing system, 41% are researching the FPaaS option, while 17% plan to continue to implement a bespoke solution.
“Around a quarter of the authorities surveyed reported introducing a new AFC system within the past three years,” the researchers add.
“Twenty per cent indicated that their AFC will run for between 10 and 20 years, 3% 20 to 30 years and 7% more than 30 years.”
The survey was conducted by FPaaS provider Masabi in summer 2021 with 59 transit agencies, 85% of which operate in North America.