person standing on bus holding phone

Public Transportation Ticketing: Seamless Experiences Fuel Repeat Ridership

Managing efficient public transportation systems requires precise coordination of a complex mix of infrastructure and processes. Too often, we focus on the operational aspects of the business instead of its real purpose. Public transportation's top priority is to create positive transit experiences for passengers efficiently.

Public transportation derives business benefits from improving the convenience and reliability of the passenger experience. Satisfied passengers return, ridership volumes grow and revenue increases. Beyond transporting people to their desired locations, public transportation ticketing is crucial to fostering positive experiences that build a loyal customer base.

An intuitive boarding process is the first touchpoint in creating positive passenger experiences. New contactless ticket readers and validators collect fares quickly to streamline the boarding process and keep everyone on schedule.

Convenient Mass Transit Grows Ridership

There are a few ways to ensure your transportation service is reliable, fast, and frictionless. An essential step is to assess your passenger boarding processes. This entry point sets the tone for the entire journey.

To avoid confusion and delays, be clear about where and how to present the ticket — regardless of the passenger’s language or level of tech-savviness. Many ticket readers have different presentation points for RFID reception, QR/barcode scans and payment. The passenger experience plummets if they struggle to understand which device to use to present different types of tickets and which device to use for contactless fare payment. These delays negatively impact the travel schedule and passenger satisfaction.

Centralizing all transactions on one device for both ticket reading and payment simplifies and accelerates the boarding process, especially for first-time passengers. By preventing these disruptions, the boarding process is fast and smooth.

Ticket readers should be flexible enough to support various users and technologies, like barcodes, QR codes, NFC, and RFID. Additionally, validation should be lightning-fast, secure, and capable of scanning from a diverse range of angles — at any orientation — from a single interface.

Several technologies make public transportation ticketing more convenient and efficient. The availability of intuitive, mobile-friendly ticketing systems improves the passenger experience and offers operational efficiencies over older fare collection methods.

For example, ticket readers and validators with HID TripTick™ technology offer a single point of presentation for passengers to present any type of ticket. Passengers can use printed barcode tickets, digital QR codes on smart devices, closed-loop RFID smart cards, and open-loop contactless payments.

Ticket reader and validator device to read barcoded tickets on mobile phones or paper.

Many solutions developed during the pandemic that met the need for contact-free interactions benefit both passengers and operators in our post-pandemic world. Contactless EMV payment options, such as mobile payments, can speed up boarding times and reduce the need for physical contact between passengers and transit staff.

In pursuit of greater passenger satisfaction, the Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA) in Florida built a more connected transit system by integrating a mobile ticketing solution with onboard ticket validators. JTA needed a simple ticket validation interface compatible with their existing mobile ticketing app and scalable for future growth. Read the full story on how JTA reduced passenger boarding time by working with HID to increase mobile ticket usage.

Intuitive, Modernized Ticketing

Modernizing public transportation ticketing streamlines the boarding process and offers operational efficiencies and cost savings for mass transit management. New ticketing systems provide advanced passenger self-service, requiring less time to train employees. Converged ticket readers and validation solutions reduce costs by minimizing the number of devices purchased and installed.

Public transportation operators who fail to upgrade aging ticketing hardware risk losing revenue through dwindling ridership. Keeping passengers happy is the key. When modernizing a public transportation ticketing system, look for non-proprietary, open architecture readers and validators to make future upgrades efficient and ensure long-term usability.

An intuitive ticket reader user interface promotes a steady, rapid passenger boarding flow that further improves operational efficiency and maintains punctual schedules for the operator. In the end, happy passengers will return again and again to use the public transit system and share their positive experiences.   

About HID Ticket Readers and Validators

HID manufactures innovative devices that read tickets and take contactless EMV payments with reliable speed and precision. HID TripTick™ ticket readers and validators, whether deployed in stations or onboard vehicles, support multiple ticketing technologies to read bus, train and metro tickets accurately and efficiently every time.

Arthur Tay leads the product marketing and management of HID's portfolio of ID document and ticket readers, formed from HID's acquisition of Access-IS. Connect with Arthur on LinkedIn.