Building Smarter Transit Systems, One Mobile Ticket at a Time


Mobile ticketing revolutionizes public transportation, enhancing accessibility, efficiency, and user experience.

Mobile ticketing solutions play a crucial role in shaping the future of public transportation. They are not just data, but catalysts for efficiency, accessibility, and sustainability in modern transit systems. Let us today discover the reasons why public transport is moving to mobile ticketing and how they pave the way for a smarter and more accessible transit future.

What is mobile ticketing?

This refers to the process of buying, using, receiving, maintaining, or managing tickets through the official mobile app. This includes using features like passbook or wallet on a mobile device, the ticket agent app, or other approved digital methods. The account holder can access their account profile on the mobile ticketing platforms.

Reasons Why Public Transport Is Moving to Mobile Ticketing

More people now live in cities than outside. By 2050, nearly 70% of the population will live in cities. This is causing problems with city infrastructure and transportation, leading to overcrowding and congestion that affects residents, visitors, and businesses.

Cities all around the world are grappling with the consequences of their own triumph. This is evident in developed markets, where people are opting to return to cities rather than settling in the suburbs, as well as in emerging markets, where individuals are leaving rural areas in favor of thriving urban hubs.

The long-term benefits that the transport authority and the entire city will receive are even more essential. By reducing cash handling costs, a larger portion of investment can be diverted towards improving transportation infrastructure and enhancing services for commuters in the future.

Here is a list of factors that motivate transit agencies worldwide to transition to mobile ticketing.

1. Expanding Transit Uses

MIFARE® 2GO promotes growth and innovation for new businesses, enabling transit agencies to maintain a competitive edge. Furthermore, it offers lucrative additional sales channels with the potential to boost revenue and engage customers with interactive content. With its seamless expansion capabilities, transit agencies can effortlessly expand their services, meeting the demands of their patrons.

MIFARE 2GO allows secure access to various private locations such as hotel rooms, offices, and universities. It can also be used for contactless access at festivals and stadiums. Additionally, it supports mobile reward programs for customer loyalty.

2. Improved Customer Journey

Mobile tickets can be easily accessed and recharged through integration with mobile wallets like Google Pay. Users can simply tap their compatible NFC-enabled Android phone to enter the system, without needing to unlock the screen. This allows riders to move quickly and efficiently. In addition to fare payments, commuters can use mobile-ticketing-related services to access real-time route information, manage their accounts, and more, all through trusted services like Google Pay.

Mobile ticketing improves public transport and works well with smart-card-based transit systems. NXP offers the MIFARE 2GO solution, which digitizes traditional transit passes, allowing them to be used on NFC-enabled mobile devices. This brings transit authorities into the digital age.

3. Lower Operating Costs

Upgrading to mobile ticketing can be a cost-effective way for transit authorities to invest in the infrastructure, considering that ongoing maintenance costs are a significant part of their operating budget.

Mobile ticketing reduces costs for ticket distribution because staff no longer need to handle cash or collect paper bills and coins. Instead, ticket sales can be done online.

In addition, contactless ticket entry machines, which utilize tap-and-go technology, generally have a reduced number of mechanical components compared to machines that read tickets through magnetic stripes, barcodes, or QR codes. Therefore, breakdowns are minimized and maintenance costs for the reader infrastructure are significantly lower, particularly in expansive transit systems.

4. Quick and scalable time-to-market.

Transit agencies can utilize MIFARE® 2GO as a solution that leverages their existing MIFARE product-based infrastructures, enabling them to fast-track their time-to-market and seamlessly integrate mobile capabilities. Through a streamlined onboarding process and comprehensive technical support on infrastructure and backend systems, these agencies can achieve quick and efficient deployment within a remarkable timeframe of 3 to 6 months.

Transit agencies can integrate multiple OEMs and reach more consumers with Android phones supporting NFC. To promote widespread usage, it is important to have a strong security system. One way to achieve this is by using a tamper-resistant secure element (SE) alongside a cloud-based solution.

5. Simpler Infrastructure Updates

Mobile ticketing is more convenient and cost-effective than legacy ticketing formats. It doesn’t require constant connection to backend offices and uses a smaller network that is easier and cheaper to update.

Mobile ticketing networks are efficient and easily updated, eliminating the need for transit agencies to deal with complex updates to old systems. Updating the existing reader infrastructure can prove to be a costly endeavor and place significant strain on the limited funding available for public services.

Benefits of Smart Public Transportation System

Smart transportation involves incorporating advanced technologies such as cloud computing, wireless communication, location-based services, and computer vision into the transportation system, creating a seamless and efficient network. For example:

  • Advanced Traffic Management Systems
  • Autonomous Vehicles
  • Scannable Transit Cards

Smart transportation is gaining popularity in major cities worldwide, and experts predict a 7% growth rate from 2021 to 2028. It is evident that smart transportation is here to stay and will play a crucial role in the development of technologies such as autonomous vehicles and smart cities.

1. Enhanced Security Measures

Smart transportation increases safety by re-routing traffic away from emergency vehicles and providing updates on hazards and speed limits.

5G infrastructure enables smart vehicles to receive regular updates on traffic, weather, and safety. In the future, autonomous vehicles could use 5G networks for better communication with other vehicles, improving data accuracy.

License plate readers can enhance safety by cooperating with law enforcement to apprehend criminals, track vehicles in pursuit, and swiftly locate missing children.

2. Improved traffic routes

Smart transportation revolutionizes traffic routes by utilizing both real-time and historical data. Sensors and cameras detect accidents and share details with motorists and emergency teams to keep traffic flowing efficiently. Smart sensors on the road measure snow and ice, helping drivers prioritize routes and warning drivers of changing weather.

3. Improved Traffic Signals and Laws

Smart transportation adds signs and signals to a private mobile network, allowing quicker changes based on real-world conditions. AI can analyze weather, road conditions, and traffic to control enforcements. For instance, if ice forms on a freeway, AI informs the transportation department and reduces speed limit by 20 mph.

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