The recent launch of mobile ticketing for public transport in the state of Victoria, Australia, is a strong indication that mobile transit has truly arrived. Servicing the entire state of Australia’s second largest state, Victoria, Public Transport Victoria’s network (PTV) is enormous. The system, powered by NTT DATA, involves buses, trains, and trams and supports more than 1.6 million passengers a day. There are 15 million active myki fare cards based on NXP’s MIFARE DESFire ICs, and PTV processes 600 million transactions annually, making the state of Victoria, one of the largest ticketing systems worldwide. Users can easily digitize their myki transit card with NXP’s MIFARE 2GO cloud service and Google Pay.
So why do transit agencies around the world decide to move to mobile ticketing? Here are five reasons.
- Lower operating costs
Mobile ticketing means that high costs for ticket distribution can be reduced, as staff doesn’t need to collect paper bills and coins to issue tickets, since ticket sales can be done online, without handling cash. Also, the tap-and-go entry machines that read contactless tickets usually have fewer mechanical parts than entry machines that read tickets based on magnetic stripes, barcodes, or QR codes. As a result, there are fewer breakdowns and lower maintenance costs for the reader infrastructure, which is especially true for large transit systems. Since ongoing maintenance costs can be a significant part of any transit authority’s operating budget, upgrading to mobile ticketing can be a cost-effective way to invest in the infrastructure.
- Simpler infrastructure updates
The network that supports mobile ticketing is lean and easy to update, so transit agencies no longer have to deal with difficult updates to legacy infrastructures. Keeping a legacy reader infrastructure up to date can be costly and can place a strain on limited public-service funding. Compared to legacy ticketing formats, mobile ticketing doesn’t rely on real-time connections to backend offices, and employs a smaller network that is easier and more cost-effective to keep current.
- Greater operational efficiency
Mobile ticketing is both flexible and scalable, so transit agencies can improve and streamline operations while reducing costs. Upgrading to mobile requires most often only small infrastructure updates and comes with 24/7 support, so help is always close at hand. Compared to traditional paper ticketing systems, mobile ticketing makes buying tickets simpler and faster.
- Increased Popularity
Mobile ticketing helps transit agencies stay in the race with alternative, competitive transportation options. Now it’s easier for public transit to compete with trendy ride-sharing options, which are already managed on mobile devices and can be cheaper and more convenient to use than buses and trains. More people now expect mobile as an option, and can be quick to take their business elsewhere if mobile isn’t available. Mobile ticketing also makes it easier to integrate other Smart City services – such as parking, building access, and coupons for local businesses – that run on mobile devices. Third-party promotions can offset expenses while increasing adoption and fostering loyalty.
- Better Passenger Experiences
Integration with mobile wallets like Google Pay makes mobile tickets readily available and easy to top up. All that’s needed to enter the system is a quick tap of any compatible NFC-enabled Android phone. The phone screen doesn’t need to be unlocked (the screen just has to be on), for validation to occur, so riders can move quickly and efficiently along their journeys. Beyond fare payments, commuters can use mobile ticketing related services to get real-time information on routes, manage their accounts, and more – all with trusted services like Google Pay.
Mobile ticketing not only enhances public transport, it’s also a natural complement to existing smart card-based transit systems. With the MIFARE 2GO end-to-end cloud service solution, NXP digitizes traditional transit passes so they can seamlessly work on NFC-enabled mobile devices, and at the same time, brings transit authorities into the future of digitalization.