Author: Ana Stanca
Demand Generation Leader, Enghouse Transportation
Open-Loop Ticketing is a simple, yet radical means by which to open up access to transit. It makes it easier to pay, giving riders much greater flexibility and promoting more spontaneous use of transit.
The American Public Transportation Association has outlined six “North Star” principles to guide its member organizations in the development of the new urban mobility network with a mission of taking people where they need to go on their own terms.
Here’s how Open Loop Ticketing aligns with the objectives of APTA’s Mobility Platform.
The quality of public transportation is measured by the positive user experiences of individual customers.
Open Loop gives riders fast, seamless boarding and eliminates confusion. They pay in the way they would for other goods and services.
Quality, fully accessible public transportation must be safe and available to every person, regardless of income, age, or ability.
Riders are no longer required to purchase transit passes upfront, and with fare-capping riders are never charged more per month than the cost of a monthly pass. This increases the accessibility of transit and makes travel more equitable.
Public transportation is the centerpiece of an integrated and efficient public/private mobility network.
Open Loop Ticketing is key to integration. Parking, first/last mile solutions and accessing private mobility becomes straightforward, as all are now using the same payment method. It removes the anomaly of transit requiring a separate pass or payment method.
Governments at the federal, state, and local levels must establish policies and provide funding to enable these goals to be achieved.
To make it more affordable for transit agencies to simplify and integrate their fare systems, Caltrans recently created the California Integrated Travel Project. This effort included creating master service agreements with approved vendors, allowing agencies to purchase the hardware and software for contactless payments directly, without having to open a competitive bidding process.
Transit agencies in other states have expressed interest in taking advantage of California’s pre-negotiated agreements.
Data is critical to planning and providing quality public transportation services. At the same time, all customers are entitled to the privacy of data associated with their trips.
A vast amount of personal data is potentially available, so transit agencies need to be transparent about their privacy policies. They also need to ensure that riders still have options to pay that don’t link to a credit card.
TransitCenter.org has written a useful guide to navigating privacy as agencies transition to open-loop systems.
Public transportation agencies must continue to test and adopt new service models and technologies that can enhance the customer experience, protect the environment, improve operations, and save money.
Open-Loop Ticketing removes the cost and complexity of the ticketing system as agencies no longer have to manage the ticketing infrastructure themselves. When an agency isn’t locked into a single-vendor contract, they’ve able to update and add components as advances in technology make them more efficient and drive down costs.
Want to find out more?
To learn more about the transition to modern, Open-Loop Payments Systems and the benefits they can deliver, please download our Whitepaper: A Transit Agency Roadmap for Mobile Payment Solutions.
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