What are the benefits of mobile ticketing?

Why Mobile Ticketing Matters

Mobile ticketing technology has become more relevant now than ever. In a recent survey conducted by Passport, of the most preferred method of payment to ride transit, nearly 73% chose a smartphone as the preferred method to pay for transit fare. While still fairly new to the marketplace, this technology is proving to be an important factor in increasing rider adoption and improving efficiency in transit operations.

The number of public transportation agencies utilizing this technology is still growing, but the results these agencies are already seeing is impressive. While the numbers vary, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, certain transit agencies are already seeing close to 30 percent of rail ticket purchases via mobile. Mobile ticketing is allowing public transportation to appeal to an entirely new audience that doesn’t utilize public transit, as well as their current riders that are willing to ride more frequently.

Increased Ridership

Technology is most effective when it solves a real problem, therefore appealing to human emotion. Consider some of the most popular apps or even one of your personal favorites – most likely it relieves a pain point for you. The problem that mobile ticketing is solving? It eliminates the anxiety and uncertainty of riding public transit.

According to a recent survey conducted by Passport, the top reason preventing people from riding public transportation is the uncertainty around whether their transit will arrive on time.

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When choosing your mode of transportation, you naturally feel more comfortable selecting a method you have knowledge of and control over. If all riders could take advantage of real-time tracking for transit, there is no longer uncertainty around when their transit will arrive.  Reduce this uncertainty and you create a solution.

Reduced Costs

Mobile ticketing is a low cost alternative for agencies to accept fare payments. According to the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) prints and encodes 160 million cards a year at an average annual cost of about $9.5 million. One ticket machine costs approximately $50,000 and carries with it additional maintenance and repair costs.

These costs really start to add up. According to a recent interview with three major U.S. transit agencies conducted by Trapeze, costs associated with hardware purchases and maintenance for large agencies can be upwards of $1 to $4.3 million respectively, depending on the size of your operations.

Mobile ticketing means lower fare collection costs since users are purchasing and maintaining the fare collection equipment themselves (the smartphone).

If you can reduce the expenses related to revenue, you can drive up profits and potentially mitigate reductions in federal funding.


Technology continues to evolve, there’s certainly no doubt about that. Just in the past ten years, we’ve seen technology dramatically change how we communicate, receive our information, make payments, and even carry about our lives.

By implementing a mobile ticketing solution, public transportation agencies not only secure their relevance in today’s smartphone generation, but secure their ability to remain flexible with future technological advancements.