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Why Public Transportation Shouldn’t Make You Nervous

Public transportation.

The thought of dealing with fares, schedules, and routes is enough to make anyone anxious, at least it was enough to make me anxious. That changed quite a bit, let me explain.

Freshman year of college, I took it upon myself to conquer the campus bus. How difficult could it be? All I needed to do was get from the on-campus library to my apartment. It seemed doable, even to a freshman with a knack for getting lost. Game on.

I got on “bus A” toward Patrick Henry Drive. As the bus looped around an apartment complex, that was clearly not mine, it pulled on the soft shoulder and abruptly stopped. The driver called out that this would be the last stop of the night. This was not my stop. I panicked. It was late, I had no idea the direct route to my apartment and the bus was not running. Great.

Although I did manage to make it back home (thanks to my roomie), it took me awhile to get over that I’m-never-taking-public-transportation-again attitude. We’ve all been there, whether we can’t quite figure out the metro schedule or miss the bus 5 seconds after it departs – transit can seem daunting.

Mass Transit Gains Attractiveness

As mobile apps started taking the reigns on public transportation, I eventually got over that stranded experience and can take on the light rail. Knowing that I have the entire transit ecosystem in the palm of my hands puts me at ease. That’s right, I have the entire system in my hands via my mobile device.

public-transportation

With Passport’s mobile app, users have the ability to plan, track, and manage their entire transit experience. The app provides convenience, as well as immediacy for users and cities.  As more people take advantage of transit, it continues to gain attractiveness. Yes, you heard us. Mass transit is becoming pretty attractive. In 2013, 10.7 billion transit trips were taken by Americans, which is the highest number we’ve seen in 57 years.

As transit continues to gain popularity, having the ability to completely manage your entire transit process with your smartphone gives users the control they want and provides a positive rider experience.

Neela Sakaria, senior vice president at Latitude Research noted that giving users a sense of immediacy and control provides them with  the best possible experience. “Especially if you’re used to the automobile, that real time transit info is something that’s going to make you feel more in control.”

Mass Transit Pushes Cities Forward

Not only is the mobile app process simple for users, but municipalities and universities have seen an increase in revenue with the implementation of Passport’s mobile app. Passport was awarded Business of the Year for Sacramento’s RideSacRT app. Overall, the Sacramento Regional Transit has over 51,000 riders a day and 31 million riders so far, which shows that the numbers of transit are high and they will only increase as we continue to adopt public transportation.

As more urban dwellers alike seek mobile transit options, app utilization and revenue will increase for the city. From July through September 2015, commuters leveraging public transit topped 2.7 billion – an overall 1.81% increase from 2013, which is the highest percentage since 1956. Public transportation is on the rise, especially for urban dwellers in their 20s and 30s living in medium-sized cities.

Cities that implement a mobile transit app will be provided with real-time data, reduced payment fraud, improved user experience with real-time tracking, and decreased cost of fare collection. For cities, this is huge. Imagine 20 years ago. 10 years ago. Even 1 year ago. We went from purchasing our fare at the front desk counter of a metro station to being able to handle everything on our smart phones.

As cities and municipalities embrace mobile transit apps and technology, we’ll not only see an increase in app utilization from users, but cities will reap the revenue benefits. Ultimately, it’s a win-win for both users and the city.

No more getting lost. No more anxiety. Just the innovation to get you where you’re going.