Buying a ticket shouldn’t be a barrier when using public transport. In addition, ticketing solutions should be able to support increased usage when the demand for public transport is high. Having burst onto the ticketing scene with full force during the COVID-19 pandemic, contactless payments offer exactly the kind of ease, simplicity, and safety that can elevate public transport systems for both passengers and operators.
Here’s five beneficial reasons why you should consider implementing contactless payment solutions in your city.
1. Fast ticket purchasing and boarding
The operational gains that come with implementing contactless payments are significant. Contactless solutions effectively eliminate queues that would otherwise form for traditional ticket sales, travelcard top-ups, etc. Cashless systems bring unprecedented efficiency, allowing passengers to move quickly through the transit system while also improving schedule adherence.
2. Reduced costs
While there is an upfront cost for implementing contactless solutions, the benefits far outweigh the initial expense. Going contactless removes a significant portion of the cost typically associated with managing ticketing infrastructure:
- Reduces the number of ticket counters;
- Cuts down on staffing costs;
- Minimizes the cost of operating ticket vending machines;
- Lowers the cost of cash handling.
3. Improved passenger experience
In today’s world of intense competition for customer loyalty, experience is everything. Contactless ticketing allows for flexible and convenient customer experiences that are likely to encourage spontaneous travel and motivate people to use public transport.
Convenience is king. Research has shown that if passengers didn’t have to pre-purchase tickets, they would sacrifice knowing the exact cost of travel for ease of use. People also use public transport more confidently when the need for exact change is no longer a concern. Contactless eliminates both of these hurdles.
Ridango’s contactless ticketing solution, for example, has been set up to offer customer-friendly pricing: Passengers tap their card and get a single ticket, valid for one hour. If they tap again after an hour in the same city, it automatically upgrades to a 24-hour ticket. This allows flexibility and guarantees the best price.
On top of providing residents with a more seamless experience, contactless also enables tourists and visitors to use public transport without having to understand complex ticketing systems that may otherwise prove confusing and tedious to learn.
4. Boost passenger and driver safety
The case for contactless was strengthened immensely during the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic, which led to a need to minimize cash handling and personal contact, presented public transit operators with a massive challenge almost overnight, but it is now looking likely that the safety concerns brought on by COVID-19 are sticking around for the long haul.
Contactless contributes to passenger safety and public health by avoiding the need for exchange of cash between people. It also cuts back on the use of ticketing infrastructure, further helping to curb the spread of infectious disease.
5. Reduce waste
Contactless systems reduce the need to issue paper or plastic tickets. The benefits of this to the operator, passenger and environment are substantial:
- Reduced need for printing cuts back on costs, as we touched on above;
- Less reliance on the hardware used for issuing tickets;
- The added layer of safety through reduced contact with ticketing infrastructure, particularly in the context of COVID-19;
- Promotes sustainable use of resources by eliminating single-use and plastic tickets and travel cards.
Passengers today know that contactless is the way forward. The ease, convenience, and sustainability of contactless ticketing solutions contribute to the efficiency of public transit networks at every level.