US commuters want more mobile solutions to ease transportation

Ridership on mass-transit is rising but commuters want to pay and hold tickets on mobile devices

The 'digital revolution' has significantly changed how Americans commute and travel – trendsetting Millennials and post-Millennials are most likely to use non-car transport (60% and 69% respectively, vs 50% average). For the typical rider ground transportation can be inconvenient and frustrating compared to consumer sectors that offer mobile solutions. Transit riders increasingly rely on mobile devices, and the failure of mass transit operators to provide mobile solutions is causing them to fall behind in the digital travel economy.

Key survey findings that directly impact mass transit usage, customer satisfaction and revenue, include:

  • Convenient booking/ticketing process, in-app payments: these were the top ranked features that riders look for in transit mobile apps, highlighting where operators should invest in new mobile technology solutions.
  • Fare discounts and easier payments: 40% of riders can be incentivized to download a transit app with fare discounts, followed by 34% of riders who want to make payments more easily.
  • Cash no longer king: One-third of riders (31%) say reducing the need to carry cash would incentivize them to download a transit app, illustrating how 'top of mind' payments are in the US.
  • New and alternative payments matter: 34% of riders say using alternative payment methods (APMs) such as Apple Pay or Google Pay is "Very" or "Extremely" important.
  • Multiple modes of transport: More than half (52%) of Millennials use 2-5 modes of transport per trip, highlighting the importance of new technology investments to support mobility-as-a-service.

How US Ground Transportation Operators Can Modernize the Passenger Experience

The new report, Modernizing the Passenger Experience is the first in a multi-part series based on surveys conducted with US operators and consumers in October 2018. Key takeaways that can help mass transit and ground transportation operators re-think revenue strategies, include: 

  • Multi-modal trips are more common than assumed and rideshare plays a big role. Transit operators must consider the needs of multi-modal riders in their strategies.
  • Transit riders mirror the digital habits and expectations of the US population at large – they are increasingly mobile, primed for digital commerce, and receptive to retail-style experiential engagement.
  • Mobile ticketing and payments are core areas where operators can reduce costs, streamline transactions, improve customer satisfaction and grow revenues.

Ground transportation operators can download the report here

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