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U.S. Passengers Want Easier Payments and More Utility

A new report from CellPoint Mobile examines how US transit operators can better leverage the mobile channel to streamline transactions, reduce costs, grow revenues, and facilitate mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) to make travel easier for riders

CellPoint Mobile, a leading provider of digital and mobile ticketing and payment solutions for ground transportation operators including rail, bus, rideshare and car hire companies, has released a new report called Modernizing the Passenger Experience in US Ground Transportation. Developed from a survey of 2,052 consumers and 103 transit operators in the US, the report examines key challenges facing the ground transportation and mass transit market and suggests how operators can improve service, reduce costs, lift customer satisfaction and grow their bottom line.

The survey found Americans are taking more multi-modal trips and relying on mobile devices to seamlessly manage their end-to-end journeys. This poses a challenge for transit operators, as many lack a mobile app or support mobile ticketing and payments. The survey also found that many transit operators are ‘out of step’ with the broader travel and transportation markets, where mobile is the growth channel and APIs make it easy to connect different travel services around a single app.

“The survey results demonstrate that American riders want ground transportation operators to provide a more convenient, connected experience through mobile devices,” said Toby Holmes, CellPoint Mobile’s VP of Growth for Ground and Sea Operations in the US. “The industry’s evolution toward MaaS is helping operators better leverage mobile devices as the primary connector between transportation modes. It’s also making it easier for riders to manage booking, ticketing and payments across bus, rail, rideshare and other ground services they use daily, weekly or monthly.”

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Improving Mobile Technology to Satisfy Riders and Drive Revenues

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

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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 to learn how they can leverage the mobile channel to increase usage, meet riders’ expectations, improve the passenger experience, and ultimately boost revenue and profitability. Future reports will examine operational and revenue challenges faced by mass transit operators, including costs and friction in ticketing and payment systems.

About CellPoint Mobile: We Make Travel Easier™ for airlines, travel companies and their customers.   
CellPoint Mobile provides airlines, ground transportation providers, hospitality firms and travel companies across the globe with flexible, configurable solutions that help them collect revenues from the mobile channel and profitably manage interactions and transactions from both the selling side and the payment side. Dedicated to a client-first, mobile-first culture since 2007, CellPoint Mobile provides companies with the fintech and travel-tech solutions they need to get to market quickly: booking, payments, alternative payment methods, ancillary sales, loyalty transactions, communications, stored payment capability, real-time reporting, reconciliation, connections to payment service providers (PSPs) and acquirers, and more. Serving companies on five continents, CellPoint Mobile has locations in MiamiLondonCopenhagenDubaiPune and Singapore

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Mia Turner


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