You know that anxiety you feel when you’re at the ticketing machine, in front of a long line of impatient people, trying to figure out what type of bus pass you need? Or that trickle of sweat that starts to form on your brow as you search your pockets for bus fare? What about just trying to figure out which bus or train to take, or not to mention, trying to keep to social distancing regulations while using mass transit?
Well, that is all about to change, thanks in large part to COVID-19 and evolving post-pandemic rider needs.
With many residents working from home, avoiding transit to minimize their exposure to the disease, and vast changes in local transit services, the way people travel within their cities has been altered. And the way they pay for transportation is evolving, as well.
In an industry usually known for using antiquated technology, transit agencies are now looking toward digitization, keeping them resilient in the face of the coronavirus. Contactless payment is one of the main technologies that transit agencies can adopt to help restore rider confidence and increase ridership.
Mobile ticketing offers a significant benefit in keeping both passengers and transit agency employees safe. By providing contactless fare payment that can be visually inspected or scanned at validation units, public transportation riders and transit agency employees no longer need to handle cash, cards, or interact with ticketing infrastructure, enabling them to maintain social distancing regulations. And riders themselves say that this is what they want.
Recently, Moovit unveiled a report called “The COVID-19 Effect”, outlining the results of how thousands of people around the world commuted pre-pandemic, once restrictions eased in their region, how they plan to get around in six months, and what riders themselves say would encourage them to use public transportation more. The number one factor to bring Americans back to public transit? Social distancing.
Taking a deeper look at what types of social distancing riders want, we saw that a higher frequency of vehicles to prevent overcrowding takes the lead. Real-time arrival data, allowing passengers to wait less time at crowded stops, comes in a close second. The third form of social distancing is touchless payments and mobile ticketing, which around 30% of Americans said would encourage them to return to public transit.
Because of the antiquated technology in many transit agencies, the trip planning and payment process of public transportation is largely disjointed, resulting in rider confusion and uncertainty. But by integrating mobile ticketing and payment providers, users no longer need to search pockets for change or stand in line to top up monthly transit passes and, in effect, be encouraged to use public transit more often.
That’s why Moovit recently partnered with NEORide, a council of governments dedicated to the development and promotion of regional public transportation services, and Masabi, the company bringing Fare Payments-as-a-Service to public transit. The three organizations have come together to enable millions of Ohio and Kentucky riders to seamlessly and safely purchase and validate transit tickets, all within the Moovit app for frictionless public transit journeys with 13 local transit agencies. A single app that can provide multimodal journey planning and mobile ticketing is essential to advancing the capabilities of public transit agencies and providing their riders with a true frictionless MaaS experience. And, put simply, it’s giving riders exactly what they want from their local agencies.
Transportation ridership is a key indicator of how economies around the globe are being impacted during the pandemic. As people emerge from their lockdowns, governments, transit agencies, and operators are looking toward mobile ticketing to reassure riders that they can get back on the bus, safely.
By Yovav Meydad, Chief Growth & Marketing Officer, Moovit.
Yovav Meydad is Moovit’s Chief Growth and Marketing Officer. Meydad joined Moovit in 2013 as Vice President of Product where he built and managed the product team, and led the company’s product roadmap. In 2018 he was promoted to the role of Chief Growth & Marketing Officer, and was a core contributor to the company’s growth to over 840 million users.
Meydad has over 20 years of experience as an entrepreneur, general manager, and product, growth, and marketing executive in venture capital-backed and public Internet companies, both early and growth stage in the U.S. and Israel. He has a proven track record of leading world-class product and growth teams that have built several popular internet and mobile services used by hundreds of millions of consumers worldwide.
Prior to Moovit, Yovav was the Co-Founder and CEO of Pixplit, a social photography collaboration platform, as well as Hitpad, a trends discovery platform. Yovav holds a B.Sc. in Information Systems Engineering from the Ben Gurion University, Israel.