Smart ticketing, put simply, is a ticketing system where travel tickets are electronically stored on smartphones or smartcards. This way the user can skip the ticket counter in a station. Either users can load credit in their account or buy tickets in advance for a particular period. This trend has turned all the more popular during the COVID-19 outbreak where contactless payment has become the need of the hour.
Cut Out the Contagious Pandemic
The extremely contagious coronavirus has taken the world by storm and put it on high alert with regards to touching public surfaces of high contact. As per research it has been proven that the COVID-19 virus can persist on different inanimate surfaces such as plastic, glass, or metal for about 3 days resting on the conditions. Contact in most cases is avoidable. There are yet instances where this is not. With regards to paying in public transport services, few people are still paying through cash that is covered in germs which can result in the spread of the virus. People use touchscreens and keypads on ticket vending machines which carry different forms of bacteria. At the time of the outbreak, it is best to go cashless. When one removes cash handling and minimizes personal contact, they can reduce the peril of spreading the disease. Here smart ticketing can act as a savior.
A Seamless Solution
Until recently, opinions regarding the perks and efficiency of contactless payment solutions have been divided. Post the coronavirus crisis, there cannot be any doubts regarding its significance. As per study, UK consumers are rapidly adopting contactless payments for daily purchases as they seek cleaner and quicker payment options and more than 80% people state that they will continue in using contactless payments post pandemic.
In the face of the changing behaviors of consumers, the progressive step for councils and transport operators is in embracing more and more of smart ticketing solutions. These schemes have been adopted already across the UK as a means to remove cash from travel. Electronically stored microchips on smart cards allow the public in loading tickets and cash values in cards that offer an array of benefits both to the public, transport organizations, and operators. Eliminating the need of paying for travel journeys with cash is hygienic as well as helps safeguard passengers and drivers from the deadly diseases. Besides, the quicker payment transaction rates also reduce the chance of big queues forming at stops and stations that is crucial towards physical distancing in congested and crowded areas that set to be ingrained for some time.
After the financial losses owing to the outbreak, councils and transport operators will require doing everything they can for promoting fiscal responsibility and reducing costs from recovering from the impact. Cash in fact is extremely expensive to manage yet by switching over to smart ticketing systems, this burden easily can be eliminated.
The smart ticketing scheme also offers train and bus companies the ability of offering tailored services and personalized customer information that will help the industry in adapting to changes in the commuting pattern. A smart ticketing card can easily be tracked from creation through use, indicating that more flexible products can be provided like off-peak travel discounts, pay-as-you-go, and flexi-season tickets.
COVID-19 pandemic had a profound effect on human interaction and has changed all systems that need human co-operation. The public transport sector was the foremost to bear the brunt of the crisis caused by the outbreak. In this age and day where social distancing has turned into a new norm, the concept of smart ticketing is no longer a mere convenience but has turned into a necessity. Ticketing systems that are app-based are an innovation which will outlast the outbreak and assist both transit agencies and passengers in different ways. Lack of revenue leakage, better quality trip data, shift towards an economy that is digital and more cash-less, and paperless transaction can be some of the key highlights.