Digital platforms needed for truly integrated mobility

Contactless payments and integrated apps can boost public transportation and shared mobility services. By Freddie Holmes

The passenger car has undergone a complete overhaul over the last few decades. Digitalisation has touched virtually every element of the cockpit, moving the user experience away from analogue technologies and toward software-based features and functions.

With public transit, similar changes have taken a little longer to materialise. Even today, physical tickets remain common on buses, trains and trams and it is only in the last few years that contactless payments have become mainstream. Tap-and-go travel cards have also been popular but have failed to eliminate waiting in line to top up at a machine. While they can be used across different services in many cases—such as an underground metro and an overground bus—they are typically tied to one public transit operator. This means that in today’s age of shared e-scooters, bikes and on-demand cars, users may still need to flit between apps and cards multiple times each trip.

Making it easier to pay for public transit is a fundamental step to increasing ridership

As travellers are encouraged to

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