Ticketing Research

Mobile ticketing applications can be used by transit riders to purchase tickets directly on their smartphones.  Here are some of my recent research projects related to mobile ticketing.

1. TCRP Synthesis 148: Business Models for Mobile Fare Apps (2020). Author: Candace Brakewood.
Summary: The objective of this TCRP study is to synthesize different business models for mobile fare payment apps used by American and Canadian transit agencies. A three-part methodology was used. First, a review of prior literature pertaining to mobile fare payment apps was conducted. Second, an online survey of transit agencies and operators that have mobile fare payment apps in the United States and Canada was conducted. The survey included over 60 questions on various business and technology-related topics, and a total of 62 responses were received and analyzed. Third, detailed case examples were conducted via telephone interviews with representatives from six transit agencies. The agencies selected for the case examples have different approaches to mobile fare payment apps, and their approaches were compared and categorized to identify different business models. For more information, read the report here.

2. An evaluation of the benefits of mobile fare payment technology from the user and operator perspectives (2020). Authors: Brakewood, Ziedan, Hendricks, Barbeau, and Joslin.
Summary: This research aims to evaluate mobile fare payment technology from both the transit user and operator perspectives. Surveys of bus riders in Tallahassee, Florida were conducted before and after a two-month period in which a mobile fare payment application (“app”) was deployed throughout the bus system. Bus operators, who are responsible for fare validation, were also surveyed at the end of the study period. For more information, read the paper here.

3. A Synthesis of Mobile Ticketing Applications used by Commuter Railroads in the United States (2018). Authors: Mesoraca and Brakewood.
Summary: In the last five years, many commuter railroads have deployed mobile ticketing applications (or “apps”) that allow passengers to pay fares directly using their smartphones.  In light of this rapid technological change, this research aims to provide a synthesis of the current state of mobile ticketing in the United States.  Fifteen commuter railroads that have launched mobile ticketing apps are compared in four different areas: (1) ticket validation process; (2) ticket types offered in the mobile app; (3) additional features in the app; and (4) process for transferring to other modes using the app.  For more information, read the paper here.

NJ TRANSIT app4. Assessing NJ TRANSIT’s Mobile App for User’s Receptiveness to Geotargeting (2017). Authors: Brakewood and Paaswell.
Summary: NJ TRANSIT riders can use a smartphone application (“app”) to purchase tickets and access transit information. Most smartphones are equipped with technology that can determine the user’s location; by knowing a customer’s location, NJ TRANSIT could potentially provide customized information directly to passengers based on their location, which is referred to as geotargeting. The objective of this research project is to assess NJ TRANSIT passengers’ receptiveness to geotargeting in NJ TRANSIT’s mobile app.  For more information, read the report here.

5. Assessment of Mobile Fare Payment Technology for Future Deployment in Florida (2016). Authors: Georggi, Barbeau, Joslin, and Brakewood.
Summary: This report includes an industry scan of mobile phone fare payments. To collect and disseminate lessons learned from deployments in transit agencies nationwide, the research team selected five transit systems for interviews.  Based on insights gained from the interviews conducted with transit agencies, the research team developed a concept of operations (ConOps) that can be used by any transit agency to plan for deploying a mobile fare system. For more information, read the report here.

6. Use of Mobile Ticketing Data to Estimate an Origin-Destination Matrix for New York City Ferry Service (2016). Authors: Rahman, Wong and Brakewood.  
Summary: New mobile ticketing systems offer the opportunity to prompt riders about their specific trips when purchasing a ticket, and this can be used to track origin-destination (OD) patterns during the ticket activation phase. Therefore, the objective of this research is to utilize backend mobile ticketing data to generate passenger OD matrices and compare the outcome to OD matrices generated with traditional onboard surveys. For more information, read the paper here.

7. Planning for New Fare Payment Systems: An Equity Analysis of Smartphone, Credit Card, and Potential Mobile Ticketing Adoption by Bus Riders in Nassau County (2016).  Authors: Sion, Brakewood and Alvarado. 
Summary: Mobile ticketing systems typically utilize tickets that are purchased and validated on smartphones; however, not all transit riders have smartphones or other electronic payment media needed to make a mobile payment.  Subsequently, transit agencies want to understand rider adoption of smartphones, credit/debit cards, and other electronic payment media when planning for deployment of mobile ticketing systems. Therefore, the objective of this research is to assess access to mobile payments across different socioeconomic groups. For more information, read the paper here.

8. Forecasting Mobile Ticketing Adoption on Commuter Rail (2014). Authors: Brakewood, Rojas, Robin, Sion and Jordan.
Summary: Before investing in mobile ticketing technology, rail operators want to understand rider demand for mobile tickets. To assess the potential adoption of mobile payments, stated preference data from an onboard survey on two commuter rail lines in the greater Boston area were analyzed. The results suggest that 26 percent of commuter rail riders in Boston are very likely to adopt mobile ticketing. For more information, read the paper here.