Fares affect the full range of transit system functions, including finance, customer service, operations, marketing and planning:
- Fares are a key source of revenue.
- Fare payment is the first aspect of the transit system a rider encounters.
- Fares affect ridership and thus the amount of service needed.
- Fares influence customer/community perceptions of the system and fare changes offer key marketing opportunities.
- The fare system is a key source of ridership data.
In setting fares, every transit agency must balance competing goals – for example, ridership vs. revenue maximization. Fare decision-making is increasingly being influenced by political or legal factors related to equity concerns. Meanwhile, emerging technologies, such as “smart cards” and even the use of cell phones for payment are providing innovative new payment options and expanded partnership opportunities – among multiple transit agencies in a region, as well as with universities, banks and retail establishments.
TranSystems has particular expertise in helping transit agencies develop new fare structures, evaluate the ridership/revenue impacts through the use of fare models, and implement new technologies such as smart cards. The firm has developed fare models and evaluated alternative fare structures/policies, as well as helping agencies understand the potential for the shared use of smart cards among various applications, operators, and/or modes.
TranSystems’ fare policy/technology staff is highly experienced in fare policy and technology research, fare modeling and restructuring, and advanced technology and regional system analysis and design. We have led a number of state-of-the-art research efforts on various aspects of fare policy, structure and technology, under the Transit Cooperative Research Program. We have also conducted many fare restructuring/modeling studies for transit agencies across the US, as well as performing fare technology analysis and design efforts for transit agencies, regional planning agencies and the federal government. Our fare system experts will help you address ridership, revenue and other agency goals through the use of innovative fare policies and the latest payment technologies.
TranSystems serves transit clients across the country, from municipal planning organizations, to transit authorities to the FTA. We have written several studies for the Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP), including Multipurpose Transit Payment Media, Fare Policies, Structures, and Technologies and A Toolkit for Self-Service Barrier-Free Fare Collection.