Synthesis of Information Related to Transit Practices. Topic SA-46. Mobile Fare APPs Business Models

As the number of mobile fare apps double each year, different business models are being deployed, integration with existing fare collection systems and shared use mobility partners are underway, costs vary significantly, and the industry is expanding and consolidating. This study should examine the following topics: (1) business models used by agencies; (2) costs (one time and on-going) for each business model identified; (3) fare structures and policies (including modes supported); (4) mobile technologies; (5) proof of access (QR, animation, NFC emulation, passive through Be in/Be Out); (6) app type (SMS, native by device, mobile development environment) and whether they: (a) Are universally designed for use by all populations including low income, seniors, persons with disabilities; (b) Are designed to work as a downloadable application and through a web-browser that is mobile enabled so customers who have smartphone but are unable to download apps can still use the application. (This also allows for call centers to process customers' requests.); (c) Whether the applications provide customers with an open and integrated payment platform, connecting along all mobility modes such as specialized transportation services like NEMT, paratransit and other transportation benefit funded programs at federal, state and local levels; (d) Whether applications are designed with open API concepts, allowing for seamless integration via open SDKs. This in addition to leveraging any existing proprietary and non-proprietary systems. (7) handsets supported; (8) operations, maintenance (patches, security, etc); (9) Back office technology (tools/infrastructure); (10) operations and maintenance resources/costs; (11) customer satisfaction, penetration and use; and (12) performance metrics, reporting and data collection. Information will be gathered by literature review and a survey of selected urban regional and geographically diverse, large, medium and small transit agencies currently utilizing mobile fare apps. At least five case write-ups representing different business models will be developed. The final report will document gaps in knowledge and research needs.


  • English


  • Status: Proposed
  • Funding: $45000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project J-07, Topic SA-46

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Transit Cooperative Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC    20001

    Federal Transit Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Garcia-Colberg, Mariela

  • Start Date: 20180820
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01673592
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project J-07, Topic SA-46
  • Files: TRB, RiP
  • Created Date: Jun 25 2018 3:03PM