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

A mobile fare app is an application that public transit riders use to purchase and access public transportation services. As the number of transit agencies using mobile fare apps increase each year, different business models are being deployed, while costs vary significantly. A transit system that decides that they will include a mobile fare app in their fare payment offering needs to consider the different business models that are available. The objective of this synthesis is to analyze the current business models that transit systems use for the services that they provide. The business models described should include: Type of platform (software as a service, federated platform business services), one-time costs, on-going costs, Single agency and multi-agencies, Single mode or multi-modes, Public private partnerships, Contract terms (merchant processing, revenue sharing vs. fixed fees, customer support, etc.), Payment methods (credit card, debit card, retail partnerships, etc.), Infrastructure options (onboard validators, flashpass, Be in/Be Out, etc.), Business performance metrics (revenue share, number of downloads, number of ticket sales, number of accounts, etc.), Time to market, and Marketing, penetration and customer satisfaction. In addition, the synthesis should investigate: Suite of products associated with the app ( fare evasion, web sales, traveler tools, etc.), Equity and accessibility, Lessons learned, Program interface (API,SDKs, etc.), and Road map for the future ( integration with mobility services, emerging technologies). Information will be gathered by literature review that includes international sources, and a survey of geographically diverse, large, medium and small transit agencies operating multiple modes and currently utilizing a mobile fare app. 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: Active
  • 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

  • Performing Organizations:

    University of Tennessee, Knoxville

    Knoxville, TN  United States 
  • Principal Investigators:

    Brakewood, Candace

  • Start Date: 20180928
  • 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