Ticketing trends
23-Jan-2024 17:52:20
by James Gooch

Ticketing Trends: Fare Payments-as-a-Service, Open Payments, and Account-Based Ticketing Accelerate

In a world where digital transformation, convenience, equity, and accessibility are paramount, public transportation agencies face the challenges of keeping up with rapidly evolving technology and customer expectations.

This is where Masabi steps in. Last year saw journeys using Masabi’s Justride platform increase by over 50% while Account-Based Ticketing journeys increased by over 75%!

Our pioneering Fare Payments-as-a-Service (FPaaS) model (which has now been adopted by most of the other major vendors in the industry) is helping agencies move away from expensive, locked-in, one-off ticketing solutions towards more cost-effective, innovative, open, and easy-to-manage (multi-agency) platforms.

It's a testament to our and our partner's commitment to our mission and the result is that agencies can put more money into running services (SaaS platforms are 40%-70% more cost-effective than bespoke systems) to help attract more people to ride public transit. This in turn helps reduce congestion and pollution, while the reduction in the system management burden allows agency teams to focus on delivering better rider experiences instead of managing and administering their fare collection solution.

Masabi’s Justride platform supports all 200 agencies signed up to the same (multi-agency) platform. (That’s the secret sauce.) Quite simply, Justride processes more fares than any other FPaaS platform in the market (over $1B in 2023!). This means agencies can be sure it’s a robust, reliable, and secure enterprise-grade solution proven in even the largest cities at scale. 

PS. Did you know - Justride processes around 20X more fares than our nearest SaaS Account-Based Ticketing platform competitor in the US? 
(At the time of writing based on fare revenue modeling.)



Trends from last year...


New Open Payment (cEMV) Launches: Skybus and RTC Las Vegas

One of the most exciting developments last year was the launch of our Open Payments (cEMV) platform with Skybus. Skybus, known for its swift and convenient airport transit services in Australia, Skybus-blogheader_Skybus-blog-Photo-2launched Masabi's state-of-the-art contactless payment solution in just a few months. While in the heart of the bustling city of Las Vegas, the Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) of Southern Nevada has also embraced Open Payments. This implementation marks a significant transformation in how residents and tourists navigate the vibrant streets of Las Vegas. We know we are going to see a lot more agencies going live with Open Payments in 2024.

PS. Did you know - Justride is the only full FPaaS platform live with Open Payments in the US?
(At the time of writing. Based on analysis of market news and on deployments using stand-alone validators.)



EZfare Account-Based Ticketing Roll-Out Adds Laketran and METRO, powered by Masabi (2)

Account-Based Ticketing (& Fare Capping) Accelerates: Denver RTD, Las Vegas RTC, Laketran, Mountain Metro Transit & Akron METRO  

Denver's Regional Transportation District (RTD) has embraced Masabi's Account-Based Ticketing (ABT) module and turned on fare capping, marking a significant shift in how Denverites rtd myride 2023-04-11 at 15.26.37use public transit. The system saw increased adoption in 2023 and allows passengers to use a mobile app or a smart card to simply tap to travel without needing to buy tickets or select fares before boarding.

The EZfare system, a regional solution across 5 states, has also expanded its capabilities with successful ABT launches with three transit agencies: PARTA, Laketran, and Akron METRO, enhancing accessibility and convenience. Mountain Metro Transit MMT announcement header(MMT) has also joined the wave of digital transformation with its launch of ABT, along with the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC) which took an innovative approach by initiating mobile-only ABT functionality that fully supports cash riders.

PS. Did you know - Justride processes more Account-Based Ticketing fares than any SaaS platform in the US? 
(At the time of writing based on our analysis of fare revenue modeling.) 



traintime justride copy 2

Mobile Ticketing Moving Forward: New York MTA’s LIRR and MNR, Pittsburgh, National Express, Halifax, Knoxville, Potenza, Utah and More

Last year was a pivotal year for advancing mobile ticketing systems worldwide. Various transit agencies across the globe have embraced digital solutions to enhance passenger experiences, improve operational efficiency, and modernize fare collection.

In 2023, The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad in New York saw increased adoption of the revamped TrainTime app, a significant development for one of the world's busiest transit systems and powered by Masabi’s Justride Rider SDK.

National Express West Midlands (UK)  enhanced its Blog-Image-NXRelease-V1-04customer experience with the introduction of a mobile ticketing scanning system, upgrading the boarding process, and reducing wait times.

In Italy, Miccolis the bus operator for Potenza launched a state-of-the-art mobile ticketing app and validation, including for their public escalator service!Masabi_Potenza_Hero_image_2500x1200pxpx-02

The Utah Transit Authority (UTA) also joined the Justride family with mobile ticketing in the Transit app, together with Knoxville Area Transit and UTA launch image- resizeJackson Wyoming’s Southern Teton Area Rapid Transit (START).  Over 35 agencies across North America now use the Transit app to sell tickets using Masabi's Justride Rider SDK.

masabi-VIA-image-BB-2Uber's collaboration with the Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) and VIA Metropolitan Transit has also been a groundbreaking development allowing riders to purchase tickets in the Uber app!

While in Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh Regional Transit deployed mobile ticketing and validators across light rail completing a system-wide rollout. 


In Canada, Halifax Transit made significant strides by Halifaxlaunching its own agency-branded Justride mobile ticketing application. But that’s not the only advancement in Canada in 2023…

PS. Did you know - Justride’s open approach means it has more mobile ticketing integrations into 3rd-party mobility and MaaS apps than any other vendor? 
(At the time of writing based on analysis of the market.)




Regional Expansion: Broadening the Reach of Public Transit in Canada and the US

2023 has been a year of significant regional expansion, particularly in North America. This expansion not only enhances connectivity between different agencies but also reflects a growing commitment we are seeing across the industry to improving the public transportation experience for riders across regions.

In Canada, four agencies joined forces to form a regional agency called Niagara Region Transit and EZfare saw the expansion into a 5th state (West Virginia) for the Kanawha Valley Regional Transportation Authority.



Justride Product Enhancements

We can’t include the hundreds of feature updates made last year, so here are some of the highlights. The year 2023 has seen significant strides in product enhancements ranging from family accounts to specialized validators and partner portals. These are not just technological upgrades but also pivotal steps toward making public transit more accessible, efficient, and user-friendly. Let's delve into these enhancements and some of the agencies where they are currently operational.


Family Accounts

The Regional Transportation District (RTD) in Denver introduced Family Accounts, a noteworthy enhancement to their fare collection system. This feature allows a primary account holder to add and manage multiple users within a single account, greatly simplifying the process for families or groups traveling together. Family Accounts were also launched for RTS in Rochester, COTA, and in Potenza.

PS. Did you know - Justride is the only FPaaS platform live with Family Account functionality? 
(At the time of writing based on market analysis and research.)


Light Rail Validators

Pittsburgh's light rail system saw the introduction of new light rail certified validators. These devices, installed at various stations, enable passengers to easily validate their tickets or passes before boarding, streamlining the boarding process and reducing congestion during peak travel times.

Fire island ferries (1920 × 1080 px) (3)

Platform Validators

Fire Island Ferries implemented platform validators, a significant upgrade to their fare collection infrastructure. These validators allow passengers to quickly validate their tickets before boarding, enhancing the efficiency of the transit system and providing a more seamless travel experience for commuters and tourists alike.

partner portal transparent

New Partner Portal

A significant enhancement in administrative and operational efficiency is the introduction of the new Partner Portal, now live with the Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA), Regional Transportation District (RTD), and Niagara Region Transit (NRT). This portal provides a centralized platform for managing concessions for the agencies and their partners. This tool is a game-changer for transit agencies, offering streamlined operations and improved service delivery.



Enhancing Fare Equity

Enhancing equity in public transportation is crucial for agencies. Fare Capping plays a significant role in this by democratizing access to fare discounts, traditionally available only through weekly or monthly passes, by offering discounts based on usage, not on the ability to purchase a pass in advance and it's great to see so many agencies embrace this in 2023 (see ABT section).

Additionally, our partnership with InComm Payments enables users nationwide to load cash at thousands of retailers, further increasing transportation accessibility and equity for all. As well as this, our partnership with Cash App allows Cash App users to deposit cash at select retail stores to add funds that can be used to purchase tickets or ‘scan to ride’ in our agency's applications.


Looking Ahead

2023 saw significant advances in agencies moving away from bespoke solutions and the adoption of modular and open Fare Payments-as-a-Service platforms to deliver fare collection innovations such as Account-Based Ticketing, Open payments, and ticketing in MaaS apps, helping make public transportation easier to choose and use. We think 2024 will see a lot more agencies doing the same helping drive equity, convenience, and accessibility.

Interested in learning more? Schedule a demo with our experts and let them guide you through Masabi's platform and the latest technology and trends in the market.


Written by James Gooch

Head of Marketing at Masabi.
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