The Varying Global Response to Fare Policy Reform in the Smart Card Era

Smart cards have become an increasingly popular medium for public transportation ticketing. This article summarizes findings from a study of 65 cities throughout the world examining the impact of smart card technology on fare policies. Survey respondents represent 30 European cities, 9 Asian cities, 12 North American cities, and 14 from the rest of the world. The findings show a complex relationship between various factors that affect fare and ticketing policies, and divergent trends in how transport authorities and operators have adapted to the smart card era. Nearly all of the survey respondents already have or plan to have a smart card system. The technology in general has been used conservatively in Europe, where there have been no radical moves away from preexisting trends toward simplification and greater fare integration. In parts of Asia, however, the smart card has been used more frequently as a means to introduce a degree of demand management to urban transport through time of day pricing. Asian cities show more advancement towards interoperability across systems and towards an extension to nontransit applications. The traditional smart card is expected to remain important in future procurements, and near field communications technology is thought to be the most likely path for future development.

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  • Authors:
    • Hobbs, Geoff
    • Pourbaix, Jerome
  • Publication Date: 2009-7


  • English

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  • Accession Number: 01147915
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Nov 1 2009 3:23PM