Shared-Use Mobility Center Releases “Seamless Payments for Complete Trips”, December 2020

  • Date Launched: Dec 1, 2020
  • Dates given are approximate.


Shared-Use Mobility Center (SUMC) has released Seamless Payments for Complete Trips: A Guide for Transit Agencies, a white paper that explores fare payment systems and offers recommendations to transit agencies that can approve their customers’ experiences.

In the white paper, SUMC explores case studies that employ integration through card-based systems and others that use integration through account-based systems. A card-based system is where the fare value is carried on the fare media itself, whereas an account-based system is where fare media are used to associate travelers with information held in a separate account, but no value is carried on the fare media itself.

Through exploring cases studies of card-based systems in the Montreal, Seattle, and Los Angeles regions and account-based systems in the Chicago, Dallas, and Portland regions, key observations are made:

  1. Fare payment systems are a means to harmonize transit operations.
  2. Fare payment systems can be a means to harmonize transit with shared mobility.
  3. Upgrades to fare payment systems can take on various forms as mobile technologies have matured.

Based on the research,the paper issues the following recommendations:

  1. Community needs and characteristics should drive payment solutions.
  2. Desired outcomes and adaptability should drive payment system partnerships.
  3. Mobility services that support agency goals should be the priority for payment integration.

New technologies in both the shared mobility and transit industries have the potential to simplify peoples’ trips in and across separate transportation systems. Many communities have already made significant progress but new challenges lie ahead; by approaching this challenge systematically, transit agencies can become the go-to source for unbiased mobility information and payment transactions for all travelers.

Last updated March 19, 2021

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