Public transport networks are under increasing pressure to provide further efficiencies. The global economic climate means that passengers cannot tolerate rising fares and governments are reluctant to provide additional subsidies to improve services. One simple way to improve a network is to add a transport management system to it. This provides further cost efficiencies without impacting on frontline services.
The Requirements of a Transport Management System Reduce Cash Handling
Cash handling is a nightmare. It opens up the possibilities of theft, fraud, human error and more. It’s time consuming and expensive on the administration. A transport management system should utilize smart cards that can be charged at specific terminals, which eliminates most of the cash handling currently done on networks.
Reduce Manual Checks
Manual checking of tickets is expensive. The more resources you deploy to check tickets at access points, the more money you’re spending. If your smart cards are linked to the gateways (doors on buses, turnstiles on platforms, etc.) then you can check the ticket automatically without any human intervention. That’s a practical cost saving without making access to the network easier for the ticket cheat.
Increase Cash Flow
One of the major benefits of a transport management system is that customers pay for services in advance. People tend to charge their smart cards for multiple journeys. There’s more cash flowing into the network’s accounts, meaning increased cash flow. That increased cash flow may also attract increased interest payments on those accounts and that’s healthier for profitability.
Mixed Network Use
Another requirement for those areas where multiple networks might be utilized on a commuter journey is that the system be compatible with each network. This allows for customer convenience without unnecessary barriers to access. It also provides a level of surety in case there is a consolidation between two networks in the future. Smart card systems can provide huge benefits to networks looking to improve their profitability or to invest in other services – without compromising on passenger experience, security or safety.