More Australians would use public transport if paying was easier
Two-thirds of us would be willing to tap and pay for all public transport.
A global study into the future of transportation by Visa has found that 61% of Australians would increase their use of public transport if paying for it was easier. The study also found that we are surprisingly open to innovation in order to improve our transport experience, including using facial recognition technology and Bluetooth to track our journey and automatically charge us.
The Future of Transportation: Mobility in the Age of the Megacity study surveyed 19,884 consumers from 19 countries including Australia and we were found to have the highest reliance on cars in the world, with 72% of us using this to drive to and from work, school or university. It also found we have a number of gripes with public transport. Our biggest points of frustration were the long queues to purchase fares (46%), not knowing how much the ticket cost (42%), needing different tickets for different modes of transport (39%) and having to top up or prepay a travel card (32%).
Visa's study shows Australians are very open to innovation in public transport to improve their experience. 67% said they may be prepared to share data and location information on movements while travelling if it was used to improve their travel and 54% would be willing to try a system using technology such as Bluetooth or facial recognition that automatically recognised you and charged you for your journey.
Visa's head of product for Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific Axel Boye-Moller said the future success of our cities is intertwined with and reliant on the future of transportation and Visa's study identified "clear areas of opportunity".
"A good example is payment – 61% of Australians said easier payment would increase their use of public transport. We've already seen good progress made in this area through our partnership with Transport for NSW, with commuters now able to tap to pay on Sydney ferries, light rail and trains," Boye-Moller said.
Transport NSW introduced contactless as a payment method on Sydney trains in November 2018 following a successful trial. Public Transport Victoria is currently conducting a contactless smartphone payment trial for its myki users. Visa's study, which surveyed Sydney and Melbourne commuters to represent Australia, found 64% would also be willing to pay with a debit or credit contactless card for all public transport.
"As our cities grow and develop, we see an important role for Visa and our partners to support transport authorities in continuing to build sustainable and convenient solutions," said Boye-Moller.