The revolution will come by road or by rail

Last updated: 20 March 2014

Sometimes, in this crazy life, time stops for a while. People spend more and more time on public transport, where all you have to do is just… wait.

Did you know that people spend on average 2 hours 20 minutes per day commuting, according to Ericsson ConsumerLab?

So, if you’re a commuter, how do you spend that time: reading, sleeping, talking, watching the landscape fly past? Or for almost-digital native people like me… killing time with your cell phone?

While I appreciate downtime, I also like being connected. With my mobile phone I can listen to music, check the latest news, read my emails, play with a game. Connected devices are changing the habits of city travelers and, despite what you hear about people liking to switch off when traveling, there is actually growing demand for mobile WiFi by commuters, who want to be connected when on a bus or train.

A survey by Accenture earlier this year across several thousand city travelers also shows that three out of four people are keen on ticketless travel to ease their travels and an overwhelming majority (92%) would welcome this technological breakthrough.

Rail ticketing has already gone digital in certain cities but there’s a bigger dream that I have for city transportation.

As an occasional commuter myself, I hate checking if I have enough cash to pay the bus driver. Or having to stand in line for the ticket machine at the Metro station. Do you know what I really want ? Let me download a transport app onto my mobile device, select the best ticket for my journey and pay with a few clicks. This would make my life much easier!

On top of that, imagine being able to pass through the gate using near-field communications (NFC) technology – you’d definitely consider having bought this NFC phone was a good decision.

With real-time information integrated in the service, there would be little need to wait for the bus or train connection. And even if there are delays, I can use my mobile device to entertain myself or enjoy promotional content offered by NFC-enabled posters.

Imagine also having tailored offers sent directly to your device, for example mobile coupons or incentives to stop by a clothing store or new restaurant in your vicinity, as your device picks up your movements. The mobile or transport operators can send you appropriate marketing offers making a difference.

All these services may look futuristic but they aren’t! Technology providers like Gemalto have the solutions to enable this new enjoyable experience in mass transit now. Ask your transport company when they plan to revolutionize your life!

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