Title

TRANSIT PREPAYMENT CHALLENGES: FACTORS INFLUENCING CUSTOMERS' WILLINGNESS TO PURCHASE HIGH-VALUE TICKETS

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

1999

Subject Area

planning - surveys, planning - marketing/promotion, planning - signage/information, policy - fares, technology - ticketing systems, mode - mass transit

Keywords

Transit, Surveys, San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District, Recommendations, Public transit, Mass transit, Marketing, Local transit, Information dissemination, Focus groups, Fare prepayment, Discount fares, Decision making, Customers

Abstract

Despite the availability of, and benefits associated with, prepaid stored-value fare cards, many transit riders continue to select traditional single-ride or round-trip tickets for payment of their fares. At the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART), an effort was made to assess why many riders select low-value fare instruments and to evaluate potential actions to increase the share of riders buying higher-value tickets. The qualitative and quantitative research techniques utilized at BART to explore this issue are described. Focus groups were conducted to identify important decision-making factors, which were later quantified through a telephone survey. Fear of losing high-value tickets coupled with a lack of information regarding the availability of these tickets appears to limit high-value ticket sales. Some possible approaches to encouraging the purchase of high-value tickets may include a last-ride-free feature and increased awareness of the availability of discount tickets at off-site sales outlets. This study provides insight into the decision-making process of customers when purchasing stored-value tickets and can help inform the policy-making process regarding ticket systems.