Modeling Transit Rider Preferences for Contactless Bank Cards as Fare Media Transport for London and the Chicago, Illinois, Transit Authority

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - bus, place - europe, place - north america, technology - ticketing systems


contactless bank cards, fares, London, Chicago


Several transit agencies are considering the acceptance of contactless credit and debit cards directly at turnstiles and bus fareboxes. With the expertise and scale economies of the payments industry, agencies may reduce fare collection costs and improve regional interoperability and ease of use. Given these possible advantages, transit agencies want to understand rider demand for this new fare medium. Transit rider preferences for contactless bank cards were evaluated at two major public transit agencies, Transport for London and the Chicago Transit Authority in Illinois. Stated preference survey results from both transit agencies were analyzed, and discrete choice models for fare medium preference were used to assess factors influencing the demand for contactless bank cards. The results showed that approximately 33% of riders in London and 36% of riders in Chicago preferred contactless bank cards over current fare media. Although trends in ridership groups were not strong, a few key factors influenced the choice of fare medium. Riders at both transit agencies who had credit or debit cards tended to prefer contactless bank cards; likewise, younger riders showed a preference for contactless bank cards in both London and Chicago. The results appeared to align with sociology models for consumer adoption of new technologies.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Transportation Research Board, Washington, copyright remains with them.