Why Open Standards for Transit?

Protecting against security threats. Reducing costs. Increasing ridership. Supporting new NFC mobile devices—transit authorities the world over are challenged to achieve these seemingly conflicting goals. Public transit users have 21st-century service expectations but a lack of globally agreed-upon standards for fare collection systems have hampered agencies' and operators' abilities to adopt new technology that keeps pace with today's demands:

  • Need for better security: Hackers have successfully overcome legacy security measures, opening the door to attacks on fare collection systems worldwide with reduced revenues from cloned cards. In addition, new payment schemes and government regulations are demanding advanced security measures. Migration to next-generation solutions is the only way to increase security while providing flexibility for future security enhancements.

  • Need for more flexibility: Single-vendor technologies limit transit operators' flexibility to implement new applications that can improve customer convenience, generate new revenue, or streamline operations. Until now, a lack of competition has thwarted innovation and cost-competitiveness.

  • Need to reduce costs: With only a few, proprietary solutions in the market, costs remain high, and systems are costly and time-consuming to upgrade or expand. Integration with essential operations systems is difficult or impossible, preventing efficiency gains that would reduce operations costs.

Either currently in operation, under construction, or planned for building—today's transit systems represent an opportunity for the transit industry to move from costly proprietary fare collection systems to highly efficient, secure fare collection applications that reduce costs and simplify management.

Open Standards Benefit Transit Operators

  • Reduce operations costs and lost opportunity cost
  • Provides proven, advanced security measures that reduce risk
  • Simplify migration to efficient new solutions while preserving investment in existing fare collection solutions
  • No overall cost penalty to upgrade

Open Standards Benefit Transit Consultants and Integrators

  • More cost-effective options for customers: Offer solutions that increase return on investment, lower operations costs, and reduce risk
  • New opportunities to help customers expand and enhance fare collection systems
  • Ability to help customers improve security
  • Simplifies solution development and deployment
  • Faster time to market for new solutions

Open Standards Benefit Government Agencies

  • Reduce system operations costs over time
  • Ability to increase security
  • Ability to migrate to open-standards solutions with no cost penalty

Open Standards Benefit Fare Collection Solution Providers

  • Can develop broader product offerings to expand market
  • Accelerate solution development and deployment with more re-usable code and consistency
  • Differentiate applications and services based on functionality