-  Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Mass Transit is Critical to Modernized Communities

Technology infrastructure, better-flowing transit systems, and green outdoor spaces—more and more cities are exploring ways to modernize in ways that create equitable opportunities for all residents. Topping the list of priorities is creating an efficient, accessible, affordable mass transit system. Improvements that make it easier for riders to purchase rides, catch their train on time or avoid bus delays can boost revenue for the transit agency and save money for local governments – research shows as much as $277 billion by 2025.1 Getting people where they need to go quickly and efficiently is paramount to achieving a modern, smart city so transit agencies must align closely with local government to implement systems that will attract new residents, businesses, and tourism. 

Public Finance Experts Are On Board

U.S. Bank, in collaboration with Longitude, a Financial Times Company,  interviewed financial leaders from 60 public sector organizations to find out how they want to evolve their payment acceptance strategies to modernize their community. For transit agencies, strategies that simplify the payment process for riders, provide secure payment records, reduce wait times, and enhance the overall rider experience are critical.  

Digital Payments Drive Satisfaction

Nearly half (47%) of the government finance executives surveyed say they are expanding the range of digital payment options they offer to citizens. Respondents’ payment priorities include a secure record of payment (48%), the ability to pay using contactless cards and digital wallets (37%), and quick payment options that reduce wait times for public transit (38%). Digital payments improve rider experience by making paying faster and more convenient. And they improve operations by speeding up service during peak periods since digital payments are quicker to collect than cash.

As cities work to attract new business and boost resident satisfaction, many are exploring a smart city approach that emphasizes digital connectivity. Integrating connected technology can provide residents with amenities they expect, like citywide WiFi and 5G mobile networks. It can also give mass transit agencies valuable data that can drive efficiency, cost-savings, and climate-friendly operations. Agencies can use that data to help reduce traffic congestion, monitor climate impact, and predict transit usage. For city and municipal governments looking at improving their residents' overall quality of life, implementing technology that supports contactless payments is a vital first step.

Government agencies and organization across all sectors—housing, transportation, public utilities, and more—are transforming their payment acceptance methods to provide a better experience for citizens, improve daily business operations, and create resilient, adaptable infrastructure for future generations. Mass transit agencies must be a part of this evolution to keep up with rider expectations and position themselves as an integral part of modernized communities.

Transforming Transit For A Thriving Future

The push for equitable access to public transportation is accelerating. Recently, more than  50 public, private and nonprofit groups signed on to the Shared Mobility 2030 Action Agenda2,  an initiative to create more shared mobility options, like public transit, micro-transit, and micro-mobility operations. And the benefits of modernizing city transit options can have a significant impact on the environment as well. Offering contactless payment options make it easier to use public transportation, boosting ridership and reducing environmental pollution.  

 As climate change, hybrid work environments, and cost of living concerns accelerate the push for flexible, safe, affordable public transportation, mass transit agencies that focus on expanding their payments strategies can stay ahead of the curve—and be an integral part of modernized communities that work for everyone.

Interested in more insights about how payments transformation can expand choice and modernize your community? Read the report.


  1. https://otonomo.io/blog/smart-cities-transportation-systems/
  2. https://www.govtech.com/fs/shared-use-mobility-center-sets-2030-action-agenda