Be smart with procurements to ensure effective, reliable mobile ticketing applications, says Federal Transit Administration.

A state-of-the-practice assessment discussed best-practices for agencies implementing mobile ticketing, as well as moving through several case studies.


Background (Show)

Lesson Learned

The report noted the benefits of mobile ticketing, including the ability for increased flexibility from the agency’s end in issuing incentives and refunds. However, agencies must first design and deploy such services. One interviewee noted in the report discussed the advantages of agencies implementing mobile ticketing and payment platforms, noting that mobile ticketing apps could be cost-effective and affordable even for small agencies.
  • Care should be taken with the procurement process, as agencies must be clear with their needs and expectations for vendors. The assessment noted that software procurements are very different from conventional transit procurement, as it requires ongoing development and support. It recommended ensuring vendors were engaged under 5- to 10-year contracts that defined key performance benchmarks, service agreements, transaction estimates with upper and lower annual ranges, and clear cost parameters for transactions and support. It should emphasize customer-facing functionality and seamless updating to ensures smooth operation.
  • Transit agencies seeking to upgrade MPI services should make use of the Public-Private Partnership (P3) principles of risk-sharing and incentivising continued quality performance. This includes due-diligence practices for ensuring that the selected integration team is financially stable. The assessment includes a detailed breakdown of several major agencies’ contracts with software/P3 procurements.
  • Using third-party solutions instead of "in-house" apps allows agencies can avoid costly and complicated development time. Agencies that have developed their own apps are also responsible for ensuring that they remain updated and usable for many different operating systems and phone models, which can be challenging and expensive. Additionally, in-house apps are usually not as feature-rich as third-party solutions.
  • Agencies should make their full range of services available on the app, to maximize the potential customer base and to make the app relevant and useful to as many users as possible. This does not significantly increase the required level of staff support, and poses a significant reduction in complexity for customers, who are able to have a consistent user experience.

Lesson Comments

No comments posted to date

Comment on this Lesson

To comment on this lesson, fill in the information below and click on submit. An asterisk (*) indicates a required field. Your name and email address, if provided, will not be posted, but are to contact you, if needed to clarify your comments.


Mobility Payment Integration: State-of-the-Practice Scan

Author: Bartinique, I.,and J. Hassol

Published By: U.S. DOT Federal Transit Administration

Source Date: 10/01/2019

Other Reference Number: FTA Report No. 0143

URL: https://rosap.ntl.bts.gov/view/dot/42672

Other Lessons From this Source

Lesson Contacts

Lesson Analyst:

Ned Schweikert


Average User Rating

0 ( ratings)

Rate this Lesson

(click stars to rate)

Lesson Categories

None defined


None defined


None defined

Focus Areas

None defined

Goal Areas



None defined

Lesson ID: 2020-00953