Mobile tickets drive public transport growth in Copenhagen
As an analyst it's always good/fascinating/reassuring (choose one or more of the above) when real market performance confirms your own conclusions. In this case the data comes from Copenhagen. Bus, train and subway (metro) passengers grew in number by 4.1% in 2010 over 2009. Now you might suggest to me that this is not a very exciting statistic. Except, however, if you're interested (like me) in mobile ticketing for transport. That's because much of the growth in numbers was attributed to the success of the SMS mobile ticketing scheme. In fact, 30% of cash ticket sales are now bought by mobile. One of the drivers that we identified for mobile ticketing was "Convenience and user demand". Equally and closely related we also believe that queue busting is another factor. Sounds obvious enough but passengers arrive at their point of departure with their ticket in their possession. This results in reduced length of queues at ticket booths and faster throughput of passengers at entry gates. Also the transition from cash payments is significant. Cash has several inherent risks and time consuming aspects including risk of loss and theft, time to count it, errors that creep in when counting it, taking it to the bank etc etc. That's not to mention that passengers don't have to fumble for change. So here we have an example of SMS ticketing having an impact on the operations of a transport company. There are several more examples of this in both Scandinavia, Central and Eastern Europe and elsewhere. For widespread usage, SMS is the key in ticketing, just as it is for banking and other commerce applications.