The simple act of paying to board mass transit can add significant stress to the daily commute. A new survey released today by MasterCard Worldwide finds that many of the top frustrations cited by U.S. commuters have to do with how they pay and that a majority recognize the benefits contactless payments can provide to improve the commuting experience.
The online survey, conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of MasterCard between November 21 and December 6, 2011 among 1607 adults across seven major U.S. cities, evaluated common pain points transit riders have experienced when relying on cash to pay for their trip:
- Nearly two-thirds of U.S. commuters who use cash for mass transit (65 percent) worry about not having enough cash on hand to pay for their trip, while more than one-third (36 percent) have actually been unable to take mass transit because they did not have enough cash on hand.
- More than two in five U.S. commuters (44 percent) have missed a bus, train or subway while waiting in line to buy or add money onto a fare card.
- Two-in-five riders who use cash for mass transit (42 percent) say worrying about needing correct change is one of their top frustrations when paying for their commute.
“The grind of the daily commute should not be compounded by the way you pay just to ride mass transit,” said Catherine Murchie, Senior Vice President, MasterCard Worldwide. “From our survey, we know that commuters want a better way to buy their fare and open-loop contactless payment options such as MasterCard PayPass eliminate the need to wait in line, fumble for exact change or carry multiple fare cards so that it easier to board and be on your way.”
When presented with the option to use a contactless payment option instead of cash on their daily commute, riders were clear in their desire for a better way to pay. Of those who take multiple modes of mass transit each day, three-quarters (75 percent) wish there was one payment card that could be used to access all mass transit systems near or within their local city. Two thirds of riders (66 percent) say they would be likely to use a Tap & Go form of payment to pay for mass transit if it were an option to them. Nearly half of all commuters (47 percent) say they would use their mobile phone to pay for mass transit.
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