As the concept of Mobility-as-a-Service gains momentum across the world, public transport users in Pakistan are increasingly looking ahead to an interconnected, unified digital service that allows them to plan, book, and pay ahead of time for all modes of transportation, according to a study by Visa, the world’s leader in digital payments.
The insights from Visa’s recently launched ‘Future of Urban Mobility Survey’ in Pakistan, which is part of a global study conducted in 12 markets among 11,500 survey audience, aim to better understand what matters to transit users today and what they want the future of transit to look like.
The survey includes questions about how often they use public transit, why they use it, and what they expect in terms of new payment methods, among others.
According to the findings, 33 percent of the survey audience in Pakistan use public transit services as their primary form of transportation. Pakistanis mainly use public transport for leisure activities such as dining, shopping, and spending time with friends (53 percent), work-related travel (42 percent), and commuting to office and back (38 percent).
Umar Khan, Country Manager for Pakistan, Visa, commented: “Public transport plays a vital role in how people travel within Pakistan, whether it is for work or leisure. By breaking down barriers and integrating services, public transit services can empower individuals regardless of age, ability or socioeconomic status. Providing newer modes of transit services with capped fares, enabling contactless payments and integrating all these services within a single digital platform would significantly elevate economic growth, while providing safety and security to the public”.
Key Findings of the Future of Urban Mobility Survey
The results reveal key aspects of mobility within Pakistan and factors that drive empowerment in public transport users.
Contactless payments enablement
Visa’s Future of Urban Mobility Survey in Pakistan found that 95 percent of commuters expect contactless payment options to be available on public transit. Furthermore, 53 percent of the survey audience believe contactless payments significantly save time, due to faster transactions, add convenience (49 percent), and are easy to use and learn (43 percent). Going forward, transit users surveyed are more likely (42 percent) to use contactless payment (debit or credit) either physically or in a digital wallet for transit rides.
Single payment system adoption
Currently, 70 percent of commuters in Pakistan use four or more payment methods to pay for transport. As 57 percent of the survey audience expressed their intent to use public transport more frequently in the coming 12 months, the speed, security, and ease of use of a unified payment system become crucial for creating a seamless travel experience.
The findings also reveal that with a single payment method covering all transport expenses, 54 percent of the survey audience would be likely to try different forms of public transit.
More importantly, 59 percent of the survey audience feels this would enable them to plan, book, and pay ahead of time for all modes of transportation through a single platform.
Provision of newer modes of transport
As transport systems undergo further development due to rapid urbanization, cities in Pakistan have already started looking at multiple modes of transportation for inter-city travel.
The use of contactless payments and single platforms offering varied modes of transit rides provide commuters with convenient, hassle-free, easily accessible, and innovative solutions to choose public transit instead of private vehicles. A single payment platform would entice 45 percent of the survey audience to use public transit more days in the week than they do at present.
Fare caps & journey time reduction
Payment options such as fare-capping represent an important opportunity for transit operators to serve as many riders as possible. Fare-capping limits how much a rider pays for their total rides in a day, week, or month, eliminating the need to tie up funds on a monthly pass or transit-dedicated card. According to the survey, more than half of the survey audience (57 percent) believes they would use public transport more often if fares were capped.
In Pakistan, 48 percent of riders ranked faster journey times as one of the top motivators that would encourage them to use transit more often. Fare capping can help speed up the boarding process by alleviating confusion over how to pay for newer riders.
Tapping into modern technology is a crucial milestone for public transit in Pakistan. The Future of Urban Mobility Survey provides salient research that helps to integrate innovative ways to ride and provide a seamless, interconnected experience for transport users.