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Mass Transit Safety and Efficiency

3 Key Areas Where Contactless Authentication Can Impact Safety and Efficiency of Mass Transit

As mass transit systems worldwide embrace digitalization, traditional methods such as cash, paper tickets, and card-based transactions must be updated. As security is increasingly becoming a growing concern for public safety, accessibility, and efficiency, the mass transit industry is looking at how contactless authentication can become a more comprehensive solution.

The digital ticketing market is estimated to grow to $1.7 billion by 2025, indicating a global growth spurt. In fact, 80 percent of cities in the U.S. have indicated an intention to adopt some method of contactless payments in their public transportation.

Let’s explore three critical areas where contactless authentication, powered by cutting-edge proximity technology like LISNR’s Radius SDK, can be a conduit to enhance mass transit safety and operations. 

TLDR; Key Takeaways:

  • The evolution of contactless authentication technologies is crucial for a secure, efficient, and user-friendly mass transit future.
  • Cities and transit systems can use contactless payment methods to enhance efficiency and provide a more frictionless, accessible experience in anticipation of widespread growth.
  • Innovative technologies like behavioral authentication, AI, and ultrasonic proximity detection can improve mass transit security by identifying emerging threats and unusual behaviors, ensuring a safer transit environment.
  • Remote access control technologies enhance safety and streamline operations by effectively managing access to transit facilities.


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Top 3 Use Cases for Contactless Authentication in Mass Transit

In an era where safety and efficiency are non-negotiable, contactless authentication emerges as a reliable solution for mass transit operations.

A whopping 94 percent of riders expect their local transit system to offer a contactless payment method, and another 63 percent strongly expect them to be provided in the near future.

Let’s explore how this innovative technology addresses key challenges and revolutionizes how we navigate the mass transit landscape.

1. Behavioral Authentication for Enhanced Security

Behavioral authentication is a security measure that analyzes individuals’ behavior patterns to verify their identity. In the mass transit industry, behavioral authentication can add an extra layer of protection beyond traditional methods like passwords or biometrics.

  • Mass Transit Challenge: Detecting Unusual Patterns

Traditional security measures in mass transit systems often struggle to detect emerging threats and suspicious activities, leaving vulnerabilities that can lead to fraud and compromise passenger safety. Additionally, legacy authentication systems reliant on physical tokens or manual checks lack the agility to adapt to evolving security threats and may be susceptible to exploitation by sophisticated fraudsters.

  • Impacts: Fraud Prevention and Passenger Safety

Fraudulent activities jeopardize revenue streams and compromise passengers’ safety and well-being, eroding trust in transit systems. Traditional ticketing systems based on magnetic stripe cards or paper tickets offer limited means of authentication and are prone to counterfeiting or unauthorized duplication. For example, manual inspection processes may overlook anomalies in passenger behavior or ticketing patterns that could signal fraudulent activity, such as repeated attempts to bypass fare gates or inconsistencies in payment methods.

  • How Ultrasonic Contactless Solutions Aids in Fraud Prevention

Traditional security measures cannot effectively detect unusual patterns and emerging threats, underscored by the need for more sophisticated and adaptable authentication solutions in mass transit environments. LISNR’s Radius SDK data can be used to support behavioral programs that detect anomalies in real time. These behavioral programs can be integral to the mass transit tech stack.

2. Preventing Fraud with Secure Fare Collection

Secure fare collection is the implementation of robust payment systems in mass transit that prevent fraudulent activities such as fare evasion or unauthorized access. This involves using technologies like contactless payment methods or smart ticketing systems to ensure accurate and secure collection of fares from passengers.

Mass Transit Challenge: Fare Evasion and Its Costs

Fare evasion, a persistent challenge for transit systems worldwide, results in substantial revenue losses annually. Beyond the immediate financial impact, it also strains resources aimed at enforcement and monitoring, diverting them from potential improvements and expansions of transit services.

Impact: Revenue Loss and System Integrity

The ripple effects of fare evasion extend beyond mere revenue loss. They compromise the fairness and integrity of the transit system, potentially deterring honest passengers who feel the burden of fare compliance is not equally shared. This imbalance can erode trust in the transit authority, affecting ridership and public perception.

How Ultrasonic Contactless Solutions Help Reduce Revenue Loss

Ultrasonic proximity solutions, such as those developed by LISNR, offer a more reliable means of transaction verification for fare collection. By enabling more reliable transaction verification without the need for Internet access, data-over-sound technologies reduce the opportunities for fare evasion. They enhance the accuracy of fare collection by securely authenticating transactions directly at access points so that only paid and validated entries are permitted.

3. Bolstering Facility Security with Remote Access Control

Remote access control is fundamental in managing and securing entry points to mass transit facilities. It utilizes digital technologies to oversee access in real-time. This system is pivotal in maintaining the safety of passengers and the operational integrity of transit services.

Mass Transit Challenge: Unauthorized Access Risks

Unauthorized access presents a critical security challenge, potentially exposing transit systems to safety risks and operational sabotage. For instance, unauthorized entry into restricted areas or control rooms can lead to service disruptions, endangering passengers and staff alike.

Impact: Safety and Operational Efficiency

The consequences of unauthorized access are multifaceted, directly affecting passenger safety and the seamless operation of transit services. For instance, intrusion incidents can lead to significant service delays, erode public confidence in the transit system, and increase operational costs associated with security breaches and subsequent investigations.

How Ultrasonic Contactless Solutions Address Transit Safety and Operational Efficiency

Leveraging ultrasonic contactless solutions for remote access control enhances security and operational efficiency in several ways. These technologies enable transit operators to manage and monitor access to facilities and restricted areas more effectively. By using data from ultrasonic proximity verification, operators can implement real-time access management capabilities so that only authorized personnel can enter sensitive areas. This proactive approach to security minimizes the risk of unauthorized access, maintains a safe environment for passengers and staff, and ensures that transit operations run smoothly and without interruption.

By leveraging advanced technologies such as contactless authentication and behavioral analytics, transit operators can improve their ability to detect and respond to security risks in real-time, protect revenue, improve operational safety, and enhance operational efficiency across mass transit networks.

Two Other Potential Use Cases for Contactless Authentication

As technological advancements continue to shape the future of mass transit, contactless authentication holds immense potential in addressing a myriad of challenges. Let’s explore two additional use cases where this innovative technology can significantly impact.

1. Seamless Integration with Urban Mobility Programs

Urban mobility initiatives refer to programs, policies, and projects to improve transportation systems within urban areas to enhance accessibility, sustainability, and movement efficiency. Two examples of urban mobility initiatives are bike-sharing programs and Mobility-as-a-Service (aka “MaaS”).

Bike-sharing programs provide access to bicycles for short-term use within urban areas, offering an alternative mode of transportation that reduces reliance on traditional vehicles, alleviates traffic congestion, and promotes healthier and more sustainable commuting options.

Mobility as a Service (MaaS) initiatives integrate various modes of transportation, such as public transit, ridesharing, bike-sharing, and car-sharing, into a single digital platform or app. This approach offers commuters seamless access to diverse transportation options, allowing them to plan, book, and pay more efficiently for multi-modal journeys. Thus, it ultimately contributes to more sustainable and accessible urban mobility.

Mass Transit Challenge: Enhance or Augment Urban Mobility

Urban mobility initiatives vastly strive to improve mass transportation’s accessibility and convenience for passengers by necessitating seamless integration with today’s existing transit infrastructure.

How Ultrasonic Contactless Solutions Support Urban Mobility

LISNR’s Radius SDK can be a valuable component of the urban mobility toolkit. By using ultrasonic proximity data, mass transit operators can streamline access to various transportation modes and promote sustainability initiatives. Smoother, more secure transitions between shared and public transit options reduce the need for personal vehicle use and contribute to less congested, cleaner urban environments. This technology also supports urban mobility by improving the passenger experience with frictionless, contactless movement throughout the city, bolstering the overall efficiency and appeal of public and shared transportation systems.

2. Predictive Maintenance through AI Integration

Incorporating artificial intelligence (AI) into predictive maintenance strategies can impact how mass transit systems manage their infrastructure.

Mass Transit Challenge: System Reliability

Transit systems require proactive maintenance to minimize downtime and ensure uninterrupted service delivery, necessitating predictive maintenance solutions that anticipate and address potential equipment failures.

How Ultrasonic Contactless Solutions Twart Offline Requirements

Integrating LISNR’s Radius SDK with AI tools enables real-time predictive maintenance, identifying potential equipment failures to enhance system reliability and reduce passenger service disruptions. This approach uses artificial intelligence to interpret ultrasonic proximity data, allowing transit operators to proactively resolve issues before they impact operations, thereby optimizing efficiency and reducing downtime.

The Future of Safe and Secure Mass Transit

The call for enhanced mass transit safety is getting louder, and the emergence of contactless identification and authentication stands as a pivotal innovation to alter the operational dynamics of transit systems. LISNR’s Radius SDK is at the forefront of this transformation, offering a suite of capabilities that bolster security, deter fraud, and refine access control mechanisms. 

This technological leap signifies a move towards an integrated future where the pillars of safety, efficiency, and convenience unite, promising passengers a mass transit experience that is secure, accessible, and seamlessly efficient. 

As we look ahead, the continued increase in adoption of such ultrasonic technologies by transit authorities worldwide heralds a new age of public transportation – one that prioritizes the well-being and satisfaction of its passengers through advanced, reliable, and user-friendly solutions.