According to the latest research, 81% of Americans have a smartphone. That means the vast majority of current and potential riders carry in their pocket the ability to plan, purchase, and validate their own tickets. With the rise of apps enabling people to make household purchases, order food, pay bills, and complete other everyday tasks, the public is primed and eager for the opportunity to manage their own transit fare.

As a bonus, the availability of Mobile Link shortens lines for in-person ticket purchasing and frees up transit employees for other important tasks, resulting in increased rider satisfaction even for those who do not use the mobile app.

Genfare’s Mobile Link offers the following conveniences that entice riders to become or remain long-term users.

Plan Trips

With Google Trip Planner integration, Mobile Link allows riders to plan an entire itinerary that may include multi-modal transit. Google Trips makes it easier for first time riders as well as tourists to see nearby “things to do” and to book reservations. For commuters and daily riders, this integration can also help find new, more efficient routes with geo-location services to guide each step.

Pay in Advance

After selecting a route, riders can pay in advance for their ticket or pass. Mobile Link offers options for single tickets, pay-as-you-go, and monthly (or other period) passes. Regular riders can enjoy saving by purchasing passes in advance. On busy routes, they rest in the security of knowing they have a reserved seat. Some agencies may prefer to give discounts for any advance single ticket purchases to help better plan busy routes.

Check Wait Times

With real time data on traffic and delays, transit agencies can update riders waiting at stations and stops with accurate route times. Studies show riders may report feeling as if they’re waiting 50% longer than they actually are. This is because uncertainty about the vehicle’s arrival adds to the rider’s feelings of loss of control, which leads to a distortion in the perception of time. Add in variables like the rider being late for their own schedule, not having anything productive to do, or having to wait in inclement weather, and even a two minute wait can psychologically feel like five minutes or more.

It has been proven that riders who have access to up-to-date arrival times report a more accurate estimate on how long they’ve been waiting. In fact, they may actually wait for less time, since they have the freedom to decide what to do when they know the train or bus may be ten minutes late. By completing an extra errand or scheduling a quick phone call, riders don’t even experience the delay as a “wait.”

Check for Closures

Mobile Link also allows riders to check for closures before they set out for the bus stop or train station. If detours are planned, riders can anticipate going directly to a new stop rather than finding out about the closure in a frustrating manner at their originally planned stop.