MyTix: NJ TRANSIT’s Mobile Ticketing Application Research, February 2015 Research and Forecasting
NJ TRANSIT tested and launched one of the first transit mobile ticketing applications in the country Allows customers to select, purchase, and display tickets on their phone The application piloted on the Pascack Valley Line, moved to Main/Bergen Lines, was rolled out to all NJT lines, and is currently launching on bus routes The application empowers customers with “wait free” ticketing, and paperless ticketing using their smart phone Alpha & beta testing research was conducted prior to the launch of the application on the Pascack Valley Line PROJECT BACKGROUND
Gain input from customers regarding methods to improve the mobile ticketing application Identify customer perceptions of the technology overall Obtain customer input on the mobile ticketing application and the reasons why customers may choose to use or not use the technology Gather customer input regarding the expansion of services Understand how customers perceive the reactions of NJ TRANSIT employees (rail crew, fare inspectors) to the presentation of mobile tickets as fare media Discuss with customers the best methods of communicating with the public regarding the new technology and promoting the program RESEARCH OBJECTIVES
Alpha Test - Conducted with three customers in September 2012 to test the usability of the app and identify any fatal flaws. The app was also tested among a group of NJT employees. Beta Test - Conducted with 23 Pascack Valley Line customers. Participants had the app loaded onto their phones on October 15, 2012, after which they were able to purchase and display PVL rail tickets on their mobile phones. Beta Test continued - After testing the mobile ticketing app from October 15, 2012 through January 15, 2013, customers were invited to join a focus group discussion on January 15 & 17, 2013. Post Beta Test - Beta customers received the full NJ TRANSIT application including the updated Mobile Ticketing piece on February 12, 2013. Two focus groups were held March 7, 2013. Fourteen customers participated. RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
General Discussion: Likes • During both the discussion and in written exercises, customers cited the ease and convenience of purchasing tickets as their favorite part about the mobile app. • As a registered user, they liked being able to save credit cards and retrieve past purchases through the “Previous Tickets” feature. • Can purchase tickets any time, any where. No need to ever stand in lines. • Eliminates the need to get out paper ticket.
General Discussion: DISLikes • During both the discussion and in written exercises, customers expressed frustration about the process of displaying tickets. • App takes too long to get from the launch of the app to the display of the ticket. • Many users encountered issues with the app logging them out before the conductor could check it. • Couldn’t use other apps (email, games, etc) without getting logged out of ticketing app. • Customers did not like the 30-second Activation countdown.
Communicating the program • Customers felt that the app would spread through word-of-mouth • Among the other top methods mentioned were: • Ads on trains and website • Seat drops/FYI • Message on TVM screens • Insert in Quik-Tik mailing • Hold demo at train stations • Social Media • Emails to customers who complete Customer Satisfaction Survey
Willingness to recommend • More than half would recommend the app to others • Ease of ticket purchase process • Convenience of not carrying a paper ticket • Some participants were asked by fellow customers about the app; they wanted to know how to get it • Others would recommend the app if technical issues are fixed (crashing, speed, logging out)
THE ONE THING TO IMPROVE THE APP • Customers felt the one thing that must improve was the speedfrom launch of the app to ticket display • Ability to stay logged in • Use separate programming for Android and IOS devices • Eliminate 30-Second Activation countdown • Network connection: Require only when purchasing and activating tickets
Overall, customers found that the mobile app makes purchasing tickets easier and more convenient than by any other method The biggest issues that customers had and which were improved: The ability to stay logged in while using other apps Speeding up the process from the launch of the app to the display of ticket for the conductor All conductors, fare gate attendants, customer service representatives, and managers of major terminals received training on what the app is, what it looks like, and how to use it so that they can assist passengers FOCUS GROUP CONCLUSIONS
In order to assure success, cooperative effort between many departments/agencies was initiated: POS/Fare Collection Finance Rail, Bus & Light Rail Operations NJ Transit Police Labor (United Transportation Union) Market Research Communications, Marketing & Customer Service Mass Media MyTix APP ROLLOUT: A COOPERATIVE EFFORT
NJ TRANSIT monitors feedback which is tracked, categorized, and analyzed. As of COB on February 13, 2015, over 6,000 customers submitted feedback. FEEDBACK
An NJ TRANSIT mobile app where MyTix will be an icon with Train Schedules, Departure Vision, My Bus Now, Trip Planner & Security Advertising through Google AdSense Research to assess customer receptiveness to Geotargeting for advertising NEXT STEPS