Is this the best ticket for post-pandemic transport?

May 6, 2022
James Lewis

The COVID-19 pandemic has shaken up travel habits across the board and continues to present ongoing revenue risks. Commuting 5 days a week is likely a thing of the past for some; flexible work-from-home arrangements mean that many now only commute a few times a week. Across the industry, ridership numbers, while improving, are not yet back to pre-pandemic levels. Passengers are using transport in a way that is less predictable.

Interestingly, these new travel habits are beginning to be reflected in the mobile tickets that passengers are choosing to buy. UrbanThings data analysis of customer revenue trends shows that passenger preferences are changing in response.

Before the pandemic, weekly and monthly tickets represented the best value for money for many passengers who would travel regularly. They also represented a good way for operators to bank upfront revenue and moderate levels of cashflow, while keeping credit card fees low by means of a single transaction. But with regular travel now not that regular, a different type of ticket has come to represent better value to many passengers – carnets. 

Carnet tickets are made up of several individual single trip tickets, offered at a discount. For example, a carnet might include 10 single trip tickets which are offered at a discount compared to buying 10 individual singles. Passengers activate one of their 10 tickets each time they want to take a trip after which their carnet ticket will have 9/10 singles remaining. 

In fact, compared to weekly and monthly tickets, carnets are passengers’ favourite ticket type, with 44% of passengers buying carnets versus 34% weekly and 21% monthly.  

Pie chart showing carnet tickets popularity is 44%

The UrbanHub Passenger App can support both traditional season passes and new-style carnet tickets. And our digital mobile carnet tickets automatically remove used trips from the ticket, making things quick and simple.

So are these tickets a magical solution that embrace new passenger habits? Well, for those who now travel less regularly, carnets can represent better value for money vs weekly or monthly passes. Passengers still benefit from a discount vs buying single or daily tickets but benefit from the flexibility of using their carnet ticket when they need it – perfect for a post-pandemic world. 

To find out how UrbanHub and Bus Checker can bring the benefits of digital carnet tickets to your passengers, get in touch.