Modeshift Account-based Automatic Fare Collection

One account, many benefits

Not long ago paper tickets were the standard form of travel documentation. Then came smart cards and their ability to withstand the elements and time. Today, in an era shaped by digitalization, everything you need to travel can be stored securely on the cloud. Meet account-based fare collection - the best modern solution to everything transit.

With an account-based fare collection system, transit agencies have the flexibility they’ve always craved, while passengers have the convenience they frequently lacked. A single, secure account backed up by the latest technology grants access to travel documentation and the ability to purchase and operate multiple passes, even save money on every trip.

What is an automatic fare collection system?

Automatic fare collection is the digital counterpart of manual fare collection. AFC systems use several components to automate the fare collection process – from purchase to validation of the tickets.

These components include fare media, devices to create and read the fare media (including fare collection gates, mobile applications, and validators), back office systems and more.

In an age when digitalization is a priority for any city, no matter its size, automatic fare collection can serve as a stepping stone towards the full digital profile of every citizen.


Automatic fare collection systems can be used in any city with operating public transit – no matter if it has 10 or 1000 vehicles. Modeshift’s system can be installed using an existing fare collection system (by reusing compatible equipment) or we can supply the necessary equipment if needed.

Account-based fare collection can be used to speed up the boarding process, cover a wide range of riders (including unbanked), and create a safe and efficient public transportation network.

How does the automatic charging system work?

Automatic fare collection companies provide agencies with an easy and straightforward process for the purchase and validation of fare media. Different people use different types of technology, so agencies need to provide different options to attract new riders to their transportation network and improve the processes for existing ones.

For example, some people prefer to use their smartphone, while others are used to their smart cards. Unbanked people can also benefit from the system with the help of a reseller network where they can use cash to recharge their accounts.

The uses of an automatic fare collection software go beyond public transportation and can be used to create a MaaS infrastructure to support a city’s decarbonization efforts.

Riders create an account: via their mobile phone, via a web portal, or at a transit center

Riders choose their preferred mode of validation: mobile app, smart card, even wearables like smart bands and key FOB

Riders choose their preferred mode of recharging their accounts: mobile ticketing app, web portal, cash payments at resellers

What are the benefits for the agency?

Modeshift provides both the user-facing technology of account-based fare collection and the infrastructure behind it.

Modeshift’s Fare Collection System comes with a feature-rich, user-friendly back office where the agency can easily adjust fares, monitor ridership and get reports.

Modeshift’s Fare Collection System is operated on a SaaS model which means you can see your ROI spike right away.

Highest levels of security apply to all transactions and validation methods.

Modeshift’s Fare Collection System is hardware-agnostic: you can have account-based ticketing using legacy equipment and without the need to make new investments.

Modeshift’s Fare Collection System can help improve the fare recovery ratio by diversifying fare distribution channels and making the service more accessible.

MaaS-ready, open API solution that can be integrated with other mobility solutions quickly and easily.

Modeshift’s Fare Collection System is media-agnostic and comes with a full suite of validation tools, from cards to a mobile app. In the long run, agencies can reduce operational costs as mobile ticketing (a media that’s literally free for them) takes over paper tickets and smart cards.

Modeshift’s Back End can provide cities with valuable insights into their decarbonization efforts via a CO2 emissions reduction dashboard.

What are the benefits for the riders?

  • Easier, streamlined validation process with the help of a variety of validation tools. Riders can pick their favourite, or mix and match.
  • Riders can recharge their accounts at any time with their preferred method of payment, securely.
  • Riders don’t have to worry about losing their validation media, everything is stored in their account and can be retrieved (no passwords involved).
  • Riders can benefit from different combined tickets (even across a whole MaaS network) and other promotions offered by the agency.

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