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Automated fare collection (AFC) systems can simplify complicated pricing systems and data management for U.S. transit agencies, according to a study released yesterday by global consulting firm Frost & Sullivan.Aside from providing a coherent pricing system and a reasonable number of tickets, AFC systems reduce cash management at railroad stations and allow for a simplified method of collecting passenger data, firm officials said in a press release."By adopting AFC systems, passenger data can be collected in a structured format and will remain secure,” said Shyam Raman, the firm's automotive and transportation rail program manager. “Moreover, this will also enable passenger data to be stored and various payment modes to be used for specific purposes."Raman also noted that the structure of AFC systems will change by transport mode, value chain and payment media, with future systems using open-loop methods.The firm estimated that AFC systems pulled in $324.5 million in revenue in 2014, and it expects that figure to increase to $634.8 million by 2021.