May 21, 2013

Public Transportation Users Predict Big Increases in the Use of Smartphones, Paperless Travel and Social Media, New Accenture Survey Reveals

Consumers are willing to pay for better technology in public transport

LONDON; May 21, 2013 – Three out of four travelers (75 percent) who use public transportation in some of the world’s major cities believe that electronic ticketing would make travel easier, and an overwhelming 92 percent would welcome paperless travel, a new global survey by Accenture (NYSE:ACN) reveals.

The survey of 4,500 urban travelers in nine major cities in Brazil, France, Germany, South Korea, Spain, UK and the United States showed that approximately 90 percent of people in these cities use public transportation on a regular basis, and they are willing to pay more for technology improvements. According to the survey, 52 percent of respondents would be willing to pay at least 10 percent more for travel if they were offered such technological enhancements as the ability to use a smartphone as a ticket while traveling, an app from transport providers and/or a paperless travel option.

When asked what motivates their interest in paperless travel, 88 percent cited time savings as the biggest factor. The survey also revealed that nearly all respondents (93 percent) are interested in being able to purchase a single ticket for multiple modes of transportation. If a single ticket option were made available, two thirds of the travelers surveyed – 66 percent -- said they would use that option on a daily basis. In addition, 76 percent of travelers believe that a paperless system would encourage drivers to start using public transport

Travelers want technology to be better integrated into public transportation and for public transportation providers to embrace social media
Not only do travelers want technology updated and integrated into their transport infrastructure, they also want more frequent communication from and greater access to the transportation providers via social media:

“Consumer technology is driving a huge expectation for flexible travel – an expectation that transit agencies cannot afford to ignore,” said Philippe Guittat, Global Managing Director of Accenture’s Transportation Practice. “Travelers believe that price, technological change and consumer demand will drive the provision of paperless travel, and transport companies need to address developments in areas such as smartphone applications and social media strategy if they are to get ahead of the competition.”

Consumer expectations for greater communication and engagement with transportation providers reinforces one of the key digital trends identified in the Accenture Technology Vision. Public transport organizations should look to create “digital relationships” with travelers to improve interactions, develop better insights into individual preferences, and deliver a more valuable and customized consumer experience.
Consumers still feel there are a variety of potential improvements that could be made to current transport systems in addition to innovation in technology and communication. When asked what could make their public transport experience more enjoyable, 84 percent cited less queuing as the biggest improvement that could be made, followed closely by implementing self-service ticketing (82 percent) and 24-hour services (81 percent).

Americans use social media for travel the most, Spaniards want remote purchasing and Londoners want to save time
Consumer interest in paperless travel and technology-enabled improvements in this sector are universal. However, some city-specific findings emerged in the survey:

Mike Wilson, Managing Director of Accenture’s Transportation practice in North America said, “Companies need to deal with customers on their terms – by providing them with transit options that meet their needs – when where and how they want it, and that requires that the interaction be relevant to the situation and their needs at the time.”

About the Study
The consumer survey was conducted by Coleman Parkes Research on behalf of Accenture. It was carried out online in September 2012 and January 2013 in multiple languages. The markets covered were Brazil, France, Germany, South Korea, Spain, UK and the United States. Interviews were conducted with 4,500 respondents, all were over the age of 18, and the underground, taxi, boat, car, train, tram and bus were all included as modes of transportation.

Please click here for an infographic of survey findings.

About Accenture
Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company, with approximately 261,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries. Combining unparalleled experience, comprehensive capabilities across all industries and business functions, and extensive research on the world’s most successful companies, Accenture collaborates with clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments. The company generated net revenues of US$27.9 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2012. Its home page is

# # #


Anthony Hatter
+44 7810 756 138