Exclusive: Google Tests Mobile Ticketing Initiated in Maps App; Could Lead to Mobility-as-a-Service Offer?

Jul 23 2020

NFC TIMES Exclusive – Three small public transit agencies in the U.S. are quietly testing use of Google Maps and Google Pay to enable customers to first plan then pay for tickets. It’s believed to be the first pilots of its kind for Google, a move that could mean the search giant plans to compete with such popular trip-planning apps as Transit and Moovit, which are starting to enable public transit ticketing and payments, NFC Times reports.

The move also could mean Google wants a more complete mobility-as-a-service, or MaaS, product. Whether that is true or not, Google Maps now integrates public transit scheduling and route data from thousands of public transit agencies globally but does not really go beyond trip planning, so any move into ticketing and payments for metro, bus, tram and other public transit initiated through Maps would be significant. And the mobile-ticketing technology provider for the three small pilots, San Francisco-based Token Transit, told NFC Times that it indeed plans to add more cities to the Google tests in coming months.

UPDATE: A Google spokeswoman confirmed to NFC Times that it is testing the “ability to easily purchase transit tickets in Google Maps using Google Pay” and added that it is “working closely with the local transit authorities to continue improving the user experience in these cities.” END UPDATE.

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