A custom-built solution based on some core modules from automatic fare collection (AFC) system providers is still prevalently employed by most transit agencies.
The providers will use a DBOM business model: Design, Build, Operate, and Maintain. The software and hardware used are sometimes non-standard to fit the agency’s needs.
There are four major problems that transit agencies are currently facing when it comes to their fare collection systems.
Problem 1: Fare Collection Systems Unable to Update with New Functionality
Most of the custom-built solutions have not considered the future upgrade plan with new functionalities such as mobile payment or other forms of payment.
The change in hardware and related installation can be a huge investment.
Problem 2: Fare Collection Systems Take Years to Deploy
Most of the custom-built solutions are basically involving a lot of software integration development from scratch. Besides costly development, it will take at least 1-2 years to deploy the system.
Problem 3: Systems and Hosting
There is still a high percentage of agencies run their system and server infrastructure on-premise due to the complexity of the system, while a smaller percentage hosted in the cloud through their AFC providers. This is very costly to set up and maintain.
Problem 4: High Initial Investment
Most of the AFC providers are software system integrators and they love to design everything from scratch and based on agency requirements. The development cost can be astronomical in the figure.
This is why fare collection systems are still not very popular in under-development countries. If these countries can afford to install new fare collection systems, they would rather use the money to buy new buses or build new rails.
To learn more about the costing of AFC system, please visit autofare.net