Automated Fare Collection System its Present and Future

Here’s why an automated fare collection system is making a Wave in the Industry. As real-time payments and digital payment gateways are gaining more attention. The demand is rising for a hassle-free and smooth transport system. Due to a large number of benefits like its better process management system, effective system planning, and good revenue generations, it is gradually replacing the traditional ticketing system.

What is an automated fare collection system?

An automated fare collection (AFC) system is the pool of components that are assembled to automate the ticketing system in the public transport network. AFC system has two components software and hardware. It is designed with the notion of a fast and reliable payment system. Automated fare collection has become one of the basic equipment in the stations and bus stops in many metropolitan or smart cities. This system consists of an automatic gate machine, ticket checking machine, and ticket vending machine are leveraged by IC chip equipped contactless smart cards and it makes fare collection more accurate and safe. The ticketing system can be Contactless smart token or card type.


In developed and developing countries, there is rapid and mass transit of a large number of passengers and to handle such mass, efficient and proper fare collection plays a very important role. To make it easier and hassle-free automated ticket collection system has been deployed. Since manual fare collection systems require many staff, it is time-consuming, may cause more traffic resulting in the discomfort of the patients who are in a hurry to reach their destination.

Ticket Vending Machine (TVM), Ticket Office Machine (TOM), fare gates, and IC cards are the type of machines required in the automated fare collection system. It is commonly used in railways and transportation services, parking as well as in cinema halls and entertainment.


AFC systems have been accepted worldwide for the Metro environment. There are many benefits of Automatic fare collection systems over manual collection system such as it requires less number of staffs, frauds can be avoided, less leakage of revenue, etc. Automatic fare collection is easy and efficient to operate. The passenger or the user can generate tickets for their journey on their own. By application of AFC system in stable and integrated platforms can make keep flow of passengers to run smoothly at peak hours. AFC system ensures Fast transactions with the use of a contactless smart card lowers the boarding time.

Electronic ticketing reduces the chances of theft as what occurs in physical currency. Since the system is automated so it reduces the cost of revenue collection as compared to paper-based ticketing. The smart cards or tokens are reusable therefore it lowers the costs of printing, handling, and distribution of paper tickets. In AFC system, at fare gates, passengers’ entry and exit are automatically recorded. All these advantages  of AFC system if implemented in a city improves the image of the city and increase the convenience of transportation, therefore, make the life better and easy of people dwelling at that place.

Trends followed in this system

The automated fare collection system includes technologies such as optical character recognition (OCR), magnetic strip, near field communication (NFC), and smart cards.  Advancement in these technologies are been made to improve their performances.

Smart card- in AFC system, smart cards are being used at the terminals of AFC system  where  the cards are accessed and the information is sent to the destination by the servers accordingly amount gets deducted from the card. These cards are recharged as top-ups. Card-based fare collection is a type of closed-loop solution system. Contactless debit and credit cards can also be an option in the coming days when this idea will cross the hurdle of security issues. The technology of contactless card payment is accelerating globally due to its advantages.

Magnetic stripe

Magnetic-stripe tickets are cardboard-like tickets having one or more stripe of oxidized material that is encoded to hold data. This data present on the stripe is read by authorized machines and is applied in various fields including fare collection. As it sounds it is not totally magnetic in nature but consists of oxidized material configured with the magnet. They contain data in the form of bits. It finds its main application in passes, journey base tickets, stored value, and transfers.

Near field communications NFC- NFC works on radio frequency identification (RFID) based technology which enables communication distance to four inches or less. In contrast to this smart cards need to be inserted in the machine. It uses unpowered chips on the cards that communicate with the on-board in the fare collection system. NFC is easier to use than smart cards.

Optical Character Recognition (OCR) - in OCR image of handwritten or typed letters are electronically converted into machine-encoded text. It generally involves matrix matching. It is finding its applications in various fields including fare collection systems. It is an advanced technology.

Sum up

The automated fare collection system market has been witnessing rapid growth as the demand for automation anticipation in the fare collection system is increasing. Since the automated fare collection system improves the transportation services and at the same time bringing the operating cost down. The rail and road transport infrastructure is also showing promising development, therefore it will also drive the automated fare collection system market in the forecast period. Also more and more TVMs are been deployed in metro stations, subways, and local bus transit networks are expected to lead the increase in the demand of these machines and equipment in the automated fare collection system market.

The rising demand of the public for an efficient transportation system has led to the deployment of an automated fare collection system in the cities of both developing as well as developed countries. Therefore it is fuelling the market and can be predicted to show rapid demand in the forecast period. The Global Automated fare collection system Market has been anticipated to rise at a growth rate of 16.3% CAGR over the forecast period.