Mass Transit - 26

ENROUTE APP being used to
shop on a German train.

DB Vertrieb GmbH

Loyalty programs
and gamification
in public transit
Can transit agencies develop a connection with their riders
the way sports teams have with their fans? Gamification
can help if it's simple, digital and valuable.
By Paul Comfort, Esq., contributor

26 |

Mass Transit | | FEBRUARY 2019

enjoy playing games on my
phone that allow me to score
points, especially when it gets
me "free stuff." Companies have
figured this out about me (and
millions of others) and figured
out how to entice me to use their
mobile applications (app) to order items I'm already purchasing
on a regular basis. They've gamified
my purchases - where the more I
order, the more points I get toward
winning their products for free.
(Think Dunkin' Donuts, Marriott
and Southwest Airlines apps giving
me points toward free food, drinks,
hotel rooms and flights.) I find myself almost enjoying spending my
money on these merchants because
I get rewards when I do and I spend
more money with them as a result.
The merchants love when I use
their apps because they get all kinds
of data on me (what I like, when
I eat, where I like to travel, etc.),
building my loyalty toward their
product or service. Now I want
to drink my coffee always from
Dunkin' because I'm working toward that free one. When there
are two or more options, I choose
Dunkin'. In a recent study from
KPMG, 74 percent of consumers
will go out of their way to shop
where they earn loyalty points. So,
it's not just me that makes purchase
decisions based on the loyalty
programs in which they belong.
There are clear positive outcomes from utilizing loyalty programs and gamification, so why
hasn't the transit industry taken
advantage of this more?

Examples of efforts

Currently, the efforts of loyalty
programs in public transit fall into
two groups. I call these:
* First-level efforts - those using
drawings and cards for rewards
and discounts

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