Public transportation users should be capable of registering for personalized transit cards so that if they lose or misplace their cards they can recover the value of their transit cards or have it transferred to new cards for traditional card replacement fees.
Card registration, which could be initiated by customer service reps at transit stations, should be enabled on transit websites. Customer service reps would, at minimum, enter the purchaser’s name and email address (if they have one) into their customer database at transit service windows.
They could, at most, complete the entire process for the customer if they do not have ready access to a computer; and personalized cards would, preferably, be created on the spot to preserve what would otherwise be starter cards, or starter cards could be issued on the spot and personalized cards would be mailed to the customer.
Customers should be capable of adding cash value to their personalized transit cards (which would bear customers’ names and, optionally, their photographs and/or fingerprints) via their online accounts, utilizing their debit or credit cards, once they have completed the registration process.
Customers could alternatively be required to create and enter a short code after swiping their cards on buses and/or at fare gates in transit stations. Personalized transit accounts would also allow customers to remotely purchase cards for others…
For example, a parent could purchase a monthly transit card for a child who is in college via their online account, and the child/student would be capable of retrieving the card at any transit station by rendering proper identification.
Parents should also be capable of verifying their child’s or children’s studentship by rendering prompted information about the school in which they are enrolled and acquiring student discounts for their purchases.
Personalized transit cards could additionally serve a public safety purpose, considering that all transit activities could be tracked. Those who commit crimes and use public transportation would be easier to identify, locate, and apprehend. This would likely discourage some instances of criminal activity.
Ultimately, personalized transit cards and online transit accounts would give customers a sense of security. They would never have to worry about losing their transit cards and/or funds that they’ve added to their cards. They could simply report their cards lost or stolen, at which point the old card would be cancelled and a new card of equal value would be disbursed…