System offers account-based ticketing with reduced infrastructure

 

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Cubic is preparing to begin an extended, multi-modal trial of its mobile ‘Check in Be Out’ ticketing system in Germany following a smaller pilot last year in Soest, a city in North Rhine-Westphalia. The new trial will take place initially on six buses and three trains in Duisburg, North Rhine-Westphalia, with plans for a roll out covering 173 buses, 18 underground trains and 45 trams.

Customers download an app to their phone which detects buses approaching and enables them to select ‘check in’ for their journeys. Mobile barcode tickets with a time stamp are generated on the phone. A bluetooth beacon on the vehicle detects when the customer leaves the bus via their phone’s bluetooth function, and fares between check in and departure points are charged to the customer’s account.

Cubic anticipates that the system will provide the benefits of account-based ticketing but with reduced need for ticketing infrastructure compared to
card-based systems.

External affairs director Martin Howell told Passenger Transport that there was a need for the transport industry to step up pace in looking beyond smartcards as a means of providing new generation ticketing.

“It amazes me how many people still see smartcard ticketing as a holy grail to strive for,” he said. “It’s 30 to 40 years old.”

He added that Cubic views greater emphasis on “socially responsible” use of customer journey data generated by new ticketing systems as a key means of encouraging new users to public transport and achieving greater acceptance among customers of personal data also being used to promote services.

For example Howell said that there had been a tendency among operators to concentrate on using data for purely commercial and promotional purposes, rather than for customer services such as providing real time information on the most convenient means of making regular journeys.

 

This article appears inside the latest issue of Passenger Transport.

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