New Documentation of Use Cases for Interoperable Fare Management System data exchanges has been released

Interoperable Fare Management Systems (IFMS) are becoming more and more interconnected. This need for connections between IFMS comes from different factors:

  • Ticketing interoperability areas are expanding and operational data exchanges between ticketing systems are required for revenue sharing or traffic planning purposes,
  • Account Based Ticketing (ABT) is developing and creates the need for back office data exchanges as the proof of entitlement to travel is held in the IFMS back office, and not in the media,
  • The increasing economic pressure on local authorities is encouraging them to build ticketing revenue sharing models based on actual passenger journeys rather than on predefined pro-rata calculations, and this mandates the need for sharing operational usage data.

Many initiatives defining specifications for IFMS data exchanges do exist but most of them are at best implemented at a regional or domestic level. Anticipating that data exchanges between IFMS will only increase in the future, the Smart Ticketing Alliance has resolved to describe the list of use cases that PT stakeholders want to see addressed through IFMS data exchanges.

The documentation of such use cases is seen as a necessary prerequisite to the later development of a EU wide specification for an IFMS Back Office interface that should help to seamlessly interconnect ticketing systems and hence favour the development of ticketing interoperability on a broader EU scale.

This document aims to identify the business processes and related use cases that IFMS data exchange should cover. Beyond the business and functional requirements, the regulatory and legal aspect of data exchanges are also taken into account to cope with regards to user data privacy, responsibility of data storage, ownership of the exchanged data ….

Discover the document

STA mobile use cases

The increasing use of smart phones and the transformation from classical to mobile service offers is one of the major global trends.

Compared to other sectors that have to build up mobile infrastructures from scratch, the Public Transport industry is in a unique position because current contactless eTicketing infrastructures are in principle compatible with NFC-enabled mobile devices. It is now possible to introduce mobile services based on these existing infrastructures.

This document supports the implementation of certified technical interoperability between NFC enabled mobile devices and Public Transport systems. This is achieved by documenting the way that NFC Mobile Devices are used in Public Transport and by identifying the relevant requirements on this basis.

Discover the document

Guidelines for ITS deployment in urban areas – Smart Ticketing

From the Urban ITS Expert Group: Smart Ticketing Guidelines for ITS deployment in urban areas (January 2013). Please find a copy of the summary:


Smart Ticketing has been a topic for over a decade now, but what does the term “smart” mean in this context? When using this term, we’re generally talking about new technologies and integration of services not directly linked to the basic functions of tickets. The main issues of Smart Ticketing are:

  • Propose complementary services to users in relation with their mobility
  • Modify relationship between Public Transport user and his/her ticket as also between Public Transport operator and its tickets
  • Improve overall efficiency and image of Public Transport network as also the depth of data created through usage

Smart Ticketing could permit to contribute to the overall improvement of the public transport network level of services, image, accessibility, with the main aim to facilitate and/or increase the use of public transport and so contribute to the overall political goal of developing a sustainable transport policy. Smart Ticketing though is NOT necessarily about having ONE ticket for your journey but having ONE wallet for SEVERAL tickets.

There are a number of potential implementation choices within the guidelines for Smart Ticketing:

  • Smart Ticketing using a dedicated application
  • Smart Ticketing based on the virtualisation of tickets
  • Smart Ticketing based on secure identity and back-office processing

One of the main trends that could be extracted with the development of Smart Ticketing is that we are more and more personalising the “ticket”, the contract used by the final user. The differing needs (and ‘ways of consuming’ i.e. PT services shall be seen as a consumer good and sold/marketed as such) of groups or communities of people are becoming a challenge for the implementation of the Transport and the Fare Policies.

Implementing Smart Ticketing also means thinking of the stakeholders and their needs, therefore how to respond to these needs and elaborate marketing accordingly. To date, the main stakeholders are clients, politicians and authorities, public transport operators, scheme providers, suppliers, payment industry, media and lobbies. Specific focus should be paid to the final user’s needs (easiness, simplicity and fairness), public policy needs (shift in modal split reducing car travel, reduction of pollution, optimisation of operational efficiency, reduction of public expenses) and the transport operator’s needs (reduce operational costs of ticketing, improve fare collection efficiency, improve knowledge of customer’s behaviour/choices/preferences).

It is also important to recognise the trends and act appropriately. The trends in ticketing can be specified as ‘from magnetic to contactless’, ‘from cash to smart payment’, ‘from in-house/on the field sales channels to externalised/remote ones’, ‘from mono-application to multi-application devices’, the ‘impact on infrastructure itself’ and the ‘impact on fare evasion’.

Smart Ticketing should have an impact on the way Public Transport is used. Using a ticket, or wallet, not only for transportation but for mobility services in general could improve the image of Public Transport. Access to fare information and easier remote sales will also help the cause, whereas privacy concerns must be addressed in a code of conduct to be able to develop a trust relationship with customers.

The development of Smart Ticketing in a global urban ITS perspective has to be built in respect to local organisations and to the decentralised nature inherent to public transport and to the importance of its public funding.

The recommendations to deploy Smart Ticketing are therefore:

  • General: Smart Ticketing should not be seen as a simple replacement for traditional paper or magnetic ticketing. An important step is identifying which features and functionalities of Smart Ticketing can be adopted and how they will integrate with the customers’ wider mobility requirements. The introduction of Smart Ticketing is also an opportunity to rethink the current fare policy and to offer additional/alternative fare possibilities to customers.
  • Business models: Smart Ticketing is a global business and is, for the first time, being driven by standards. This allows off-the-shelf technology to be adopted with only limited local tailoring to reflect specific tariff structures and cross-modal opportunities. By using open International Standards for Smart Ticketing, Public Transport Operators can access supply chains that are responsive, cheaper and address industry best practice.
  • >Distribution channels: Smart Ticketing must allow passengers to plan and book their travel through their choice of distribution and retail channels. This goal required a new system that can accommodate the speed, power and flexibility necessary to handle multiple distribution channels for ticket sales, including contactless payment and pre-loaded value.
  • Smart wallets: Smart Ticketing covers not just pre-payment and the loading of a ticket onto the smartcard or phone, but can also include post-payment where the customer is identified on entering / leaving a closed system and verified that they are authorised to travel or have suitable payment mechanism available (whether that is a contactless bankcard or pre-arranged credit). A smart wallet also gives the opportunity to integrate other services whether transport related (e.g. bike or car sharing, parking), associated (e.g. tourism information) or non-transport related (e.g. shopping, use fees).
  • Marketing issues / public support: Urban ITS decision makers should now systematically look for integration in such wider organisations to take benefit from the mutualisation of standard technical tool boxes as well as to insert their customer offer in a wider market.
  • Organisational and legal issues: Urban and national transport decision makers must actively support the development and implementation of European and international Specifications for Smart Ticketing to ensure mutual compatibility between all schemes.
  • Integration with travel information and traffic management: By creating a linkage between Travel Information, Journey Planning, Payment and Smart Ticketing, including a liaison with compatible mobile phone and contactless bankcard schemes in Europe, Smart Ticketing can ensure the customer experience consistently meets their highest expectation. As a result this can foster co-modality/intermodality. Interoperability in transport Smart Ticketing implies removing the obstacles for the customer to switching transport modes. All ticketing needs for through journeys should be in one place and on their local transport Smart Ticketing media, even outside their home network. There should be simple registration processes in place so that the customer has a standardised machine interface and easy access in his/her own language.
  • Development of Smart Ticketing standards: The use of international and open standards can facilitate interoperability, the opening of global markets and compatibility between devices produced by different suppliers.
  • Data privacy: Protection of the customer’s privacy is an ethical requirement of confidentiality, un-linkability, un-observability and anonymity. A low level of protection not only could be punished as a violation of the law but would damage customer acceptance.

Mobile NFC in Transport

The GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide. Spanning more than 220 countries, the GSMA unites nearly 800 of the world’s mobile operators with more than 230 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset makers, software companies, equipment providers and Internet companies, as well as organisations in industry sectors such as financial services, healthcare, media, transport and utilities.

In September 2012, GSMA and UITP co-published the white paper Mobile NFC in Transport  to help create a common understanding of Smart Ticketing interoperability on both sides. The problem area – interoperability – lies on both sides: the very fragmented public transport sector clinging to subsidiarity; and the competitive private sector finding it hard to offer a truly global solution.

The difficult work on this paper – bringing two very different worlds together – started about one year before and it was the start of a close relationship between GSMA and UITP (through the Smart Ticketing Alliance).

Clearly, the mutual understanding has progressed since September 2012 but this document may still provide you with the necessary background knowledge!

Share this

Everybody Local Everywhere

In April 2007, UITP published its Focus Paper Everybody Local Everywhere after years of hard work by the UITP Information Technology & Innovation Commission. This document was a clear (political) position about the future development of electronic ticketing interoperability and fare management cooperation.
FP everybody
Naturally some of the paper is outdated, however, many of the recommendations still hold truth. The Focus Paper was instrumental in taking the following step: the EC-IFM project (2008-2010).

UITP recommendations

This focus paper provides a quick overview of electronic ticketing issues for the coming years. Key topics relate to the technological foundations of electronic ticketing and the organisation of retail agreements and integrated fare systems. For each of these issues, UITP provides the appropriate global or regional discussion platforms for public transport fare system managers to arrive at common understanding, positions and action. UITP encourages public transport fare system managers to participate in this work and to liaise with other industries, with multi-service platform issuers and with standardisation processes (ISO, etc.) to provide them with information and guidelines appropriate to the needs of public transport industry in their greater region.

Media technologies and platform applications depend on several global industries and standards. Electronic ticketing is a user of these standards and public transport has higher requirements regarding speed, privacy, reliability and security of these technologies than most other users. Modern native smart card media meet these requirements. It must be ensured that the platform media of the near future will meet them, too. UITP therefore invites public transport fare system managers to organise themselves globally so as to formulate and update their specifi c requirements and to ensure that their position is known and taken into account when future standards are set.

Ticketing applications used to be proprietary technologies of commercial system integrators. Fare system managers have progressively gained control of these technologies, mainly in order to maintain the competition among system integrators and component providers. UITP encourages fare systems managers to cooperate and to jointly develop a limited number of ticketing applications, for native and for platform media, so as to share development costs, enhance competition between suppliers and, last but not least, make their ticketing systems more interoperable.

UITP acknowledges the efforts undertaken in order to produce international standards (ISO, etc.) and guidelines for the administration of seamless fares. In addition to interoperable ticketing systems, the establishment of retail agreements, seamless fares, or larger integrated fare systems require the standardisation of fare system data formats and the building of common institutions or agreements for the management of security keys, fare revenue and customer relations.