Ticketing

Smart Ticketing

Smart Ticketing – A new Alliance to break through interoperability barriers
John Verity, Chief Advisor, ITSO Limited, Milton Keynes, United Kingdom

[an edited transcription by Johan van Ieperen – previously published on myUITP]

The Smart Ticketing Alliance represents a platform for cooperation and a coordinated approach for establishing ticketing interoperability for the Public Transport sector. It is an initiative by Calypso Networks Association, AFIMB (France), ITSO (UK), VDV (Germany) and UITP.

Smarter Travel

Smarter Travel is about joining up the different elements of a journey the passenger wants to make. We start with giving the customer the information necessary to plan the itinerary from one door to another door. Their journey goes from A to B and may cover many different modes of travel: on foot, bicycle, taxi, bus, tram metro, local, regional, national and international trains and even air travel. We are already well on our way on sharing the level of information necessary for our customers to plan that entire journey (e.g. through Open Data, using third party developers creating Journey Planner Applications).

The Smart Ticketing Alliance (STA) works from the other extreme: providing the permission to undertake that journey (booking the travel entitlements: the tickets)! Interoperable ticketing requires working towards specifications to put all those permissions inside and alongside in an electronic wallet.

It does not matter whether that wallet contains real tickets or just a token which refers to a back office where the data necessary to identify you during that journey. Furthermore, it can be pay-to-go, or a post paid system. In fact, it can be free of charge (i.e. concessionary fares – even if you do not have to pay a cent, you still have to be able to prove that you can travel for free).

When travel information and ticketing come together, the circle can be closed. We can actually start to redefine the journey based on real time information when there are disruptions in the services. The customer could receive a new itinerary and new permissions to travel using available alternatives.

Challenges

Smart Travel is about seamless mobility – to take away barriers even if that leg of the trip does not cost anything, like for walking. It has to cover all the elements (connections, itinerary, ticketing, and payment) from door to door, the last mile, for all modes, and across all borders.

Not one size fits all – we have to recognise this as a fact: there needs to be a balance between subsidiarity and interoperability. We are not going to provide one ticket that covers the entire journey. We will have to accept local solutions which are only applicable in that certain area. This requires a bottom-up approach (not top-down).

Taking the United Kingdom as an example where there is true interoperability on the rail network: with s about 2.800 stations, in theory, the matrix counts 2.800 x 2.800 travel possibilities. But when including the different fares, the matrix counts over 300 million cells! If the UK system is to be expanded to a European wide system including all transport modes then clearly that is moving many steps too far.

Moreover, we need to have an Open Architecture and Specifications for the way in which we will hold those permissions to travel. We already have Open Data in terms of Journey Planning (time tables, stop / station / facility locations, are they accessible, lifts and escalator status, etc) but we also have to look at ticketing in this way. Here we also have inter-/multi-/co-modal, cross-border, multi operated journeys, and all of those tickets can reside in that same single wallet which the customer then feels covers the whole of their journey unlike the situation today, scrabbling in their pockets for a collection of different sized tickets, some smart, some paper, some A4 sized or little bits of paper that get lost easily in the folds of your physical wallet. We have to be open and have a single specification for all of that

Smart Ticketing

In addition to the above, smart ticketing will have to include: Point-to-Point Tickets; period passes; concessionary travel; pay-on-entry and pay-as-you-go; and complex specialised ticketing requirements (e.g. Apex, reservations, venue entry). The Smart Ticketing Alliance is looking at the specifications and underlying requirements that are there in order to encourage integrated travel.

Interoperability

The results from the EU IFM project (Interoperable Fare Management) nearly 4 years ago found that Public Transport needs interoperability at three levels: Local Schemes (to move within a city, within a region); National Schemes (within a state or a country); and International Schemes (especially where there is the employment, recreational or other reasons for cross-border travel between countries).

We are not talking about having to use the same tickets everywhere to cover all and the whole of such journeys, but there needs to be the interoperability of the single tickets so they can all be held in the same place. To avoid any misunderstanding: the type or price of the interoperable tickets is not subject to standardisation – only the way we handle them!

The EU IFM project has now moved forward into the Smart Ticketing Alliance.

Deliverables

The Alliance is going to provide a number of smart ticketing deliverables required for the wider smarter travel environment:

  • Seamless integration between journey planning, retailing, ticketing and real-time information using the traveller’s preferred media (e.g. a bank card or their mobile phone). The standards and specifications must be open enough to cover all of those media’s requirements.
  • We must be able to link-in to a One Stop smart access to public transport (e.g. a web portal) which in turn is linked with wider entitlements  (e.g. concessionary travel, integrated Student Cards, social entitlement) or Event Management – a greater need for wider integration is ahead.
  • Where payment does take place, it has to co-reside in a comparable parallel way. Only about 30% of the journeys across Europe actually involve payment at the point of taking that journey!

In the UK, students are beginning to drive the developments in public transport. Recent statistics show, that for the first time ever, the young age group up to the age of 25, now exceeds the over 60 group of being the major user of buses. Traditionally it was always the older you got the more you use the bus, now it is switching the other way around!

STA Goals

  • Cooperation between national and regional Smart Ticketing schemes to establish interoperable Smart Ticketing in Europe and elsewhere.
  • Develop, agree and publish the functional and technical requirements for smart ticketing interoperability
  • Cooperation for the establishment of Trust Schemes, Specifications and Certification
  • Cooperation with other European and International Bodies to promote interoperability in Smart Ticketing

Increasingly the customer will bring his own smart medium (e.g. thier mobile phone or tablet). We need to be able to trust those media. At the same time, the customers are only going to use smart cards if they trust them to hold their tickets securely, particularly when they have a high value – some annual UK rail tickets can cost in excess of 20.000 Euros. This is even a challenge for mobile network operators who tend to think in phone calls costing in the area of Euros or even tens of Euros but not thousends of Euros.

The STA works closely together with CEN (European standardisation body), GSMA (the association of all mobile network operators), the NFC Forum (Handset manufacturers), UIC and Unife (rail sector), etc.

Opportunities

Open Standards, Specifications and Certification offer the public transport sector a unique opportunity:

  • Create ticketing interoperability between schemes
  • Co-exist with other Applications
  • Use 3rd party media (e.g. mobile phones)
  • Access to Best Practice (sharing findings and innovation)
  • Benefit from scale economics in product development,  procurement and speed of implementation
  • Provide a Trusted Service based on Minimum Specifications, Open Standards and Composite Certification

Opportunities for Smart Ticketing in the wider environment:

  • Door-to-door travel integration – seamless integration between Journey Planning, Retailing, Ticketing and Real Time Information
  • Full integration between bus and rail: making multi-modal / multi-operator really happen
  • One smart access to Public Transport and wider Entitlements  (e.g. concessionary travel, integrated Student Cards, social entitlement) – Venue and Event integration with Public Transport
  • Enhanced Modal Switching as part of a wider greening of  transport – Integration with Car and Bike hire schemes
  • One-stop opportunities with NFC-enabled Mobile Phones – linking to the retail business

john.verity@itso.org.uk – www.itso.org.uk – +44 1908 255 455 – www.smart-ticketing.org

Privacy Model

A good reference is the Privacy Charter developed by the IFM-Project: D2.3 European handbook on rules and regulations for privacy protection in fare devices and back-offices (March 2010).

Trust Management Model

Starting point is the deliverable “Trust Management Model” from the IFM Project: D1.4 Report on the Common Requirements for a Secure Domain to support the Trust Management Model (March 2010).

Certification

GENERAL INFORMATION

STA considers it is essential that public authorities and users can be confident in the quality of contactless communication between contactless readers and fare media. Certification is the appropriate means to give trust. The STA certification program established by STA consists of a Group of Certification Bodies (STA GCB) bringing together certification bodies authorized to certify compliance of transportation and acceptance media with the CEN technical specification TS 16794 about contactless communication. Extension of the certification scope to ohter technical fields, such as the application layer, may be decided later.

OBJECTIVE

The objective of the STA Group of Certification Bodies is to establish a common approach to conformity certification andt he technical equivalence of certification carried out by the STA Group of Certification Bodies’ members. The members will work collectively to achieve these aims but remain independent certification bodies being reponsible for their own decisions and for the control of their different certification marks. The STA Group of Certification Bodies (STA GCB) works as a platform to ease mutual recognition between the member certification bodies (and the testing laboratories for product testing) and to limit the costs of those agreements. A primary goal of the STA GCB is to ensure that the certification bodies and the associated testing laboratories operate on a common basis.

PRINCIPLES

The main principles of the STA certification program are the following:

  • a Group of Certification Bodies (GCB) gathers Certification Bodies (CB) authorized to certify compliance with CEN TS 16794;
  • Membership of GCB is open to two categories of CB:

1. a CB accredited according to ISO/IEC 17065 against CEN TS 16794 can be a member of the GCB; 2. a CB complying with a subset of ISO/IEC 17065 can be member of the GCB; it has to submit to an audit.

  • Certificates delivered by an ISO/IEC 17065 accredited CB are recognized throughout the EU.

DOCUMENTS

A set of documents gives the framework for this certification program. The Terms of Reference, prepared by the STA CWG and approved by the STA board, defines the Group of Certification Bodies (GCB) and organizes the community of STA CBs. This document indicates:

  • the conditions for memberhip for the CB;
  • the governance: Board of Management (its initial and current composition);
  • the technical structure: CWF and audit manager;
  • the CB approval process

The other documents, elaborated and approved by the CWG, are:

The Certification Work Group has finalized 2 new versions for the STA technical Guidelines and Test Tool Validation Methodology:

The laboratories associated with a CB run “round robin tests” using reference devices and media in order to check that tests realized on the same products by each laboratory lead to similar results thus ensuring consistency across the network of test labs.

Please see here the General Overview

Standards

In order to ensure interoperability from a Standards perspective the STA makes use of standards and specifications published by Organizations for Standards bodies such as CEN and ISO; and other memberhsip bodies such as GSMA, the NFC Forum, etc.

This document contains details of the reference documentation used in STA published documents. It is sub-divided by organisation. Note that no particular relevance should be ascribed to the other in which the various bodies appear; each is equally relevant in its own way to the work of STA.

Most STA-Documents contain a section on “Normative References” and the latest verions of the references are all included in this STA References Document.

Specific references will continue to be included in STA documents, particularly where the references are dated and have specific relevance to the document they are referenced by. These references may be “cross checked” with the STA References Document to establish their currency. In other cases where the reference is effectively to the “latest version” of the standard or specification, STA documentation may index to this document.

Note: National Standards and Specifications are not considered here, except where they have been translated into other languages by other national standards bodies and hence have a clearly international dimension. Normally however national standards are the subject of use in specific countries. Often National Standards are National implementations of standards published by international Standards Bodies, such as CEN or ISO.

Discover the full document here (The document has been updated in July 2017)