After a prepatory meeting, the STA decided yesterday (4 Feb 2014) to officialy start a working group called Architecture (of Ticketing Systems). The first aim is to see if the Architecture of Ticketing Systems for Medium Access Devices can be further modularised in such a way that the different existing architectures are harmonised.
The main aim is to reduce global costs of ticketing systems over their whole life span: Initial investment, Maintenance, and Upgrades. But also to facilitate evolution, improving responsiveness to future changes in: use cases, standards, security management, fare rules, and in new technologies such as NFC mobile phones.
So far, ITSO, VDV, Calypso (Europtima) and AFIMB have different apporaches. Both ITSO and VDV have a modular system based on ISO 24014 (the full standard) which is structured to fit the Role Models as they exist in public transport. Calypso, originally not focussed on a strong back-office, has long since recognised the need to accomodate the trend of moving to back-office oriented solutions.
Calypso used the EU project Europtima to fill in that gap. Because the startingpoint for Europtima also were the Use Cases in public transport, the end result is rather similar to what we find in the UK and Germany. The same can be said for the separate work which AFIMB (France) has been performing. In addition it can be stated that Europtima went further and more into the technical details.
The challange is now to see if the four approaches can be 1) harmonised, and 2) improved. One important aspect will be the level of detail (the “granularity”) of the modules. Another aspect is the standardisation and specification of the interfaces between the (black box) modules.
Initially the work will be performed by the STA Full Members and in a later stage the industry will be involved to develop the detailed specifications of the interfaces.
Johan for the UITP STA Secretariat.