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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:

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.