Expert Panel: Ticketing & payments
- Love This
- Yahoo Mail
- Facebook Messenger
- Copy Link
Posted: 28 June 2022 | Andrew Anderson - Transport for London, Dave Spillett - Fujitsu, William McGookin - Translink | No comments yet
How should operators, authorities and back-office providers be working together to ensure that ticketing, and the use of a travel scheme, can expand further from PAYG to ABT in order to provide services that work across modes, and even across different cities?
Allowing citizens to focus on the best way to make their door-to-door journey, and not the vagaries of transport modes, operators and products, has to be the future transport vision that we aspire to”
SPILLETT: Allowing citizens to focus on the best (and most personalised) way to make their door-to-door journey, and not the vagaries of transport modes, operators and products, has to be the future transport vision that we aspire to. Interoperability and standards are going to be critical if a single consolidated charge and best value ticketing is to be provided for customers using these mixed multimodal services. This is especially the case as end-to-end journeys become more complex, with greater choice over first-/last-mile services. Pay As You Go (PAYG) has seen tremendous growth and adoption, but it does have challenges with inclusivity and has tended to be implemented with single operator scope. PAYG also has its limitations with high-cost tickets for rail, despite the recent increase in contactless payment limits.
Long journeys and trips where pre-planning can offer savings can be catered for with an Account-Based Ticketing (ABT) system, where tickets can be assigned to a customer and then offset against PAYG journey events. We therefore need to see the industry being capable of sharing data through open standards so that we can separate the usage events (the ‘taps’ that start and end a journey) from the products and the payment/charge. Operators and authorities then have choice in how ticketing schemes across larger areas are managed. The usage events will drive calculations that determine the journey made and work out the best price, considering multimodal/operator products. How revenue should be apportioned across the operators providing the service can then be determined. Importantly, the usage experience for the customer can then remain the same, regardless of where and how they travel.
ANDERSON: At Transport for London, our priority is to ensure that the customer proposition is right. Customers don’t care about the technology platform – they care about being able to get to where they want to on time and to have confidence that they will be charged the correct fare for doing so. Therefore, however complex the technology behind the solution, it must be easy for customers to use and it must be universal – a lot of ABT propositions seem to ignore those who are in a cash economy. As a public authority, we also need to ensure that we are spending public money wisely. It is therefore important that we ensure that we are not locked into any single supplier. The trend towards Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) type solutions for ABT may reduce capital costs, but the ability to easily exit and move to another supplier must be part of the service provider consideration.
Therefore, however complex the technology behind the solution, it must be easy for customers to use and it must be universal”
Finally, one of the big questions about cross-modal and geographic capability is about the exposure to risk with low balances in an ABT system. This can be particularly challenging where either multimodal operation or the possible journey options from the same location create a broad range of fares with different risk profiles. In a legacy system, the reader can determine from the card whether it is creditworthy for the intended journey; in an ABT system, the integration between front and back offices needs to be sufficiently robust to ensure that the risk model delivers as expected. This requires back office service providers to understand and be able to meet the risk appetite of the operators or authority.
MCGOOKIN: Translink is in a unique position where integration across our bus and rail services within Northern Ireland is largely within our control. However, we have a complex network which covers rural, express, interurban and cross-border services with a wide range of ticket types using graduated and zonal fares. This is where key challenges lie in terms of true integration from a ticketing perspective. Our legacy smartcard system has served us well but has an element of inflexibility, as each individual customer has to pre-purchase their ticket product in advance of travel, based on their ‘prescribed’ individual journey pattern. Translink’s key objective in the coming years is to provide an ABT solution to offer our customers complete flexibility by allowing choice between using a contactless EMV card (or device) or a Translink ABT smartcard; travel on any Translink bus or rail service anywhere in Northern Ireland using the same card; and, as a result, key discounts for customer journeys without having to pre-purchase.
Translink’s key objective in the coming years is to provide an ABT solution to offer our customers complete flexibility by allowing choice between using a contactless EMV card (or device) or a Translink ABT smartcard”
Once Translink has the ABT system fully established, our aspirations are to examine the potential to further integrate our ticketing system with car parking and bicycle hire to provide a fully integrated end-to-end travel experience. Contactless EMV will provide the common reader standards, which provide the opportunity to integrate in future with other authorities’ ticketing systems to deliver cross-border travel between key cities. Finally, we see that investment in mobile apps is a key element of the ABT experience, giving passengers ‘fingertip’ access to instant information, purchase capability and account maintenance.
Journey Planning, Passenger Experience, Public Transport, Ticketing & Payments
Issue 1 2022
Northern Ireland, United Kingdom
Fujitsu, Translink, Transport for London (TfL)
Andrew Anderson, Dave Spillett, William McGookin