article

Concentrating on the performance of ticketing

Posted: 30 March 2009 | Craig Waters, Commissioning Editor, Intelligent Transport | No comments yet

In today’s transportation marketplace, operators are working hard to develop their infrastructure to provide passengers with seamless travel options. Passengers travelling in many European cities can benefit from different transport modes with efficient and effective exchanges between them. A major factor in the success of seamless travel experiences is the development of ticketing systems and fare collection operations.

The majority of people who use urban public transportation want to be able to use different modes of transport for their entire journey – moving from the train to underground systems, then perhaps onto a tram or bus network. Transport operators must identify if their existing ticketing infrastructure requires upgrading or if the need to introduce a brand new system to efficiently handle growing passenger numbers should be considered.

In today's transportation marketplace, operators are working hard to develop their infrastructure to provide passengers with seamless travel options. Passengers travelling in many European cities can benefit from different transport modes with efficient and effective exchanges between them. A major factor in the success of seamless travel experiences is the development of ticketing systems and fare collection operations.The majority of people who use urban public transportation want to be able to use different modes of transport for their entire journey - moving from the train to underground systems, then perhaps onto a tram or bus network. Transport operators must identify if their existing ticketing infrastructure requires upgrading or if the need to introduce a brand new system to efficiently handle growing passenger numbers should be considered.

In today’s transportation marketplace, operators are working hard to develop their infrastructure to provide passengers with seamless travel options. Passengers travelling in many European cities can benefit from different transport modes with efficient and effective exchanges between them. A major factor in the success of seamless travel experiences is the development of ticketing systems and fare collection operations.

The majority of people who use urban public transportation want to be able to use different modes of transport for their entire journey – moving from the train to underground systems, then perhaps onto a tram or bus network. Transport operators must identify if their existing ticketing infrastructure requires upgrading or if the need to introduce a brand new system to efficiently handle growing passenger numbers should be considered.

Cities are continuing to grow at a rapid pace and as populations all together become more environmentally conscious, more people will be using public transport. This will therefore result in greater system needs and greater opportunities to considerably reduce agency costs while increasing system functionality and performance.

This article will be used to highlight some of the industries leading ticketing players and to address some recent projects.

Almex proves its ITSO credentials

Almex has recently achieved a milestone in the UK with its latest state-of-the-art ticket printing equipment.

The Swindon-based ticket equipment supplier has now taken orders as well as implementing more than 4000 ITSO certified ticketing machines into the UK transport industry – achieved in less than three years.

“This firmly places Almex at the leading edge of ITSO compliant revenue control systems,” said Alistair Aitken, Almex Sales Manager. “Sales into public transport operators cover every corner of the UK, from Scotland to Wales and from South East England to South West England,” Alistair continued. “Working with national and regional bus operators, we have implemented driver operated or portable solutions for their customers and the result has been hugely successful. Almost every customer has quite rightly been exploiting the convenience of adding ITSO certified portable ticketing systems to their driver fixed units,” said Alistair.

The ‘almex.mobile’ is still the only device available on the market as a portable meeting the ITSO standard. The ITSO certified portable provides unified revenue data to a single web served back office system. Almex is becoming increasingly adept at implementing ITSO systems due to the increased technical complexity and number of stakeholders they entail.

“Other non-ITSO systems have been rolled out with impressive efficiency, including systems in Blackpool, the Isle of Man and London in a matter of weeks from order date to system sign off,” added Alistair.

Alistair Aitken also comments that the Almex team has continued to grow in the UK. Almex has recently further strengthened its team in Scotland to have more locally based systems engineers on the ground as the Transport Scotland implementation project continues to intensify. In Scotland, Almex is implementing an advanced E-Ticketing-solution for more than half of all buses in the country.

Two new systems engineers have been appointed to join the Scottish team, and an experienced Project Manager has moved to Scotland from Dorset to co-ordinate resources for the Transport Scotland project.

Through the Transport Scotland project, Almex is working closely with First Group and Arriva as well as other operators including West Coast Motors.

Almex continues to benefit from the innovative technology being applied by its parent company, Hoeft & Wessel, to successful bus, rail, airline and retail projects around Europe.

Each year, more than £7 million is invested in research and development which sets the pace in the company’s technological orientation with one-third of Hoeft & Wessel total workforce employed in R&D.

Alistair added, “With ITSO certification under our belt, the Almex product range will continue to develop with the evolution of customer requirements. Barcode reading, near field communication and next generation wireless communication are all areas that Almex, through Hoeft & Wessel, is at present investigating – to meet and satisfy the potential benefits of its customers.”

ACS

ACS (Affiliated Computer Services) is a strong market player, helping passenger transportation operators to improve their productivity, profitability and client satisfaction by delivering comprehensive, client-specific solutions based on cutting-edge technologies and a powerful ticketing system.

ACS systems and services are used by over a thousand municipal, regional and national operators who together run more than 150,000 pieces of equipment (automated ticket vending machines, validators, booking office machines, portable inspector terminals and access gate) enabling approximately 50 million passengers a day to use bus services, underground railways and trains. Over the decades, ACS has established itself as the world’s leading supplier of complex, networked solutions for managing fare collection for public transportation systems.

Publically displayed on their website (www.acs-inc.com/tr), ACS believes that the secret of its success lies in their ability to create highly efficient systems combining proven state-of-the-art technology with a wealth of experience, permanent innovation and all-encompassing service. The result is that every single mass transit operator served by ACS receives a tailor made solution – powerful tools enabling it to manage its equipment centrally across different modes of transportation, adapt its systems to new requirements, and boost overall profitability. ACS’ solutions enable mass transit companies to design their business more profitably – both now and in the future.

In a recently published Case Study from ACS entitled ‘It Was Too Easy To Get A Free Ride in Lyon, France – ACS Helped Get Its Public Transport System Back On Track’, the company displays how it worked with The Greater Lyon Transport Authority to combat the challenges of reducing fare-dodging by commuters and to manage 200 million transactions a year.

It was reported that towards the end of the 1990s, the public transport system in Lyon, France, was faced with an excessive level of fare-dodging and with 200 million transactions recorded each year, it was estimated that nearly 20% of the city’s annual revenue was being lost. The city of Lyon turned to ACS and sought a fare-collection solution, which included a complete overhaul of their central information system.

ACS knew that the new system had to be integrated with a complex environment of existing systems, including alarms, AVL (automatic vehicle locator) and the passenger information system. To manage access, the city’s four metro rail lines were equipped with an ACS gate control system and all fare collection equipments was replaced so that both magnetic tickets and contactless cards could be accepted.

With the investment of Systral, The Greater Lyon Transport Authority, through the expansion of its network and acquisition of new equipment, resulted in an increase of 29% ticket validations between 2004 and 2007.

ERG Limited

The ERG Group is a world leader in the design, supply and operation of integrated Automated Fare Collection systems for the transit industry. ERG provides solutions for all modes of transport and all types of fare media.

ERG has delivered systems that support more than 32 million smart cards in circulation and handle approximately 6.5 billion transactions per annum. ERG is an Australian-based company, listed on the Australian Securities Exchange, operating globally to deliver systems ranging from large multi-operator, multi-modal solutions to small, single operator solutions.

In a recently released press story, ERG is proud to announce itself as the systems integrator and key equipment supplier to Stagecoach for the recently launched national rail smartcard pilot on the South West Trains network. ERG provides the HOPS/AMS (back office processing and Asset Management system) POSTs (platform validators and card inspection devices) and Perso-POSTs (card initialisation systems), all developed by ERG and certified to ITSO 2.1.2 (and currently being updated to ITSO 2.1.3).

Stagecoach and ERG have worked closely together over the last two years to achieve this significant milestone. Peter Levy, General Manager for ERG Transit Systems UK said, “We are delighted to be at the forefront of smartcard ticketing for UK rail. Our joint work with Stagecoach over the last two years has shaped the ITSO specification with regard to its commercial application within the rail environment. We are pleased to have had these changes ratified by ITSO”.

ERG is also leading the way with ITSO solutions in the bus sector. To date, ERG has supplied over 2,300 ITSO-certified bus ticket machines in England, Wales and Scotland. Some 1,500 of these machines have been supplied as part of the Transport Scotland scheme, with over two million transactions already processed on ERG equipment since December 2007. ERG was the first supplier to deliver ticket machines as part of the Transport Scotland scheme in the Shetland Islands and to date have delivered by far the largest number of machines of any supplier.

Rae Robinson, Project Manager for ERG Transit Systems UK, said: “We are proud that we have been able to deliver on our commitments to Transport Scotland and we are pleased to be at the forefront of delivering ITSO systems to the bus industry in the UK.”

Based on this success, ERG has scheduled deliveries for a further 5,000 machines over the next two years to Stagecoach Group and other UK operators.

With ERG’s global expertise in multi-modal smartcard systems and the largest portfolio of ITSO systems and equipment in the UK covering back-office solutions, rail, light rail and bus, ERG has become the most comprehensive end-to-end supplier of ITSO solutions in the industry.

“Over the last three years, we have invested significantly in developing ITSO systems and equipment resulting in us having more individual ITSO certificates than any other supplier in the industry,” said Peter Levy. He added, “ERG can provide all components of an ITSO system covering AMS/HOPS, Rail and Bus POST’s, Inspection POST’s and Perso-POST’s but we also have significant experience in integrating ITSO equipment from other suppliers, as we have proven for South West Trains. Our experience and knowledge across the entire ITSO spectrum allow us to be an ideal integrator, using ERG-provided components or those from other suppliers.”

Alistair Smith, Stagecoach Group IT Director, said: “Stagecoach is leading the way in delivering ITSO smartcard technology on its buses in the UK and we are also piloting the national rail network’s first ITSO smartcard. We are pleased to be working closely with ERG to deliver the benefits of smarter ticketing to our customers.”

ERG also provides solutions that support contactless credit card processing. ERG is currently delivering the world’s first contactless credit card system for transit in Utah, USA. ERG will be involved in the recently announced trial by Stagecoach, the Royal Bank of Scotland and MasterCard for bankcards in Liverpool where buses fitted with ERG TP5000 ticket machines will be upgraded to support contactless credit card processing.

FARA ASA

FARA ASA is a supplier of IT-solutions to the public transport sector in the areas of electronic ticketing, real time information systems with fleet management, traffic management and passenger information systems.

FARA has an experienced team who has been in the business for more than 20 years. FARA can be responsible for the early design and developments phase, through to supply and installation and finally the service and maintenance phase together with operations.

Some of FARA’s major references include:

  • Complete AFC system for 230 buses in Agder, Norway
  • Complete AFC system for 600 buses in Nord- and Sør-Trøndelag, Norway
  • Complete AFC system for 400 buses in Rogoland, Norway
  • Complete AFC system for 350 buses in Troms, Norway
  • Complete AFC system for 700 buses in Hedmark and Oppland, Norway
  • Complete AFC system for 350 buses in Norrbotten, Sweden
  • Complete AFC system for 100 buses in Telemark, Norway
  • Complete AFC system for 250 buses in Vestfold, Norway
  • Nera System-3, Norway – AFC system for bus, boat and ferry with a total delivery of over 1,100 ticketing machines so far
  • On-board equipment and validators for 1,700 buses, 110 trams and 42 metros for the Helsinki Metropolitan Area
  • Platform validators for the Airport Express Train, Oslo, Norway

DEVELOPING REAL TIME INFORMATION ACROSS THE NETWORK

Andy Gibbons, Head of Public Transport, Nottingham City Council

Nottingham has one of the most extensive real-time information systems in the UK, with full bus and tram network coverage and around 2,000 on-street displays.

Andy Gibbons, Head of Public Transport at Nottingham City Council will demonstrate the customer and operational benefits of such a comprehensive system at the Intelligent Transport conference being held in London on 31 October 2017…

Download the full Conference programme



Related topics

Related organisations
,

Related people

Send this to a friend