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INIT to modernise ticketing system used in Bremen’s buses and trams

Posted: 4 March 2015 | INIT

INIT has won a new large-scale order to modernise the ticketing system used in Bremen, Germany. By the end of 2017, more than 330 vehicles, three customer centres, 150 sales points and the larger bus and tram stops will be equipped with electronic printers, a boarding control system, mobile and stationary ticket machines…

INIT has won a new large-scale order to modernise the ticketing system used in Bremen, Germany. By the end of 2017, more than 330 vehicles, three customer centres, 150 sales points and the larger bus and tram stops will be equipped with electronic printers, a boarding control system, mobile and stationary ticket machines. Furthermore, a new point-of-sale system will be implemented in the customer centres. For the more than 105 million passengers that Bremer Straßenbahn AG (BSAG) keeps moving every year, these solutions will make paying for tickets even easier and more convenient, while the affiliated transport companies can enhance the efficiency of their back-office systems at the same time.

Increasing numbers of transport services in Germany are recognising the need to upgrade their ticket service to the very latest technology. The Free Hanseatic City of Bremen, with BSAG as the company that runs the city’s public transport, has always been counted among the pioneers in this field. Indeed, BSAG was one of the first companies in Germany to introduce a card-based e-ticketing system back in 2001, thereby implementing a solution that allowed passengers to purchase tickets without cash using their GeldKarte stored-value card issued by banks that are part of the DK (German Banking Industry Committee). In 2005, this system was expanded to include an account-based process for subsequent settlement. The offering, known as BOB (“Bequem ohne Bargeld” = comfortably cashless), gives passengers a best price guarantee. BOB is a product provided jointly by the members of the Verkehrsverbund Bremen-Niedersachsen (VBN) public transport association. Once a passenger has registered, they simply have to enter where they would like to travel to on the on-board passenger terminal and they then receive a ticket. At the end of the month, they are billed for the best day-ticket fare. There’s also a solution tailored to subscription customers in the form of the contactless MIA (“Mobil im Abo”) card, which can be checked with the new boarding control system, for example. BSAG opting for the same provider again means that the new equipment can be introduced gradually as desired, that existing and new technology can be operated in parallel and that complete sales statistics are provided. The first-generation customer terminals, ticket machines, ticket printers and sales points whether on-board or in the sales offices are now being replaced by state-of-the-art devices that are even more convenient. In total, around 400 EVENDpc ticket printers and more than 250 PROXmobil customer terminals will be used in BSAG’s approximately 210 buses. As a result, boarding control checks, which are now widespread, will be possible in Bremen’s buses too. Trams and buses are being equipped with more than 500 mobile customer terminals for the electronic BOB ticket which is established in Bremen. New mobile ticket machines, where passengers can buy a paper ticket and pay using cash or the cashless option, are also being deployed in the trams. The tried-and-tested distribution channels are being expanded to include 20 stationary ticket machines offering a variety of payment options at stops with high passenger numbers. This will allow each and every BSAG passenger – whether they’re a regular customer, an occasional user or a tourist – to find the ticket purchase option that suits them best at all times. The smart cards will also be replaced during the course of this project, with a view to using the established contactless write/read technology, which considerably cuts transaction times. This will not only make it easier to perform checks, but also shorten boarding and alighting times and enable buses and trams to run more punctually.

The new ticketing system will be managed at a central location by the MOBILEvario background system. Its wide range of functions and outstanding operability make it one of the most sought-after systems on the market. This software solution organises the various fares, serves contract customers, manages the accounts belonging to the various sales offices and handles the clearing of payments.

“Bremen and BSAG are therefore again at the forefront of technological development in Germany with respect to passenger-friendly ticketing. For us, the fact that we have been awarded yet another contract by a long-standing customer such as BSAG confirms both our excellent customer relationship and our competitiveness. Smart ticketing solutions such as those being implemented here also harbour a great deal of potential in the international arena,” explains INIT CSO Dr Jürgen Greschner.

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