Smart and Integrated Ticketing

Transport users have long sought to be able to buy transport in one purchase to cover all aspects of their end to end journey. Over the past 50 years there have been many attempts to offer users these services, but most have survived for only a short time or in restricted markets. Technology now offers many new possibilities for more widespread joint ticketing approaches.STSG has offered thought leadership on these new approaches for over a decade including more comprehensive reviews in Scottish Transport Review 39 and 46.

More connected payment systems using new technologies need to be as networked as the transport systems themselves. At their simplest level, payment systems can be aggregated and this could be a starting point in some situations. Charges for parking at a railway station aggregated with the train ticket could offer a more convenient ticket. However, the greater potential for added value lies in linking the services to offer combined benefits greater than the separate parts. The scope of payment systems must be capable of integration across products and services to be able to capture the potential benefits of linking transport with the wider economy.

New business models are emerging to provide the integrated offers delivering connected mobility, access to destination planning (e.g. for events and workplaces), mobility as a service (designing mobility packages around customer lifestyles), travel agents, travel planners, and others. Payment systems must work as seamlessly with car parking, retail purchases and lift sharing as with bus and rail ticketing.

However transport ticketing remains largely closed with each provider offering a different way of paying. This has stifled integration and opportunity. The internet shows how far greater value is achieved when open systems are used when compared with closed technology systems. Open transport payment systems can better:

  • Meet passengers’ needs
  • Make ticketing simple and easy to use
  • Attract more customers
  • Attract more value to transport systems

A forthcoming issue of Scottish Transport Review will again provide the thought leadership refreshing the debate STSG started over a decade ago on how smart open integrated ticketing systems could be delivered. Contribute to the debate here.


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