Prepare tickets have served railways nicely for the 150 years or extra that they’ve existed. Till comparatively lately, there appeared no higher possibility for guaranteeing that passengers have paid the proper fare. However the inexorable march of expertise, coupled with exploding passenger numbers prompting new calls for for a sooner fare system, has introduced a brand new innovation to the rail market – paperless ticketing.
Beneath these new techniques, which at the moment are in operation at many metro and lightweight rail networks all over the world, fare data could be saved on handy good playing cards, with contactless expertise permitting commuters to go by ticket limitations with none want to insert and reclaim a paper ticket. It is a boon for overcrowded metro companies that want to hurry up the ticketing system to cut back congestion.
Ticketless techniques are predominantly discovered on metropolis subways and lightweight rail networks, that are smaller and simpler to handle than nationwide rail strains. However with an rising quantity of sophistication being packed into good card units, it appears solely a matter of time earlier than the world will bid a fond farewell to conventional paper tickets for good.
Indra, a global expertise agency with its headquarters in Madrid, has quite a lot of expertise in growing, implementing and sustaining contactless ticketing techniques for the rail transport market. The corporate has carried out ticketless tasks in cities as various as Barcelona, Athens, Austin and Shanghai, with present tasks presently underway on the metro and lightweight rail networks of Kuala Lumpur, Mumbai and Delhi. We interviewed Indra’s transport and site visitors director José Benito García Cuéllar to seek out out what makes a great ticketless system, and the place this expertise might be taken within the close to future.
Chris Lo: How common are ticketless techniques primarily based on good playing cards for metro and rail techniques all over the world?
“The primary problem is to supply the consumer a pleasant system that’s simpler to make use of and full of latest capabilities.”
José Benito García Cuéllar: Contactless expertise is spreading quickly over many cities, small and massive, and is the principal possibility chosen by operators putting in a brand new ticketing system from the start of a venture. As well as, most of the cities that beforehand had a conventional ticketing system at the moment are in a interval of transition between the outdated magnetic system to the new contactless system with a view to lastly work completely with contactless expertise within the close to future. This new system can be utilized in all transport techniques, each on metro / underground and railroads in addition to buses and is extraordinarily common with finish customers all all over the world.
CL: What are the main challenges of placing a contactless ticketing system into place?
JBGC: The primary problem is to supply the consumer a pleasant system that’s simpler to make use of and full of latest capabilities. Customers can neglect about introducing a small ticket right into a tiny slot and ready till it comes out once more, making entry time a lot sooner. It additionally permits passengers to pick out from a a lot increased number of fare techniques, as a sensible card adapts to their wants and are sometimes in a position to have multiple fare kind in a single card, with the system in a position to determine which one must be used.
The problem with these techniques is the change from a conventional system to contactless expertise. There isn’t a technical drawback, however the operator and the passenger should change the conventional kind they’re used to for utilizing the system and adapt to the brand new prospects that these techniques provide them.
CL: What are the advantages of a contactless system for rail networks?
“This expertise permits us to combine all of a metropolis’s transport techniques, permitting them to work in an intermodal means.”
JBGC: For operators, there are a number of vital benefits. The usage of this expertise makes for a lot better information assortment and the power to supply extra merchandise and extra alternatives to clients. Operators get way more data coming from each transaction realised with a sensible card, permitting them to know the true wants of customers.
There may be additionally the discount of upkeep value of the contactless techniques compared to conventional magnetic techniques. Eliminating the mechanical parts which course of paper tickets, mixed with the reliability and sturdiness of the contactless readers and the elimination of components that should be changed periodically makes the upkeep of those new techniques less expensive.
CL: Do you suppose ticketless techniques are proper for all public transport techniques, or are conventional ticket techniques higher for some networks?
JBGC: As I stated earlier than, contactless techniques provide many extra alternatives and are way more adaptable to every operator’s wants, and legitimate for any public transport system. This expertise permits us to combine all of a metropolis’s transport techniques, permitting them to work in an intermodal means in order that the passenger solely wants one card to entry all public transport. From the operator’s viewpoint, they’ll have a centre of compensation that distributes the journeys between every of the operators relying data coming in from the person validators.
CL: What could be accomplished to make it possible for contactless techniques are strong and truthful for travellers?
JBGC: Throughout the processing of a contactless card, many readings and recordings are constructed into it to make sure that the knowledge is right earlier than deducting cash from a passenger’s steadiness, and all of the parameters wanted for the proper task of the journey are taken into consideration. As well as, the data contained in a contactless card is way more than in conventional techniques, which permits us to develop many extra management mechanisms to keep away from fraud or overcharging.
The knowledge within the playing cards goes to be protected by a system of keys and encryption in addition to the design map of the cardboard itself, which can assure the safety of the data inside. The readers could be geared up with a SAM [security authentication module] that may handle all these keys, which means the system developer doesn’t have any form of inside data from them.
CL: How can different units, like cellphones, be built-in into the contactless system to make it extra handy for customers?
JBGC: Contactless expertise permits us many prospects. A contactless chip could also be built-in into completely different units to keep away from having to recollect only one transport card. We’re not solely speaking about cell telephones however watches, keyrings and bank cards as nicely.
“A logical evolution would be the integration of the financial institution bank card as a contactless card.”
CL: What do you suppose might be potential with this expertise within the subsequent 5-10 years?
JBGC: We will prepare two chips inside the identical card, a contactless one and a contact one, permitting customers to select between them relying on the operation and the safety required. For instance, one may use the contactless one for the transport system and the contact chip to make buy with a financial institution card, with EMV II safety.
A logical evolution would be the integration of the financial institution bank card as a contactless card in order that we don’t must have an unique steadiness for transport however take the fee for journeys immediately from the affiliate checking account, with the benefits that this carries for the passenger since he doesn’t ever need to recharge his card. The probabilities supplied by these techniques are so large that evolution in the subsequent few years can be enormous.