Most public transport customers today are still buying tickets at service shops, from drivers, at ticket machines located at stops or in vehicles and from portable devices carried by service staff. An increasing number of tickets, however, is being offered and bought via smartphones and online shops. Transport associations and companies have long been asking for a way to feed these diverse devices and systems with fare information coherently and reliably in order to facilitate future updates.
So far, it was usually necessary to update over 1000 devices of diverse nature and from various manufacturers when adjusting fares in a region. With the introduction of electronic tickets, which are stored on chip cards or printed with 2D barcodes, the respective inspection devices also need to receive fare updates. The large variety of proprietary interfaces, data formats and processes in today’s existing vending and inspection devices offers much potential for improvement. It also obstructs the sale and inspection of innovative fare products as soon as the devices’ existing software needs adjustments.