Appendix 4: Additional Examples of Smart Ticketing Schemes

Appendix 4: Additional Examples of Smart Ticketing Schemes

Examples of Smart Card Ticketing Schemes

These examples have been selected to illustrate common practice for smart and integrated ticketing and inform the ticketing strategy.

Australia – Sydney PTTC

The Sydney public transport network is regulated by the NSW Ministry of Transport. Fares are controlled by an independent pricing regulator. An automatic fare collection (AFC) system based on magnetic stripe ticketing is used on bus, trains and ferries and has been in operation since 1988.

The public ticketing authority, PTTC, sought to procure a smart card ticketing solution in 2002 but the project had significant implementation problems and was re-procured in 2008-2010. The new system is due to start implementation in 2012, to be delivered by the Pearl Consortium led by Cubic Transportation (who also provide the Oyster service in London).

The contract will cover trains, buses, and ferries across Greater Sydney, including Newcastle and the Hunter region, Wollongong, the Illawarra and the Blue Mountains. Passengers will top-up their ticketing accounts online or at shops, or link their smart cards to bank accounts or credit cards, similar to the current Oyster Auto-Top-up used in London.

Key points for Transport Scotland

Integrated ticketing was introduced within a regulated fares environment and has operated successfully based on paper tickets for many years:

  • The procurement of smart card ticketing can take an extended timescale to complete;
  • The smart card strategy needs to be closely linked to the fare and zone structure;
  • Links between smart card accounts and bank accounts to enable top-up are being adopted as good practice; and
  • The relevance of this example is limited by Scotland’s deregulated bus environment.

Japan – Suica & Pasmo

Suica is a pre-pay re-chargeable contactless card using in Japan on train, bus and tram. It was launched in 2001. There were 30 million Suica cards in circulation in late 2009. It can also be used at retail outlets. Suica was developed by JR East, a quasi-public sector rail operator which passed into private sector ownership in 2002. JR East cooperated with other rail, bus and tram operators to develop the card. The fares are regulated.

Suica has been incorporated into mobile phones using NFC technology. Phones with Suica were launched in 2006.

In 2007 a new Pasmo smart card was launched that provided greater coverage of mode and ticket types on bus, rail and tram.

Key points for Transport Scotland

  • Cross operator cooperation is required to successfully deliver a smart ticketing solution;
  • The operators involved need to be motivated to implement an interoperable ticketing solution; in some cases they are willing to take the lead in implementing and operating the scheme;
  • Though the operators involved are now in the private sector, it has been possible to implement smart and integrated payment cross operator with inter-operator agreements;
  • A t-purse can evolve into an e-purse; and
  • A smart card based solution can evolve into an NFC based mobile phone solution.

Paris – Carte Orange

The Carte Orange was launched in Paris in 1975 to make ticketing between different metro lines, bus and rail lines simpler. It provided unlimited access to the transport network at effectively a flat rate. It used a magnetic strip paper ticket. Within a year of launch 900,000 tickets had been issued. Its convenience meant that the overall volume of public transport users is estimated to have increased by 20% between 1975 and 1985. The carte had a different fare structure and the flat rate allowed travellers from outside the city to take advantage of lower costs for their long journeys. The carte was personalised with a picture of the user and could not be used multiple times in sequence through a gate.

The Carte Orange is now being replaced with a smart card ticket, the Navigo.

Key points for Transport Scotland

  • The fare used did not seek to emulate the existing ticket fare structure; to aid take up and simplify fares the interoperable ticket had a flat rate fare across all modes;
  • The carte orange addressed a key problem of interchange between modes – the high volume of interchange opportunities and number of different lines meant that the ticket released a substantial volume of suppressed demand. TS should consider whether there is the same level of suppressed demand for inter-modal and operator travel;
  • The overall volume of usage increased creating an increase in revenue and enabling modal shift;
  • The carte addressed potential fraud through limiting the frequency with which it could be used through a gate and by having a photocard; and
  • The integrated ticket can be migrated successfully to a smart and integrated ticket. The key issue is the attractiveness of the fare and ticket to the user rather than the type of medium used.

Swiss Pass

The Swiss Pass was launched in 1989. It is paper based and now provides a period pass on the majority of Swiss railways, buses and boats with discounts on use of cable cars and mountain trains. It works in 41 Swiss Cities and also provides access to Museums and other facilities. The pass also allows children under 16 to travel free with a parent. As an integrated ticket, the primary objective was to encourage take up of travel capacity and make the ticket product attractive to the customer. The ticket has a set price for a period. It is issued by the Swiss Travel Centre, a ticketing operator that is also a subsidiary of a railway operator, but whose core business is selling tickets and trips to customers.

There is now a smart card version of the Swiss Pass available.

Key Points for Transport Scotland

  • The ticket was designed to serve multiple modes, operators and trips at a set price meaning that its simplicity encouraged take up;
  • It had wide validity and coverage building on the investment made in making commercial agreements with each operator and facility provider involved;
  • Its take-up is driven by its wide access to services;
  • It is provided not by a transport operator but by a dedicated ticketing company focused on meeting customer travel needs; and
  • It can be migrated to a smart card product.

London Travel Card

The Travel Card was launched in 1983. It provided unlimited travel for a defined period within a set zone structure on London Underground, and Buses. The card used a paper medium with a magnetic stripe. It has evolved through a series of iterations, the most popular of which are now the One day Travel Card and Off Peak Travel Card. It is now valid on London Overground Rail and provides discounts on river services.

The travel card product can be placed on the Oyster smart card and that is now the preferred way that the ticketing product is used in London. Rail operators can also add a London Travel Card to a rail fare to provide unlimited use within a zone of London’s public transport facilities.

The buses and underground are controlled by TfL creating a regulated fares environment within London. More recently London Rail was established giving TfL control of some rail fares.

Key Points for Transport Scotland

  • The Travel Card met demand for multi-modal travel where there was already high existing usage of public transport where there were multiple service choices;
  • A simple fares structure with zoning was applied so that customers understood the restrictions and where they could travel. The included services have increased over time improving the attractiveness of the card; and
  • The product has been migrated onto a smart card along with other pay as you go ticketing products which have been developed in parallel as smart card technology has matured.

Argentina – Monedero

Monedero or "wallet" is smart payment card operated in Buenos Aires. It serves bus, subway and tram. It can also be used to buy other goods and services. It can be loaded with credit for use in a pay as you go fashion. Public transport fares are regulated. It has been in operation since 2002 and there are over 2.5 million card users.

Key points for Transport Scotland

  • The fares and ticketing technical infrastructure are regulated in this example;
  • A private sector smart card and payment organisation has led the establishment of the e-purse Monedero; and
  • A system with a user base of 2.5 million card users can be made to be economic in this environment.