ALCO Consulting acted as client-side advisor to Irish Rail from start to finish of a project to install a smartcard ticketing system in Dublin, Ireland. The system was installed on time and on budget and is proving to be highly successful.
The world of Automated Fare Collection (‘AFC’) is changing rapidly, as new technologies enable payment choices, enhanced and efficient process, and as-a-service contracting models. Modern AFC implementation is no longer considered as a ‘stand-alone’ activity, and account-based ticketing systems working in conjunction with personal mobile devices are forming the catalyst for wider, fully integrated travel initiatives combining public transport with private enterprise and the shared economy.
Payment at the point of entry to the public transport system is becoming open to the user’s ‘token’ of choice with EMV-based payments and mobile NFC payment becoming widely available. Payment handling by the operator is also more efficient with near real-time transaction management and calculation fully at the central system. Within the next few years, we can expect to see the addition of Bluetooth low emission (‘BLE’) devices, employed in fixed beacons at transport entry points that will receive the payment transaction, hands free and without any action on the part of the service user, relieving congestion and potentially even using the passenger’s own device to ship the transaction.
However, it does not stop there, AFC is only part of the story; citizens expect to be able to travel to their destination for a single payment regardless of the number of journey legs, transport modes and operators. They want to know that they are getting the Best Fare, they want linkages with other transport services, for example parking, and most of all they want information supporting reservation, booking, and real time service information.
With all these changes coming thick and fast, together with changes in transport service provision itself, including door-to-door transport, demand responsive transit, driverless vehicles etc., one must look to the future when planning for today. If you do not know what you wish to achieve by when, and have a roadmap set down, then it is difficult to know how to start. ALCO Consulting works with transit authorities in major cities all over the world assisting them to work through these very questions, ensuring they remain fully flexible and ‘future-proofed’, ready to embrace rapidly changing technology and an integrated position in a smart-environment future.
ALCO Consulting’s staff have extensive experience from across the world which really adds value to our teams.