As the transit authority for Vancouver, Translink wished to implement an integrated electronic ticketing system for its many public transport modes to improve convenience for its patrons. ALCO Consulting were appointed as independent expert advisors for the whole project lifecycle from strategic design through to implementation and commissioning.
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.
I would like to take this opportunity of thanking you for the great work ALCO Consulting undertook with the Post Office recently to enable us to understand the opportunities within the Transport Sector. You and your team clearly demonstrated the in-depth knowledge you have of this sector, and the fact that Senior Level Advisors and Project Managers within your team were used to deliver the Proposal, made a difference to the final delivery. We would have no hesitation in using yourself and your company again and would indeed recommend you to other organisations.