Public transport authorities’ and companies’ (PTAs’) challenge is to find a way to adjust to different ways of travelling, ranging from electric scooters to city bikes, car sharing and alike. Further, emerging private companies known as MaaS (Mobility as a Service) providers offer services combining public transport to both traditional and new private mobility services.
There are also plenty of other possible interested in combining transport ticketing to their own service offering. Local football clubs and sport teams, concert, theatre and other event organizers, airline and private bus and ferry companies, and other similar service providers would benefit from ordering not just the event ticket, but also the transportation to the event. There is also increasing public and even regulatory demand for Open Data, requiring PTAs to open e.g. their route and bus/tramp stop data to public – and the same will soon be applied also to ticket sales interfaces.
This demand – which is also a possibility for the PTA to boost their ticket sales – would require PTAs to open up their ticketing interfaces to new players. The question is how to do it in economically viable way?
Mobility is an important sector and crucial to economic activity. Europe, with its walkable cities and dedication to public transportation, stands at the forefront of positive change of enhanced mobility services. But it is not going to happen if every public transport operator and authority in each individual city tries to bear the costs for implementing their own, dedicated infrastructure – and even more importantly, thereafter maintaining it – which is all too often the case. Or worse still, adapt separately to several different 3rd party’s systems, meaning all the more tailored APIs, user interfaces, technical supports to contact, and so on.
However, if these new players are seen in positive light – as new potential sales channels – rather than a threat that only induces costs, a whole new set of possibilities opens up!
To utilize these possibilities, Plusdial has developed a technical platform and based on it, a service model that is flexible and scalable, and which provides an open ticketing API for the new ticket distributors – implementing thus “MaaS Readiness”. And it’s not just the platform alone; we also have accumulated almost 20 years of experience on applying the platform to PTAs’ varying business needs.
The Plusdial Ticketing Platform offers all players in the market with the means to sell and deliver tickets either through a mobile application or via SMS, to provide end customers with 3rd parties’ payment options to purchase tickets, to transmit required data to PTAs’ back-office systems (like ticket inspection, reporting and Account Based Ticketing), and to manage these transactions (via user interfaces for PTAs’ functions like end customer helpdesk and service management). It is our aim to be a neutral and independent party between public transport organizations and other parties – i.e. not a MaaS provider, payment service or mobile application vendor ourselves.
As a more detailed example of a typical set-up, the Public Transport Authority or Company may use the platform to interconnect several parties’ services to create a complete digital ticketing system:
- The PTA may either develop a ticketing application of its own or offer Plusdial Ticketing Platform’s Open API to 3rd parties (Application Providers, on the right-hand side in the picture) with existing applications, willing to add transport tickets to their current service offering.
- Application Providers may either
- Offer their customers payment methods like monthly subscriptions or dedicated mobile wallets, or
- Handle payments via general payment services (typically, credit/debit cards, Google Pay, Apple Pay, PayPal..), or
- Transmit just ticket orders and deliveries, and have Plusdial to mediate end customer charging to
- Above mentioned 3rd party payment systems, or,
- Telecom operators’ billing systems (so called “IP billing” requiring use of operator’s data network, or Premium SMS billing)
- Ticketing platfrom connects to required PTC/PTA back-office systems (on the left in the picture) for
- Fetching end user data from and inserting ticket purchase data to (possible) Account Based Ticketing database, and determining ticket properties (like e.g. personal discount price) accordingly
- Sales reporting
- Fetching or reporting ticket specific data
- Inserting ticket data to ticket inspection back-office systems (Plusdial provides also its own tools for inspection)
- Inserting ticket data to possible gate systems (typically, at metro network) with option to create tickets with machine readable QR (or other graphical) codes
- Provides uniform user interface (regardless of number of Application providers) to help desk and service management
Initially, Plusdial Ticketing Platform has been developed for public transport authorities. However, in many markets the same organizations manage also city parking and functions like congestion charging; thus, the platform also includes customer driven add-on functionality for implementing parking and congestion payments.
Please contact us for more information of how your PTA could become “MaaS Ready” and open up to the world!