RMV HandyTicket (Photo: RMV)

GERMANY: A pilot project to test the use of mobile phone location data to see what journeys a passenger has made and then charge them appropriately has been launched. The project partners are Rhein-Main transport authority RMV, ticketing technology company Fairtiq, which has deployed the system in Switzerland, and Cubic Transportation Systems.

Passengers swipe an in/out button on the RMVsmart app when they board a train or bus, and then swipe the app again at the end of their journey. If they forget to swipe out, the app will send a reminder. Location data is used to determine the distance travelled and calculate the price to be charged, which is billed at the end of the day. 

Pseudonymous identities are used to send data to Fairtiq and then to RMV’s fare calculation systems, with the travel data and customer identity only merged when the invoice is created.

The first phase of the RMVsmart-In/Out project was launched for a trial group of 1 000 passengers on November 4 and is expected to run until March. This will provide an opportunity to test both the technology and passenger acceptance, with feedback being sought from the users.

A later stage of the project could include a system of automatically detecting when the passenger has finished their journey, further simplifying the process for the user by removing the need to check out.

RMV Managing Director Knut Ringat said the ability to board a vehicle and travel without needing to worry about buying the correct ticket was a long-standing dream. ‘Instead of typing the stop name into the app and starting the buying process, only the in-out function has to be activated, making the ticket purchase even more convenient and making RMV one of the pioneers in Germany when it comes to digital ticketing’, he said.