A Cubic Transportation Systems ‘virtual walk-up ticket office’ is being tested in Essen (Photo: EVAG Untemehmenskommunikation).

GERMANY: A ‘virtual walk-up ticket office’ which combines a self-service ticket machine with a video link to a call centre is being tested at Essen Hauptbahnhof by city transport operator EVAG and Cubic Transportation Systems.

NextAgent offers the functionality of a staffed ticket office, according to Cubic. The video link allows customers to see and talk to a customer service representative who can be in any location, and an integrated camera enables photographs and other documents to be verified to support the sale of a comprehensive range of ticket media including smart cards, magnetic tickets, paper barcodes, e-ticketing and mobile devices.

‘NextAgent offers great benefits, not only to operators in their allocation of staffing requirements, but also to commuters who are more open to user-friendly technologies in public transport’, said Roger Crow, Executive Vice-President & Managing Director at CTS Europe.

‘We are pleased to provide our riders with additional services, such as NextAgent, to make their commute easier and faster’, said Günter Neuen, Customer Management director at EVAG. ‘NextAgent not only supports our operators at peak times, like at the beginning of the month, but also reduces the waiting times for our riders.’

NextAgent is also being tested by UK operator Abellio Greater Anglia at Stansted Airport.