Establishing an Integrated Fare System in Public Transport

Whereas it is now – due to numerous fare and transport associations – almost common-place everywhere in Germany to use a single ticket for multiple modes of transport, a standardisation of the fare and ticketing systems of the individual transport companies is yet to come in many European transport systems. BSL was tasked by a major city in South East Europe to strategically spur the development of an integrated fare and sales system and a revenue sharing method for public transport within the scope of a feasibility study.

Inconsistent fares and price competition due to parallel transport services

At the beginning of the project the local transport system was critically examined in terms of the different transport companies’ fare and sales systems. Hence it became clear that the biggest challenge would be the standardisation of the existing fare systems: While the system of the inner-city bus and tram operator was based on a structure of large-scale zones, pricing in regional rail and road transport depended on routes with a tapering scale of fares. Moreover, discussions with the transport companies’ operators showed that the regional bus operators are in a constant price competition due to existing parallel transport services.

Determining strategic aspects by Benchmarking and Best Practices

In a comparative analysis the local conditions were put in contrast to selected fare and sales systems of European transport associations. This study included not only the suc-cess factors of these systems but also further European best practices of fare and sales concepts. On this basis, strategic aspects of the future fare system could be determined, taking account of local circumstances. In addition to a detailed division into fare zones also the main features of the future ticket offering were defined. Moreover, standardised sales channels, their responsibilities and the technical requirements were specified. Above that, various possible revenue sharing methods were examined, as this issue had been particu-larly scrutinised by the operators of regional bus companies, due to the expected losses by end-to-end pricing.

Basis for a detailed design and an implementation of an integrated fare system

The results of the analysis were handed over to the customer in the form of a study. It in-cluded not only the summarised results of the analysis but also an outlook on the next steps to take. Thus it forms the basis for the further implementation of the integrated fare system. Apart from the necessary operational work, the outlook included in particular a proposal of short-term (detailed sales and revenue sharing concept) and long-term (estab-lishment of CRM, marketing strategy) organisational and political decisions and processes that need to be taken and realised when designing a fare system or establishing a transport association, if later appropriate.

19. February 2016