Automating Ticket Validation: A Key Strategy for Fare Clearing and Service Planning
In order to achieve a sustainable mobility environment, an efficient public transport framework, in which different means and companies coexist, is essential. An integrated fare system thus needs to exist, along with an agreement among the service providers for ticket revenue sharing (clearing), to avoid creating a barrier to the adoption of public transport, since users tend to be overwhelmed by many tickets and several purchase methods. The results of an extensive review of the current state of the art, regarding the possible solutions for ticket validation, which can be provided to the users by the service providers, lead to identifying a solution, whose aim is to combine the needs of both users and providers, by developing a system to simplify user experience, while at the same time collecting precious data for service monitoring and planning. This will be practically achieved through a flexible ticket validation system which will make use of three different technologies (QR codes, GPS and Bluetooth). The contributions of this work are: i) greater flexibility in ticket validation obtained by using multiple technologies; ii) the novelty of a gamification layer applied to mobile ticketing; iii) the identification of a method for obtaining clearing-related data. The adoption of multiple technologies introduces different benefits: to the users, who will be able to complete trips on multiple vehicles without worrying about ticket compatibility; and to the companies, who will be free to choose among the multiple options, and will thus not be forced to adopt a single technological solution. The main expected result is the collection of key validation related information, which will be exploited mainly for clearing purposes and possibly even in real time for optimizing fleet management.