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Paperless ticketing is a game changer for transport

Digitalization is helping European cities get smarter, and public services and businesses become more efficient

Digitalization is helping European cities get smarter, and public services and businesses become more efficient. It’s also creating opportunities for paperless ticketing in transportation, which in turn is transforming operations and creating better travel experiences for millions of people daily, across the continent.

Why going paperless is important

Whether buses, trains, trams, ferries or flights, transport is critical to European businesses and global supply chains as well as to commuters, shoppers, local travelers and tourists.

The transport sector contributes around 5 % to the EU’s gross domestic product and employs more than 6 million people. Providing the infrastructure and resources to enable the booking, sale and collection of tickets is mission-critical for every part of the sector.

Digitalization has been shown to reduce ticketing costs by up to 85%. Given that in 2021, 5.2 billion passengers made national journeys in the EU, the scale and scope of these savings are immense.

More choices and less stress for travelers

Not only does moving to paperless ticketing make economic sense for operators, but it’s also better for customers too. With electronic payments and broader acceptance, they no longer need cash or a card to pay at stations, terminals and stops. In fact, it opens a whole new world of options including pay by:

  • dedicated app e.g. RATP App in France, DB Navigator in Germany
  • contactless e.g. using bank, credit or travel cards such as TfL’s Oyster in London
  • mobile wallet e.g. ApplePay
  • QR code e.g. with downloadable pdfs

Unlocking operational benefits

Automated payment systems, including e-cards, contactless barriers and mobile apps make it much easier and faster for passengers to pay and board. Paperless ticketing also means they don’t have to worry about carrying, damaging or losing their paper tickets – especially if they buy in advance or online.

But the benefits don’t stop there, paperless ticketing opens up a raft of additional operational benefits including:

  1. Faster boarding with fewer queues leads to fewer missed trains and frustrated customers.
  2. Automatic barriers that reduce the opportunity for fare jumping and ticket misuse and fraud
  3. Better route planning and logistics/resource management because of greater visibility and more accurate data on travel usage trends and patterns
  4. Improved productivity as tickets can be scanned automatically without staff having to read and check ticket stubs.
  5. More opportunity for fare innovation e.g. creating travel card discounts/promotions/special pricing.
  6. Finally, paperless tickets are more sustainable, using fewer raw materials, eliminating print and processing and cutting ticket litter in and around stations/stops.

Keeping transport wheels turning

At Castles Technology, we provide a whole suite of unattended payment devices that are tailor-made for even the most arduous and remote installations, indoors and out.

Our latest addition is the newly android-designed S1U2 device which offers multifunctional capabilities for a wide variety of use cases including vending, multimedia kiosks, self-serve, ticketing, public transportation, laundromats and other self-service solutions. Based on a secure Android 10 platform, it can accept all forms of e-payments and is both durable easy to upgrade and cost-effective to help optimise in-field longevity and ROI.

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