UITP AWARDS: FAIRTIQ and Transport Public Fribourgeois revolutionise public transport ticketing

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The UITP Awards celebrate the most innovative and ambitious sustainable mobility projects undertaken within the last two years in cities and regions around the world.

The 2019 UITP Awards were handed out during the Global Public Transport Summit in Stockholm. We sat down with each winning team to learn more about their project and to pick their brains about innovation in the sector.

Winner of the Award “Design Processes and Products”: FAIRTIQ LTD. and TRANSPORTS PUBLICS FRIBOURGEOIS SA for ‘FAIRTIQ - Public Transport made easy’

Tell us briefly about your project.

FAIRTIQ is a mobile ticketing app for public transport based on the ‘Check In – Assisted Check Out’ principle (CIACO). Customers check in with one swipe before starting their journey and can then use the whole network of the tariff community. After ending their journey, customers check out with another swipe on the app. The system detects the geographical route and charges the correct amount. This system revolutionises public transport ticketing by drastically shortening and simplifying the purchase process for customers.

What are some of this project’s key successes?

FAIRTIQ reached the full coverage of all public transport services in Switzerland within less than two years and is now the second biggest mobile ticketing channel in the country, enabling passengers to travel seamlessly nationwide with all types of public transport.

For transport operators, the cost of deploying the FAIRTIQ solution corresponds to the cost of about three ticket vending machines (approx. 80,000 EUR) and is therefore highly competitive.

The unique partnership model of FAIRTIQ allows public transport operators to share the costs of operation and further development of the system. All partner companies and passengers immediately benefit from the deployment of new functions and system improvements.

As an easily scalable product with worldwide disruptive potential, FAIRTIQ is also the first ever proof of success of a hardwareless smart mobile ticketing system.

the first ever proof of success of a hardwareless smart mobile ticketing system

In what way does this project bring about significant change in the public transport sector?

FAIRTIQ is characterised by the fact that no costly and time-consuming hardware has to be installed at stops or in vehicles for journey tracking. The strategy focuses instead on the exclusive use of smartphone technology paired with machine learning algorithms, which has proven very successful.

Thanks to its system of assisted check out, the app detects if a passenger is no longer using public transport services and reminds him/her to check-out. This has reduced the proportion of un-closed journeys from 8% to 0.11%, dramatically reducing customer support costs compared to other non-gated Check-in/Check-out systems.

As public transport users benefit from lower entry barriers for public transport usage, the public transport usage increases. The system thus directly supports the success of public transport worldwide and sets new benchmarks in terms of customer friendliness, advantages for transport operators and implementation speed.

How does it benefit public transport users?

Public transport ticketing today is cumbersome for the customer. You either queue at ticket shops or struggle with ticket vending machines. FAIRTIQ radically simplifies the ticket purchase process: with one swipe on a smartphone, customers pay the best value price for the journey - no matter what combination of transport modes is used.

Traditional ticketing solutions in non-gated systems have very high rates of forgotten check-outs, which forces passengers to interact with customer service and tends to lower the quality of their experience. FAIRTIQ has solved this problem with its assisted check out system, which automatically reminds passengers to check out.

In addition, the app also detects which parts of a passenger’s route are not travelled by public transport and excludes them from his/her bill.

You cannot know all the needs of your customers before you let customers try your solution and find out themselves

What lessons can other organisations and authorities learn from this project?

Passengers mainly search for a simple way to get a ticket for their regular trips. Ticketing solutions must satisfy this requirement in order to be successful.

Don’t try to find a solution which satisfies all of todays and potential future requirements at the same time. Mobility as a Service solutions cannot replace simple ticketing solution for everyday mobility if they try to solve too many requirements at the same time – and fail trying.

Start with a minimum viable product (MVP) instead of trying to design and develop the perfect solution from scratch. You cannot know all the needs of your customers before you let customers try your solution and find out themselves what their needs are.


Tell us about any new projects.

Many businesses would like to encourage their employees to use public transport to commute or even for business travel, but there is a lack of solutions allowing them to manage business travel in an efficient way. FAIRTIQ is implementing a customer friendly B2B ticket vending tool that allows businesses to financially support specific parts of their employees’ daily journeys and bill them directly to the right account.

Stay tuned for more interviews with the remaining winners of the UITP Awards!

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