CiBo Makes Public Transport Convenient and Economical
In North Rhine-Westphalia, a public transport digitization campaign has generated some movement in the public transport sector. It bundles different subprojects into an ambitious, statewide e-fare solution. One provision of this offensive is the Big Bird Westphalia project – an e-fare pilot project in Soest County for all of Westphalia. Our contribution: Big Bird works on the basis of the nextTicket system, which was developed by MENTZ for Rhine-Ruhr Transport (VRR).
Big Bird represents the first e-fare offering for daily operation in Germany. Its goal is to provide digital and fully accessible mobility and to ensure compatibility throughout the state.
Behind the e-fare is a smartphone-based “Check-In/Be-Out” system (CiBo). “Be-Out” means capturing the moment when a passenger exits a vehicle and is supported by existing Bluetooth technology in buses. In other vehicles, an “assisted check-out” is provided. The basis of Big Bird’s technical system is nextTicket, which was developed by MENTZ and extensively tested by the VRR over the past few years. The test is actively being conducted in the core area – the counties of Soest, Hochsauerland and Unna – but the system can actually be used on buses and trains throughout Westphalia. As part of the initiative for a digital model region, the Department of Commerce for North Rhine-Westphalia is funding an e-fare pilot project. And Big Bird is set to provide important findings for e-fare synchronization in NRW.
Check-In/Be-Out (CiBo) makes using public transport particularly easy and convenient. This is because passengers no longer have to consider which ticket they actually need among many options or hassle with a complicated system for ticket prices. Manual Check-Out is always an option, but Be-Out automatically calculates one step ahead. Check-In/Be-Out is as comfortable as a king-sized sofa: in the end, passengers should never pay more than they would have paid had they planned ahead and bought the best ticket at the best price. So to ensure the best price, a preliminary optimization is carried out after each trip and shows passengers what they would have to pay up to that point. At the end of the day, or at the end of the month, a final best price calculation is presented.
The CiBo system developed by MENTZ combines many advantages: for customers, using public transport becomes more attractive, they do not need to know ticket prices, they just enter a vehicle and ride – best-price calculation makes it possible. For companies, region-wide, integrated ticketing continues to increase in popularity
The public transport digitization initiative in NRW and Big Bird show where public transport companies and authorities are headed.
You can read the entire article in MENTZ Magazine 1-21 Big Bird!