In the future, users of public transport in Germany will be able to select and purchase their tickets by mobile phone. They will then be able to get straight onto a bus or train without having to wait or find the right change.
This, at least, is the aim of a new system that's being developed by Siemens IT Solutions and Services, the Fraunhofer Institute for Transport and Infrastructure Systems IVI and DVBLogPay. Their so-called HandyTicket system will be tested out in eleven German cities over the next two years.
Public transport users in these areas will be able to purchase single-journey and day tickets simply using their cell phones. What’s more, they will be able to buy tickets not only for their local region but also for all the other regions participating in the project.
In use, a mobile phone user will first log on to one of the participating transport networks via the Internet page www.dashandyticket.de and then select a desired payment method.
After registration, the customer can then download a small Java program for use on cell phones by SMS. This enables tickets to be selected and purchased and, once they have been, the system will transfer a visual of the ticket onto the cell phone.
During a ticket check, the passenger will simply show the inspector the stored ticket on the display. The person’s identity card or cell phone number is then all that is required to validate the ticket for inspection.