Mobile ticketing app makes public transportation a smooth ride
By Tuomo Parjanen, Chief Executive Officer, PayiQ on March 22, 2017
Filed under Microsoft CityNext
Across the world, municipalities of all sizes face the challenge of managing government and services in the face of changing populations, tightening budgets, and increasingly tech-savvy citizens who expect government agencies to offer them the sort of digital resources they use throughout their everyday lives.
One way to approach these challenges is to embrace the concept of smart cities—where technology transforms the way local governments do business, making them more sustainable, livable, and prosperous. As a Microsoft CityNext partner, PayiQ views transportation as a key smart city building block, and we develop solutions that help governments better manage local and regional transportation while at the same time offering citizens streamlined options for getting into and around cities.
With our PayiQ Tickets mobile app, residents and tourists purchase transportation quickly and easily through a Windows Phone, Android, or iOS device—with a variety of possible payment methods—and then use a scannable QR code to board a bus, train, or taxi without the need for physical tickets. This extends to multi-modal travel, such as a trip that starts on a city bus, transfers to regional rail service, continues on another bus, and ends with a taxi trip, all on a single ticket. We can also combine transportation ticketing with event ticketing, so a concert, exhibition, sporting event, or festival can be included on that same ticket.
PayiQ Tickets debuted in 2014 in the city of Turku, Finland, and in the past year it expanded to the cities of Jyväskylä and Oulu, and recently launched in Lahti. The app has already been downloaded more than 100,000 times in Finland, and we will soon launch our mobile ticketing service in Moscow, Russia, where Metro ridership can exceed 7 million people per day. The ability to scale the solution so dramatically, while ensuring that user data remains safe, is aided by our use of the Microsoft Azure cloud platform, which offers the high levels of security, reliability, and trust that we need.
For riders, mobile ticketing provides the convenience of mobile payment with the ease of ticketless travel. Our platform includes a robust API that works with other systems to make things even easier. For example, we have partnered with websites and mobile apps that offer travel planning, so travelers can search for the best route to their destination and then purchase an e-ticket using our service.
For transportation operators, we offer business insights they haven’t had before, including anonymized data about ridership that they can use for service optimization. They also have access to dynamic pricing, so they can adjust fares in real time according to demand and time of day. In Turku, the transportation department has adjusted its routes, schedules, and fares to better match riders’ travel patterns. According to Turku’s public transport director, the city is very proud of its mobile tickets and that usage is growing so fast. Overall public transport ridership increased 5.6 percent and usage of mobile tickets grew 2.5 times in 2016. Jyväskylä and Oulu are on track to see similar gains. This move from private to public transit is helping decrease pollution in cities, and enabling families to reduce the number of cars they purchase.
Over the coming year, we will continue to explore new countries and markets, while also finding other innovative uses for our platform. One exciting new development is a partnership with Shareit, a Finnish peer-to-peer car sharing service that allows private citizens to rent out their vehicles when not in use, with all payments handled by our mobile app. We see tremendous opportunities for growth in the mobility as a service market, and we’re proud to be on the leading edge of solution development.