November 13, 2020 – After receiving smart parking, Split welcomes e-ticketing for public transport and thus continues their smart city journey.
Gradonačelnik.hr writes that in accordance with world trends, in recent years, Croatia has been investing more and more in the development of smart city concepts and smart solutions that use modern technologies and digital solutions to raise the quality of life in cities. Given the increasing traffic congestion that has become a primary problem in the daily life of large cities, one of the key aspects of smart city development is certainly ‘Smart Mobility’ which is becoming a decisive factor in the quality and competitiveness of cities. The key goal is to increase the quality – reduce congestion, provide precise and accurate timetables, introduce a simple and efficient toll system, increase the number of public transport users to relieve city roads, and, ultimately, reduce environmental pollution.
After the transformation of public transport in many European cities, such as Prague, Belgrade and Brno, where contactless payment solutions for public transport have already been implemented, using the passenger’s bank or credit card, smartphone or watch as a means of payment, Mastercard wants to be a partner to both Croatian cities and public carriers.
Therefore, they conducted a study on public transport in Croatia, which showed that in Croatian society there is a great demand for public transport services and a widespread culture of card payments, which are key prerequisites for further digital improvement of public transport services. The survey conducted as part of the study showed that citizens are generally satisfied with public transport in large Croatian cities, but see opportunities for improvement, such as reducing traffic jams, more reliable timetables, ease of use of services, and ticket purchase models.
By implementing contactless payment solutions in public transport, Mastercard can help key stakeholders develop a new generation of public transport, aimed at more satisfied end-users, more efficient operation of public transport companies, and environmental protection.
After being the first in Croatia to launch a smart parking project that covered over 1,300 parking spaces in the city with sensors and introduced an application that makes it easier for drivers to find free parking spaces, and then introduced a special smart parking system for people with disabilities in the city, Split is moving forward with the development of smart solutions that raise the quality of city traffic.
The city has provided over 12 million non-refundable EU kuna for the strategic project “Implementation of the e-ticketing system in Promet d.o.o. through the ITU mechanism” worth over 25.4 million kuna. The key goal of the project is to improve the quality of public transport by automating the process of charging for tickets and informing passengers to, ultimately, increase the number of passengers in public transport.
The process of selecting the most economically advantageous bidder within the public procurement procedure of the e-ticketing system by Promet d.o.o. is currently underway, and the system should come to life in the middle of next year, if everything goes according to plan.
“In addition to the support for the existing standard technologies of the paper card system, contactless cards, the system will also provide the possibility of using modern ticket technologies, via mobile phones, as well as the possibility of paying for the ride with bank cards on the vehicle. This will simplify and make it easier for passengers to buy tickets, and at the same time speed up the change of passengers at bus stops,” says Ante Ivandić, head of the service for development projects and informatics at Promet.
At major bus stops, there are plans to install five machines to purchase paper tickets and contactless value cards, top-up, and extend the validity of tickets. In this way, passengers will be able to purchase and renew travel tickets while waiting for the bus, so that when entering the bus, they independently validate travel tickets, without the participation of the driver.
Introducing e-ticketing will provide additional opportunities for buying tickets, thanks to a mobile application to purchase tickets online, and a webshop platform for buying tickets online. In this way, all users, such as pupils, students, pensioners and citizens, would have the opportunity to extend the value of their tickets without physically coming to Promet’s locations and wasting time unnecessarily.
“Also, to efficiently monitor the performance of individual lines, and to optimize the traffic offer, through the system we will get information about the actual number of passengers who entered or exited at each station, i.e., we will have data on the load of the vehicle per line, and accordingly make corrections and optimizations in the timetable. On the other hand, passengers and users will be provided with much more information through this system compared to the situation so far. It will be possible to better monitor the personal costs of transportation, passengers will have accurate information about bus arrivals, as well as assistance in selecting lines for a particular route, for the purposes of travel planning. The system will also make it easier for people with disabilities to find their way around, because on buses, an announcement (voice and visual) of the arrival at a particular bus stop will be introduced, and at important bus stops a voice announcement of the arrival will be established through information displays.
By introducing this system, we will modernize and improve the quality of the public passenger transport service in the area where we provide the transport service,” Ivandić points out.
E-ticketing is designed as an integral part of the future joint system with other utility systems in the City of Split such as parking fees, city services, defined interfaces to other services, and will be integrated with SmartCity Split platform.
The introduction of this system should solve a number of problems in Split’s public transport that negatively affect the quality of service and thus the satisfaction of citizens, from the inability to implement precise timetables, inability to monitor vehicles in real-time, congestion at certain stops, poor ticket collection, to the non-transparent distribution of costs and revenues among stakeholders. All this causes dissatisfaction with public transport users due to constant waiting, crowds, problems with buying tickets, but also unavailable information.
Thus, the City of Split, as the host city of the Urban Agglomeration of Split and other 12 cities and municipalities that are part of the Urban Agglomeration of Split, unanimously decided to direct part of the ITU mechanism funds intended for the Urban Agglomeration of Split to Promet d.o.o. Therefore, 42 million kuna of ITU grants were provided, namely 30 million kuna for the purchase of 18 new buses that were delivered in July this year, as well as 12 million kuna for the implementation of the e-ticketing system.
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