Bus and train tickets via mobile phone

Starting today, some 13 million people in eleven German cities and regions can pay for their bus and train tickets via mobile phone using standardized software. The system will be tested over a two year period. It was developed by member companies and groups of the Verband Deutscher Verkehrsunternehmen (VDV, Association of German Transport Companies) and Siemens IT Solutions and Services, DVB LogPay and the Fraunhofer Institute IVI in Dresden. Siemens developed and will operate the IT solution for the duration of the pilot. Participating cities include Chemnitz, Essen, Dresden, Dusseldorf, Luebeck, Hamburg, Nuremberg, Ulm, Wuppertal and the Oberlausitz and Vogtland regions.

The ticket vending machine for the jacket pocket needs no loose change, and there’s no waiting in line. It also works everywhere, since the same technology and software is used in all of the participating cities. A passenger from Nuremberg traveling to Hamburg, for instance, can buy his bus ticket for Hamburg before he evens begins his trip. “We want to use the test to find out how customers will use the new service. At the same time, it will help advance the necessary technical standardization”, says VDV president Günter Elste regarding the goal of the test.

Siemens IT Solutions and Services and its subsidiary Hansecom developed, implemented and are operating the solution. “In doing so, we are drawing on extensive experience from a similar Siemens application in Austria, where more than 155,000 drivers already use their mobile phones to pay for parking”, says Hansecom project manager Walter Leitner. And he sees great potential in Germany, too: “In Germany, there are more mobile phones than residents – and one in two people would like to be able to pay by mobile phone”, explains Leitner, referring to a new survey by the German Federal Department of Trade and Industry.