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SBB introduces automatic tickets for all passengers

After successful one-year tests, SBB has introduced automatic ticketing for all passengers on a regular basis. With the new service known as ‘EasyRide’, the customers of the Swiss railway company got a new opportunity for easy and convenient travel. To get a train ticket, a passenger should make only a few clicks in the SBB Mobile application.

SBB started to examine automatic ticketing service in October 2018 with 15,000 customers. During the first four months, the company’s passengers made over 80,000 train journeys using the ‘EasyRide’ option. “After a positive assessment of the market tests, SBB is now introducing automatic ticketing in the SBB Mobile app,” the railway operator stated. ‘EasyRide’ is based on the technology of FAIRTIQ.

To use the new service, a passenger must have a SwissPass login and deposit in the SBB Mobile application. When he or she boards a train, it is required only to push a button ‘Start’ in the app in order to check-in. After finishing a journey, a passenger should check-out by pushing the ‘Stop’ button (see the picture below). The system automatically books a ticket based on the fairest price and charges money for a trip using a deposit.

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SBB EasyRide, source: SBB & RailTech

GA Travelcard

SBB noted that ‘EasyRide’ is aimed at customers who do not have a GA Travelcard but want to travel in public transport comfortably, simple and carefree. This new service provides similar options as the GA Travelcard does. The latter allows the customers to travel across Switzerland for one-year or one-month periods with an unlimited number of train rides.

There are various types of GA Travelcard: for adults, students, children, seniors, families, passengers with reduced mobility and even dogs. To use this kind of travelcards within a year, an adult passenger should pay 3,860 Swiss francs for travelling in the second class and 6,300 Swiss francs for the first class (around 3,540 and 5780 euros respectively). The annual fares for dogs cost 805 Swiss francs in both classes (circa 740 euros).

Self-service channels

For the last several years, SBB has been actively investing in the development of the self-service distribution channels. The Swiss company is installing more and more ticket machines at train stations. Now, there is at least one vending machine at every station. Also, SBB is converting the railway stations into the self-serviced centres. In 2014-2018, 25 such centres were opened. This year, the company has been converted 10 train stations into the self-serviced centres. At the same time, SBB is developing digital channels. Over half tickets for the company’s trains are being sold via the SBB official website and the mobile application. In the future, the Swiss national railway operator intends to continue this strategy.

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Author: Mykola Zasiadko

Mykola Zasiadko is editor of online trade magazines RailTech.com and RailFreight.com.

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