Automatic train tickets gain popularity in Switzerland

In three months after the launch of automatic ticketing for train journeys in Switzerland, this service has overcome the first milestones. More than 500,000 customers have registered to use this option. They performed over 1,2 million train trips in this period. Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) expects that the automatic tickets will gain more popularity in the coming years.

SBB developed the automatic ticketing service two years ago. It is based on the technology of FAIRTIQ and is also known as ‘EasyRide’. This service is available for the passengers via the company’s mobile application. To use it, a traveller must have an installed SBB Mobile app and the deposit on it. The service needs just one click in the application when a passenger takes a train and one more click when he or she finishes the trip. The money for the journey is withdrawn automatically.

Two days

The ‘EasyRide’ service was launched in October 2018 in a test mode. Within the first four months of trials, around 15,000 registered customers made over 80,000 journeys. In the mid-November 2019, the option was introduced on a regular basis. “Customers appreciate the ease of use for purchasing tickets with ‘EasyRide’. The main question was why users receive the purchase receipt only two days later. This period is necessary so that ‘EasyRide’ can consider all variants for the cheapest tariff for a trip,” SBB notes.

Further investments

In the coming period, SBB plans to continue its policy to invest in the self-service channels for ticket sales. This target is being achieved in two main ways – by developing the news self-service options at the train stations and launching new digital solutions. The latter includes the various mobile applications of SBB. At the same time, the self-service at the railway stations is being implemented via installing the ticket machines. Moreover, SBB is being actively invested in converting the train stations into the self-service centres. There have been transformed 25 stations across Switzerland in 2014-2018.

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Author: Mykola Zasiadko

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

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