This small town in Finland has one of the most innovative ticketing systems in the country

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Ridango launched its services in the city of Imatra in the first half of 2020. That made the city of Imatra instantly the innovative frontrunner for public transport ticketing in Finland. In this blog post, we talk about the Imatra use-case and what are the integral parts of the future-proof public transport ticketing system. 

 In the city of Imatra, Ridango implemented an account-based ticketing system that is already known and commonly used by commuters in many countries across Europe. It means that all ticket information will be stored within a digital user account rather than on physical cards. As for Finland, this is a fairly new approach because the traditional card-based method is still widely used. 

 So, what’s so special about the account-based ticketing one might ask?  

 Account-based ticketing gives commuters many benefits. It improves rider experience by enabling buying tickets from different sales channels, and instant top-up. Account-based ticketing also lays the foundation to accept variety of tokens – closed-loop travel cards, contactless bank cards (cEMV), mobile devices, and QR codes, with maximum flexibility in fare calculations. When applied, the best fare calculation always favours the rider and makes the ticket purchase seamless and simple. 

 An account-based ticketing system is easy to integrate with third parties. For example, in Tartu (Estonia), you can use the Smart Bike Share system with the same travel card and a monthly pass gives the riders a free bike rental for a limited period. This is a crucial aspect if you’re on a mission to create a smart mobility system for a city.  

 We can’t forget to mention benefits for the public transport operators and authorities to whom such system means lower setup and operational costs, compared to old-fashioned card-based ticketing solutions, where heavy front-end devices, like Ticket Vending Machines, need constant maintenance and attention.  

 Integral parts of the future-proof public transport solutions 

 As Ridango is a one-stop shop for public transport digital solutions, city of Imatra’s new system also includes automatic real-time vehicle location service. Real-time information is an integral part of future-proof solutions, because it helps travellers plan their journeys more accurately. Information can be presented in mobile and web applications, as well as on the onboard displays of vehicles, but also on platforms and infotainment screens. 

 For authorities and operators, online vehicle tracking enables seeing their location and device status monitoring in real-time. Together with comprehensive reporting tools, it provides valuable information to organize routes, and departures and improve service levels. 

 As an extension to state-of-the-art ticketing, Ridango will launch a demand-responsive transport (DRT) solution in the spring of 2021. The discussions for integrating such additional on-demand service into Imatra’s ticketing system have already begun. It’s a great value, not offered by many, that one system will be able to deliver on multiple crucial needs. DRT is an ideal solution for authorities because it saves money through optimized scheduling and vehicle capacity. Such an approach is specifically good for low-density and rural areas, where the public transport offering would otherwise be compromised due to low economic feasibility. 

 Ridango would like to thank the city of Imatra and the amazing Project Manager Jukka Partinen. It’s been an honour working with such innovative thinkers.  

 For more information about our solutions get in touch. We would be happy to answer your questions and have a discussion.