Since March, some 1,000 test users in Berlin have been trying out the FAIRTIQ app. The 'InOut' pilot, which is scheduled to run until the end of the year, uses the FTQ Lab app and is operational in the German capital's AB fare zone.
Integrated daily fare cap
Thanks to the FAIRTIQ solution, passengers no longer have to waste time working in advance if it would be better value to buy a one-day pass or not. They simply travel around the Berlin AB fare zone when and as often as they want to. Once the fares for their journeys come to more than 8.80 euros, travel in the AB zone is free for the rest of the given 24-hour period. In addition, the FTQ Lab app is able to calculate whether a single ticket would be cheaper than two short-hop tickets within a certain time slot and automatically charges the lowest of the two.
Weekly and monthly cap planned for second phase
There are also plans to trial weekly and monthly caps as well. This will begin during the second phase of the BVG pilot, sometime in September 2022. What this means for passengers is that they will never pay more than the price of a weekly or monthly season ticket for their AB zone journeys during a given week or month. This is a welcome development for commuters in particular, as they no longer need to know in advance how often they will be working from home or in the office and decide whether it is financially worthwhile or not to invest in a season ticket.
"We are proud that Berlin is now also using FAIRTIQ's innovative technology and we look forward to deeper cooperation with BVG", notes FAIRTIQ founder and CEO Gian-Mattia Schucan.
We spoke to Frank Schreier, eCommerce team leader at BVG, about his experiences working with FAIRTIQ to date, and the importance of digital products for the public transport sector.
FAIRTIQ: Why did BVG decide that now was the time to test check-in/check-out solutions?
BVG wants to inspire more customers to take public transport. One effective way of doing this is removing barriers to use. With an in/out system, passengers no longer need any prior knowledge of fare zones and schedules. This is the perfect solution. It decides the right fare product for the passenger.
FAIRTIQ: How did cooperation with FAIRTIQ come about?
We were looking for a partner that could provide us with an in/out system and the FAIRTIQ offer was simply the most economically attractive. As a result, we gained a partner for our first in/out pilot project who is reliable, qualified and brings a wealth of experience.
FAIRTIQ: How important is it to be able to offer your customers digital products and how has BVG implemented them so far?
BVG is pushing ahead with the digitalisation of its sales channels. This is reflected in the success of our various apps.
Each BVG app is geared towards a specific customer group. The 'Fahrinfo-App' is more for customers who are looking for route information. The 'Ticket-App' is for those who know how to get from A to B and only need a ticket. 'Jelbi' is for anyone who wants to rent a bike, car, kick scooter or moped.
eCommerce has experienced a surge during the Covid-19 pandemic, but we want to grow even more and win over new customers. This will require easy-to-use digital products.
FAIRTIQ: There are plans to offer weekly and monthly fare caps during the pilot. Why has BVG decided to do this and what outcomes do you hope fare capping will generate?
We'll start with a daily fare cap and introduce a monthly cap around three months later. This will allow us to observe and track changes in our customers' mobility behaviour. We'll also conduct customer surveys with the DLR.
The way we see it, a best price guarantee as a great opportunity to attract occasional passengers to the public transport system and incentivise our existing customers to step up their public transport use, because the guarantee means they no longer have to worry whether the cost of their total public transport use at the end of the month would have been more expensive than the cost of a monthly season ticket.
Thanks, Mr Schreier, for the great interview!
Those who would like to participate in the pilot can sign up directly with BVG: www.bvg.de/pilotprojekt