12 December 2023

2023 in review: better and stronger together

2023 in review: better and stronger together

It has been a busy year for FAIRTIQ, Let's look back at the successful partnerships, exciting innovations and encouraging industry developments that have shaped the last 12 months

For the public transport industry, the new year brought new challenges. Despite these headwinds, we and our partners used our combined expertise to find solutions and drive the sector forward. Thank you for your excellent collaboration over the last 12 months. You have played an important part in making 2023 a highly productive and successful year. 


Celebrating our shared successes

In May we had two important reasons to celebrate: our 7th birthday and the 100 millionth journey recorded by ticketing apps powered by FAIRTIQ technology. We are now over 136 million journeys and are looking forward to the next milestone.

Our partner regions also enjoyed a successful 2023. In Occitanie, France, a whopping 320,000 youth tickets were purchased – across all sales channels – during the month of June. It would be fair to assume that a large share of these sales was generated via the FAIRTIQ app, given that around 80,000 tickets, and sometimes more than 100,000, are purchased by app users in Occitanie every month. Two powerful drivers behind this record-breaking success is the simplicity of the app and the region's flexible fare models that are gradually revolutionising the industry's approach to fares.

The fifth anniversary of our partnership with public transport providers in Vorarlberg, Austria, in September, gave us further reason to celebrate. VVV was also the first transport association outside Switzerland to adopt the FAIRTIQ app. Of course, there were gifts galore for VVV passengers to mark the occasion. App users had the chance to win credits for their FAIRTIQ account and VVV extended the 'companion function' so that anyone travelling on its network could buy tickets for up to four travel companions via the app and enjoy a special fare for groups of three or more. 

"In times of climate and energy crisis, we need to offer users simple, low-threshold products and services that facilitate flexible bus and train travel."
Christian Hillbrand, Managing Director of the Vorarlberg Transport Association (VVV)


Room for fare and product innovation despite the arrival of the Deutschlandticket

On 1 May 2023 Germany launched the Deutschlandticket offering unlimited travel across the country's local and regional public transport networks for the princely sum of 49 euros per month. Although this will certainly make life easier for regular users, we still believe that flexible solutions have much greater potential to make public transport even more appealing. Members of the public for whom buying a season ticket would not be financially worthwhile will particularly benefit from the flexibility of FAIRTIQ. We also implemented several fare and product innovations over the last 12 months. In response to overwhelming popular demand, we launched our companion function in February. FAIRTIQ app users in many partner regions can now purchase tickets for their fellow- travellers at a fair price via the app. The month of March brought a first for FAIRTIQ: the implementation of an off-peak solution with our partner in Geneva, the unireso transport network, which offers regular off-peak users discounted fares. With this solution, flexibility pays: customers save money and transport providers are able to increase their capacity utilisation rates.

"The new companion function is a super addition. It makes it easy for users to bring along friends, colleagues and family on their public transport trips, which in turn persuades the co-passengers of the value of travelling by bus and train."  
Christian Hillbrand, Managing Director of the Vorarlberg Transport Association (VVV)


Testing new solutions: pilot projects and experiments generate knowledge, turn ideas into tangible solutions and increase ridership

At FAIRTIQ, we want to make sure that ideas and innovations offer transport providers and passengers real, tangible benefits. This is why we work with our local partners to test our solutions under real-life conditions. In summer 2023, we teamed up with our partner Hallesche Verkehrs-AG (HAVAG) in Germany to run a pilot to test different bonus and loyalty schemes and analyse their effect on public transport use and their cost-effectiveness. At the end of the experiment, we found that the fare model that provided an immediate discount led to a 20% increase in revenue (read the case study here). In Switzerland, Zug, a popular tourist destination, was exploring ways to attract more visitors. We worked with them on a project to find out if free public transport was a viable and effective way to achieve this aim (read the blog post here). Late October saw the completion of the three-year pilot project with the Munich Transport Association (MVV). The results were very encouraging. According to the surveys of over 10,000 test users, there was a high level of satisfaction with the fare, the usability of the solution, and the bonus models designed to encourage more frequent public transport use. These and other findings from all our field tests will be analysed and will inform future decision-making on sales and fare strategies and policies. 

"FAIRTIQ is an ideal partner to work with us on developing the market and designing innovative fare products."
Andreas Völker, Head of Marketing, Sales and Customer Service at Hallesche Verkehrs-AG


FAIRTIQ Forum and other conferences provided a valuable space for deep dialogue and lots of thought-provoking discussions 

FAIRTIQ Forum in September once again proved to be a high point on our event calendar. The theme this year was "Always the same! Or always different?" and experts from across Europe presented new sales and ticketing solutions and discussed them with Forum attendees. There were so many exciting and wide-ranging ideas to boost the sustainability and attractiveness of public transport services, from radical simplicity and loyalty programmes to technological innovations and a whole-ecosystem approach to mobility. Earlier in the summer, major international events like the UITP Congress in Barcelona, the Transport Ticketing Global Conference in London, and the Passenger Festival in Vienna provided the FAIRTIQ team more opportunities to meet and talk to industry players from around the world. Our experts gave presentations, listened to contributions from other attendees, caught up with FAIRTIQ's existing partners, and forged new collaborations. We are looking forward to also attending the IT-Trans and Innotrans trade fairs in 2024. 

"Digital and other technological innovations are key to the successful transition to sustainable an interconnected mobility."
Olga Nevska, Managing Director of Telekom MobilitySolutions, speaking at FAIRTIQ Forum 2023


Long live great cooperation! New partnerships and collaborative projects in the pipeline

FAIRTIQ successfully expanded its partner network during 2023 and the number of regions where passengers can use our technology grew as well. In February, the Austrian Federal Railways added the new "SimplyGo!" function to its app. Thanks to FAIRTIQ technology, the function makes it even easier to use public transport in Austria. In June, Atoumod, a joint public venture that oversees multimodal transport services in Normandy, France, launched the gradual roll-out of the FAIRTIQ app and a simple pay-as-you-go fare model. In November, the FAIRTIQ app was launched in Schweinfurt, Germany. This pilot project is part of the larger plan to create a new public transport association for the Mainfranken region.

"This cooperation is another important step for the future transport network in Mainfranken and its passengers."
Florian Töpper, Chief Administrative Officer of Schweinfurt

The past year also brought a surprising and uncommon form of collaboration. VISA and FAIRTIQ joined forces on a unique digital campaign with "The next journey will be legendary" as its tagline. In six partner regions in Germany, FAIRTIQ users who paid for their journeys with VISA could win a trip to the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris and public transport credit. VISA covered the lion's share of the campaign costs. Also, it is rare for external partners to promote public transport use. So, it is not surprising that we were really thrilled to have been part of this type of collaborative project. 

"When you use this type of application, you will want to keep using it."
Cédric Morel, Director of Atoumod, a joint venture between the local public authorities


Innovation begins at home

There were also a number of changes within FAIRTIQ in 2023. In February, we adopted the 'CEO as a team' management model. Since then, FAIRTIQ has benefited from the leadership of two co-CEOs: Anne Mellano and Gian-Mattia Schucan. Thanks to this joint leadership model, FAIRTIQ is better placed to seize opportunities more swiftly and effectively than before. Most importantly, it ensures the inclusion of different perspectives and a close working relationship within a growing team and ever-expanding partner network. 

"Adopting the joint leadership model and having two CEOs mean that we are much better equipped to hit every milestone that FAIRTIQ wants to reach in the coming years."
Gian-Mattia Schucan, CEO FAIRTIQ


Bring on 2024: ready and waiting for an exciting new year 

Despite the challenges, 2023 has proved to be another very good year for FAIRTIQ. We start the new year with pride in our achievements over the last 12 years and with confidence that our team will continue to come up with pioneering and innovative solutions. The next year is set to get off to a strong start. In March, we will be saying "Gå venligst om bord" (All aboard!) when we welcome Danish public transport providers and their customers to the FAIRTIQ partner network. We are excited about the opportunities that lie ahead and look forward to continuing our journey powered by our spirit of innovation and collaboration.