4 May 2022

How the FAIRTIQ app keeps getting better

How the FAIRTIQ app keeps getting better

In the last eight months, the number of journeys made with the FAIRTIQ app has jumped from 30 million to 50 million. While pandemic guidelines and home office recommendations saw bus and train passenger numbers plummet over the last two years, uptake of the FAIRTIQ app has soared.

 "50 million journeys are incontrovertible proof that our solution is meeting the real needs of our partners and public transport users", FAIRTIQ founder and CEO Gian-Mattia Schucan.

FAIRTIQ has another reason to celebrate: at the end of April 2022, it will turn six. One of our best birthday presents are the roughly 100,000 journeys that FAIRTIQ users make every day. You can read more about the history of FAIRTIQ in this blogpost


Expansion of partner network in 2021 drives uptick in the use of FAIRTIQ’s in/out app 

One of the main contributory factors behind FAIRTIQ’s rapid growth and upsurge in the number of journeys made using its app is the recent addition of several major regions in Germany and France to the Swiss start-up's partner network. 


FAIRTIQ app now available in more than 40 regional transport networks across Europe.

In the past six months, Germany's largest state, North Rhine-Westphalia, as well as the regions around Freiburg, Karlsruhe, Aschaffenburg and Ingelheim have rolled out the FAIRTIQ app. Following successful and popular pilot projects, two French regions – Occitanie and Nouvelle Aquitaine – also joined FAIRTIQ’s growing partner network in April 2022.


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According to Anne Mellano, Chief Business Office at FAIRTIQ, "We have noticed a pronounced rise in passenger demand for contactless travel since the start of the pandemic. Also, the increase in remote working has led many commuters to switch from travelcards and season tickets to the FAIRTIQ app."

Thanks to the integrated fare cap, passengers only pay for the journeys that they actually take, and never pay more than the price of a one-day pass for their public transport use over a 24-hour period. Passengers in some fare networks also enjoy weekly and even monthly fare caps. Read more about the monthly capping pilot launched by Compagnie Générale de Navigation sur le Lac Léman (CGN) here

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System development and international expansion in constant focus at FAIRTIQ

Ticket sales in 2021 totalled more than 100 million Swiss francs. Over the course of the year, the number of people who travelled at least once with FAIRTIQ totalled 380,000, a rise of nearly 70%. This impressive result  is due in part to FAIRTIQ's international expansion. More recently, the CiCo solution was adopted by five new transport regions in Germany and Switzerland, and pilot projects launched in France, Belgium and England. The Berlin public transport authority, BVG, is the latest provider to trial FAIRTIQ’s innovative technology.


"We are proud of the dynamic growth we have managed to achieve despite the difficulties posed by the pandemic, and of our role in getting travellers back on public transport.” Gian-Mattia Schucan.  

What does the future hold for FAIRTIQ?

"Our focus in 2022 will be improving user-friendliness and continued expansion beyond the German-speaking world." According to the FAIRTIQ founder and CEO, other projects are also in the pipeline, including new pricing models and extending the functionality of the app that allows users to purchase tickets for additional passengers via the app. 


Aubry Cholleton, Travel Squad Lead & Software Engineer at FAIRTIQ explains the link between company growth and further app development in the following behind-the-scenes interview:


What do you do at FAIRTIQ?

Aubry Cholleton: My mission at FAIRTIQ is to lead a squad of 8 talented engineers and researchers working on the “brain” behind the app. Together we develop algorithms combining state-of-the-art machine learning techniques and optimization methods in order to automatically determine which trains and buses were taken by our users based on sensor data collected by their mobile devices. This process works of course strictly anonymous. 


What do you love about the FAIRTIQ-App?

Aubry Cholleton: The FAIRTIQ App changed my relationship with public transports and mobility in general. I love the fact that I can now hop-on any bus or train to go hiking or skiing and  never have to think ahead of which ticket I’ll have to buy, always knowing that I’ll get the cheapest possible fare in the end! 


How is the App getting more user-friendly?

Aubry Cholleton: Every day new improvements are being delivered to make the life of our users simpler. The first one that comes to my mind is Smart Stop. We noticed that it was a burden for our users to always remember to checkout at the end of their trip. As a result we developed a system able to automatically detect when the trip is over so the user doesn’t even have to check-out at all!

How do the FAIRTIQ engineers know what the users need and want?

Aubry Cholleton: Making sure the engineers are always aware of the concerns and wishes of our users is the secret to the success of Fairtiq. In addition to the feedback gathered directly through the app, engineers are in direct contact with the customer care team, all the issues they identify are automatically forwarded to the engineers and analyzed carefully. A dedicated team of product owners is also working in close collaboration with the engineers to make sure we develop the right things for our users. 


So the more journeys we count on the FAIRTIQ App, the better it gets, why?

Aubry Cholleton: The algorithms we developed to detect which vehicles are being taken by our users can automatically learn and improve themselves by observing example trips. By giving them many examples of what a given tram trip looks like, it will get better at recognizing these tram trips in the future. As a result the more people travel, the better our engine gets and the better our engine gets, the more people will want to travel with us! We of course make sure to work only with anonymized data when improving our system as respecting the privacy of our users is a priority.


Why is it good for the app, that we operate in different countries?

Aubry Cholleton: Each region comes with their very own characteristics and challenges, its our role at FAIRTIQ to make sure everyone can get the best travel experience wherever they are. Some urban areas will push us to improve support for underground subways, some mountainous area will challenge us to improve the way we handle cable ways. Each of these challenges will contribute to making the app better everywhere!


Thanks, Aubry, for the great interview!