13 July 2020

FAIRTIQ hinter den Kulissen - zu Besuch bei unserem Partner GöVB

FAIRTIQ hinter den Kulissen - zu Besuch bei unserem Partner GöVB

Behind the scenes – FAIRTIQ checks in with partner GöVB

Michael Neugebauer, Managing Director, and Heike Spielmann, Project Manager, Göttinger Verkehrsbetriebe. © Bernd Schlegel, Hessische/Niedersächsische Allgemeine (HNA)

To mark the one-year anniversary of FAIRTIQ’s arrival in Göttingen, we spoke to the managing director of the Göttinger Verkehrsbetriebe (GöVB) Michael Neugebauer and Project Manager Heike Spielmann. 


How would you rate your FAIRTIQ experience so far?

Michael Neugebauer:

“When we decided to go with FAIRTIQ, digital ticketing was completely  uncharted territory for us. To be honest, we didn’t really have any great expectations at the beginning, but we are thrilled that our new digital ticketing service has been embraced by our customers, and has even boosted passenger numbers. Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive so far.”


FAIRTIQ:  Be honest, were you not a little sceptical at the beginning that a start-up could come up with a solution which would actually deliver on its promises? 

 Michael Neugebauer:

“Of course, some have preconceived notions about start-ups, because they are fresh to market and maybe have little experience under their belt. But I  honestly didn’t know that FAIRTIQ is a start-up and I never once had the feeling that we could be getting a raw deal.”


FAIRTIQ: What recent changes/trends do you think public transport in Germany needs to respond to? 

Michael Neugebauer: 

“The primary issues that public transport operators like us have been focussing on over the last few years are: 1. Electromobility; 2. Flexible mobility like the introduction of an on-demand public transport service; 3. Staff shortages; 4. Digitalisation. 

In Germany a huge amount of money has been earmarked for measures to make mobility greener. They generally entailed the expansion of existing public transport services and a gradual changeover to electromobility. Another challenge we’ve faced is staffing shortages. These are the mega themes and trends that have long been top of the German public transport operators’ agenda.

Digitalisation is an increasingly important issue for us. Some customers want – and expect – to be able to buy their tickets electronically, while others still prefer to travel with an actual paper ticket.  No matter, one thing is clear: our fully fledged entry into the digital universe is growing ever closer.”


FAIRTIQ: Do you think the Coronavirus pandemic will bring about long-term change in the public transport sector?

 Michael Neugebauer: 

“At the moment people are understandably still reticent about using public transport because it is not always easy to stick to the distancing rules. This situation is compounded by the fact that short-time and remote working remains very much in place. The upshot is less public transport use both now and in the future. Experts reckon that it will take a great deal of time for passenger numbers to recover to pre-Corona levels. All this aside, we are pleased that we are able to offer our passengers a little more peace of mind when using our services thanks to the contactless and cashless ticketing solution that FAIRTIQ has developed.”


FAIRTIQ: What is the mobile ticketing situation in Germany like?

Michael Neugebauer und Heike Spielmann: 

“It’s clear that moves in this direction are afoot in Germany. We consider ourselves to be at the forefront of this movement, even though we are not one of the country’s largest public transport providers. When it comes to the ‘beeline’ fare model, we are No. 2, just behind the Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Neckar. However, when it comes to digital service, we are miles ahead – a position we owe in no small part to our early adoption of the FAIRTIQ solution. Our comparatively small size was an advantage because we had the necessary flexibility to quickly bring a digital and innovative solution onstream.”


FAIRTIQ: Why did you go for the ‘beeline’ fare model? 

Michael Neugebauer und Heike Spielmann: 

“Circumstances prompted us to adopt the ‘beeline’ fare model in Göttingen: the local government had called on us to introduce a short-hop fare. At that time, we had been working on reducing onboard ticket sales, so the introduction of a short-hop fare would have undone this progress. We asked for a little more time because we wanted to find a better solution. Someone drew our attention to Heidelberg’s ‘beeline’ fare model, as well as to FAIRTIQ. 

The ‘beeline’ model allows us to fill three needs with one deed: offer fair fares for long and short journeys, reduce direct sales and provide our customers with a digital solution.”


FAIRTIQ: How would you describe FAIRTIQ to someone who has no idea about apps and mobile tickets?

 Michael Neugebauer und Heike Spielmann: 

“We’d just like to point out that older people make up a good share of our customer base, and have taken to the FAIRTIQ app like a duck to water. Sometimes, our customer support team have had to talk customers through the installation process. Otherwise, it seems to work really well. The FAIRTIQ mobile ticketing app is easy to use and the registration process is incredibly straightforward – all you have to do is enter your chosen method of payment and you’re all set. Before you board, swipe the start button on your screen.  When you reach your destination, simply swipe the stop button. That’s all there is to it!”


FAIRTIQ: Finally, GöVB and FAIRTIQ are a good team because…

Michael Neugebauer und Heike Spielmann: 

“We’re on the same wavelength — we are both interested in finding and implementing solutions easily and quickly. ‘Quick and easy’ is how we think about things here, and it seems that FAIRTIQ shares this sentiment. We understood one another from the get go, because the two of us focus on solutions, not problems.“


Some of the FAIRTIQ feedback from GöVB customers: 


“The app is fantastic. Cashless tickets as well as fares that only charge you the geographical distance between your stops and not the distance you have actually travelled. That is totally inspired.”


“Well done on integrating the beeline fare on the app. Much appreciated. Works like a dream…”


“… I registered on the FAIRTIQ app and tried it out yesterday for the first time. It is brilliant and so easy to use …”


Thank you for taking the time out to talk to us. The FAIRTIQ–GöVB partnership has a rosy future ahead!