Nouvelle-Aquitaine is the second region in France to jump on board the FAIRTIQ train. On 1 June, the region in southwest France will launch its FAIRTIQ pilot, which has been designed specifically with the commuter community in mind.
We spoke to Christophe Dubach, assistant to the marketing director of SNCF TER Nouvelle-Aquitaine.
FAIRTIQ: Why did you choose FAIRTIQ?
First, there is the fact that FAIRTIQ is famed throughout Switzerland for its expertise. Second, we were impressed by the company's flexibility and ability to adapt the app to our specific needs, not to mention its deep insights and advice it was able to offer us on the use of the PAYG model.
FAIRTIQ: What are the key strengths of the FAIRTIQ solution?
It is robust, easy to use, adaptive to our needs and responsive to our customers' demands.
FAIRTIQ: Why did you decide to target the pilot specifically at commuters and what other projects do you have in the pipeline?
We were very aware that commuter travel needs have evolved because more people are working from home now. What we want is to offer them services that are responsive to their needs. What our customers want are flexible fare solutions that reflect their more irregular travel schedules. This led us to develop Pass Abonnés Télétravail 20 ou 30 voyages (a monthly 20/30 journey pass for remote workers) based on our new range of regional fares. Integrating it in the FAIRTIQ app makes it even more flexible to access and use. Going forward, we want to offer PAYG solutions to all of our passengers, including occasional public transport users, young people and families.
FAIRTIQ: What challenges do you currently face or will face, and how can FAIRTIQ technology help you respond to them?
TER is an environmentally friendly, safe, convenient and affordable way to get from A to B. We want to make it even easier to access our services and therefore attract more customers. Our new service does precisely that – it makes public transport use easier and more appealing by removing fare- and ticketing-related disincentives.
FAIRTIQ: What opportunities do you think the coronavirus crisis offers in terms of digital ticketing and how do you think user needs have changed?
Our customers, particularly those who are now working remotely, want more fare flexibility. Our travelcards do not require any validation, which means we have no information about the holder's use. However, the solutions that FAIRTIQ offer mean that we can better identify regular users, and what their travel behaviour and needs are. We can then use these insights to develop and adapt our services accordingly. Digital ticketing is entirely contactless, making it 100% compatible with the COVID-19 prevention and control measures that are currently in place.
FAIRTIQ: Last question, how would you explain FAIRTIQ to someone who is not especially tech-savvy?
Simple, effective and quick! It really couldn't be easier. Once you have downloaded the app and registered by entering your personal details, you swipe the 'Start' button on your phone and board your chosen Ter service. Once you've reached your destination, you swipe the 'Stop' button. The app does the rest: it automatically works out the route you have taken and charges you the lowest fare based on the number of similar journeys you have taken during that month! The more you travel with Ter, the less you pay!