Bologna: the bus ticket is made on board with AEP Ticketing solutions
Tper continues its investments: the system that combines simplicity of use and guarantee of the best rate has been activated on line 25 since March 30
Bologna, 30 March 2021 – The EMV system (acronym for Europay, MasterCard and VISA) is a real revolution in the world of public road transport because it allows you to pay for the journey directly by placing your bankcard – credit card or debit card – on the validator. The same way as contactless. The easiest and most intuitive solution for those who use public transport on an occasional basis and a particularly smart opportunity for tourist users who hope to be able to recover in large numbers after this serious health crisis. Therefore on board of vehicles, an additional emerald green validator will appear, reserved exclusively for bankcards, which joins the existing ones. All current payment systems, including those with magnetic stripe paper tickets, with microchip cards or with coins on local lines remain, in fact, in force.
«We have made available to this project – explains Giuseppina Gualtieri, President and CEO of Tper – the experience acquired with the Marconi Express where the EMV technology has already been operational for a few months. To date, there are very few cases of validators for bankcards not linked to transport systems with fixed ‘in-out’ gates such as underground. Bologna will, in fact, be the first metropolitan city to adopt this system in a widespread and extensive way on individual vehicles in motion and this is the great news for Bologna which has an local fleet of 500 vehicles; in the coming months each of these will also be equipped with the new payment system. The novelty, the result of months of work of our structures together with those of Tep, Seta and Start Romagna and of the suppliers that won the tender, further enriches the options we guarantee to the user to make the payment of the trip as easy as possible. . This innovation aligns us with the best international experiences looking at a future of public transport increasingly linked to digital technologies; the new system joins another important investment, that of the Roger app, implemented as the local MaaS (Mobility as a Service), which provides increasingly extensive services in the field of mobility, and other forms of electronic ticketing via smartphone; these are concrete solutions, aimed at responding to different needs “.
The “START” in Bologna on urban line 25
The news starts on Tuesday 30 March, on line 25 in Bologna. An important line that crosses the historic center of the capital and connects many places of interest in the city and which was chosen as the first operational start of the service after months of tests. However, the vehicles equipped with the new system are already today over 150 and it will therefore be possible to find buses equipped with EMV technology also on other lines. The presence of these validators is indicated by a window sticker placed next to the bus access door. If the EMV validator is present, the user can already use it, even outside line 25. Tper will gradually extend the new validators to the entire Bolognese local area by the end of the summer and, thereafter, to the Ferrara local area by the end of the year, to reach the entire fleet, including the extra-urban one, by 2022.
The advantage of this innovation is simplicity: just bring the card close to the dedicated validators and the system will do everything else; therefore, even in the event of a vehicle change during the period of validity of the first validation, there is no risk of paying twice. Therefore, we can forget about everything; just remember to always pass your card when you get on each bus. In case of subsequent passage on a vehicle not yet equipped with the new validators, the common travel rules apply and even in the event of verification, there is no risk of sanctions: it will be sufficient to provide the controller with the last 4 digits of your card.
Using a bankcard to pay for public transport is not only fast and safe and does not involve price increases compared to the ordinary fare (the urban ticket costs 1.50 euros and is worth 75 minutes), but also guarantees an additional advantage: the system automatically calculates the amount due at the end of each service shift, charging the “best rate” possible. As for travel on the Bologna Tper urban network, for example, from 2.00 am to 2.00 am the following night, the maximum charge will be 6 euros, despite of the number of trips made.
A project that lasted months that starts and will develop quickly
“It is an important effort that has seen 50% of the co-financing of the Emilia-Romagna Region with POR FESR funds and the important commitment also from the economic point of view of the companies for the remaining portion” – recalled the President Gualtieri – “We are very satisfied with this result and with the further opportunity that will be available from tomorrow. These months will also serve for an operational implementation of a service that guarantees practicality and maximum safety of the systems: a further contribution that we put in place to help accompany the development of sustainable mobility even after the health emergency, when the entire country system will face the challenge of recovery».
“What starts tomorrow – explains Mirco Armandi, manager in charge of information systems at Tper – is a debut that puts at value months of hardware and software development that have seen us work side by side with three leading industrial partners in their respective business segments. In this way we are sure to provide reliability and security in transactions from day one ».
These are the results of the tender launched in 2020 by all four public transport companies in the Region for a total amount of 3,275,000 Euros; a race that saw Tper as leader. Each company is now implementing the project with specific calendars and experiments in their respective territories.
The validators (AEP Ticketing solutions) are the same throughout the region, as are the software and the financial partner (Intesa Sanpaolo). The project was carried out thanks to the digital platform of SIA – a leading European hi-tech company in payment services and infrastructures controlled by CDP Equity – which allows the payment of the transport service by simply touching one’s own contactless credit card, even virtualized on smartphones and wearable devices, to the appropriate validators on board the buses in an easy, fast and safe way.
«A great result achieved in difficult times. We are collaborating with four companies that are among the best on the market and it is a great honour to be with them. I remember that this payment system with EMV cards, which joins the many others we have made in Italy and abroad, also accepts virtualized cards on smartphones and therefore allows you to leave plastic cards at home “commented Giovanni Becattini, CEO of AEP Ticketing solutions.
«We are especially proud to have collaborated with Tper to launch the new contactless payment system in a period in which it is also necessary to take all possible measures to protect the safety of travellers. Many important companies are already using SIA technology to digitize millions of travel tickets. Our country is accelerating in the digitization process and in particular in the field of mobility and public transport: electronic payment thus increasingly enters the everyday life of citizens and becomes the alternative standard to cash “declared Eugenio Tornaghi, Marketing & Sales Director by SIA.
«We are pleased to have supported Tper in the implementation of the new cashless payment methods for public transport in partnership with Nexi. As a leading bank in Italy in digital payment systems, we have provided innovative solutions that today bring the Bolognese network to high European standards, allowing travellers an easier, more comfortable and faster use of the means. Intesa Sanpaolo is committed to provide its customers and the country with full support in the digital transformation, »declared Stefano Favale, Head of Intesa Sanpaolo’s Global Transaction Banking Department.
AEP Ticketing solutions is located in Signa (Fi) and specializes in the creation of electronic ticketing systems in Italy and abroad, especially in France. It is a pioneer company in the creation of “Cashless” systems on board vehicles. There are over 25 systems, including those installed and functioning between Italy and France and those already in order. Aep solutions are not limited to “Cashless” systems but include all the types that are currently at the forefront (contactless cards and tickets, QR code tickets, dematerialized tickets on smartphones, “Card centric” and “Account based” systems).