Motorola’s Worldwide Smartcard Solutions Division (WSSD) and its alliance partner, ERG, have been awarded a contract with the Transport Authority of Berlin, or BVG, to conduct a field trial for a smart card electronic ticketing system covering Berlin and the surrounding greater Brandenburg area. The S-Bahn Berlin GmbH (Rapid Train System of Berlin) and the VBB (Transport Authority of Berlin-Brandenburg) will also participate in the field trial.
Berlin transit riders ultimately are expected to benefit from the improved simplicity, trouble-free payment, enhanced security and other advantages offered by the smart card electronic ticketing system. The Motorola and ERG alliance designed the turnkey, integrated system solution that will provide the infrastructure for smart card and back office operations and will drive the installation and implementation of the entire system.
The field trial is scheduled to begin in October 1999 and will last three to six months. Approximately 25,000 participants will test the system, which includes two subway lines, two bus routes and one tram line. Up to 150,000 transactions per day are expected, including transfers between stations and modes of transport. The BVG expects full system implementation and general public availability by 2002.
“With the Motorola and ERG smart card solution, we will provide our customers with a fast and easy-to-use ticketing system,” said Dr. Joachim Niklas, chief financial officer of the BVG. “Furthermore, by simplifying ticket purchase and creating additional uses for tickets, the smart card electronic ticketing solution will further increase the attractiveness of the Berlin Public Transport System.”
“Motorola is pleased to work with its world-class partner, ERG, to provide this integrated, smart card solution to BVG,” says Francois Dutray, Motorola vice president and general manager, WSSD. “By leveraging the Motorola/ERG alliance’s total system solution and advanced operating system, multiple applications will be able to reside on a single card. BVG will be the first European public transport provider to offer its customers added value via their transit cards.”
The existing Berlin transport system operates on a flat fare, paper-based ticketing system. The new system will operate with a time- and distance-based fare structure where the smart card will serve as a reusable ticket. Individuals will buy public transport “units” with cash or electronic transfer payments at distribution outlets or through stationary and mobile ticketing machines. These units will be loaded directly onto their smart cards and can then be debited by special contactless check-in/check-out terminals at the stations or in buses and trams. Users will be able to keep track of their available units by inserting the cards through readers at points-of-sale, information terminals or with the help of pocket-sized balance readers. “Smart” kiosks also will inform travelers of the best route to take and how much it will cost to get there.
A key benefit of the Motorola and ERG smart card public transport solution is that it is not limited to public transport applications. In fact, the cards can be used by public transportation authorities to award discount points to frequent users, who then can “cash in” their points in the form of more public transport units or use them for reduced admission prices to area events. In addition, retailers could offer discount points or specials on goods to those shoppers using smart cards.
The Berlin transit electronic smart card ticketing system will be based on proven back-office technology provided by ERG that has been implemented in markets such as Hong Kong, where the current transit smart card system processes nearly 4 million transactions a day. Motorola’s M-Smart Venus(tm) card and reader platform will support the front end of the solution, providing enhanced security and the flexibility to support multiple applications.
ERG’s CEO Peter Fogarty said the Motorola/ERG alliance is able to deliver a superior ticketing solution. “ERG developed the benchmark in smart card-based electronic ticketing systems with its Hong Kong project,” Fogarty said. “Now, with the support of Motorola’s advanced smart card and reader platform, the alliance can take transit-based, multi-application smart card solutions to a new level.”
The Motorola and ERG Transit Systems alliance combines ERG’s world-leading smart card and magnetic ticket-based integrated fare collection application expertise with Motorola’s impressive systems integration, communications and operational management capabilities. Complementary strengths of the alliance include complete wireless voice and data communication systems, location tracking and management and electronic purse operating experience.
ERG Limited is a world leader in the development and supply of technologically advanced smart card systems and services; automated fare collection products and systems; and telecommunications products and services. ERG provides turnkey solutions to customers, from design and manufacture, to supply, installation, commissioning and ongoing service and maintenance. In 1997/98, Australian-based ERG’s revenue totaled A$242 million. For more information on ERG visit: [www.erg.com.au].
Motorola is a global leader in advanced electronic systems and services. It liberates the power of technology by creating software-enhanced products that provide integrated customer solutions and Internet access via wireless and satellite communications, as well as computing, networking, and automotive electronics. Motorola also provides essential digital building blocks in the form of embedded semiconductors, controls and systems. Sales in 1998 were $29.4 billion. For more information on Motorola visit [www.motorola.com].