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Mobility start-up Vesputi presents a study on open public transport sales

With the Mobilitybox, B2B tech providers for sustainable mobility solutions Vesputi has developed a standardised interface with which public transport offers can be integrated into other offers for the first time. The MaaS approach enables customers, among other things, to purchase tickets for local public transport from hotels, airlines and event organizers on their platforms | © Vesputi

Local public transport looks positively toward the future and is ready for changes relative to ticket sales. A current study by the technology company Vesputi shows that an open exchange of data between public transport and companies from the private sector makes it possible to open up new sales channels and thus new customer groups.

As part of a symposium in the HOLM (House of Logistics & Mobility) in Frankfurt, Vesputi presented the “Open Ticketing Interface” study. The study was funded by the Federal Ministry for Digital & Transport, as well as supported by partners such as DELFI e. V., Stadtwerke Halle and HOLM. For the purpose of the study, around 40 transport companies from urban and rural areas were qualitatively surveyed over a period of six months. The aim of the survey was to determine the status quo of digital sales and the willingness to develop a standardised ticket interface to integrate local public transport into the applications of external companies.

The results are optimistic: in public transport, 26% of all tickets are currently sold digitally, mainly for occasional traffic, i.e. single and day tickets. Only 5% of subscription tickets, on the other hand, are bought online. According to the participants, the trend towards digital ticketing is increasing due to external influences such as Corona, the Ukraine war, the energy crisis and measures to simplify access to public transport – keyword Deutschlandticket. The Federal Digital and Transport Ministry calls for a fully digital implementation.

As far as the future of digital distribution is concerned, German transport companies plan to work with third-party providers. Almost 83% of the participating transport companies would sell their tickets on the platforms of event organisers. The next preferred partners are airlines, hotels, tour operators and providers of operational mobility. According to the results, micro-mobility providers as well as banks and financial service providers are less exciting for cooperation.

The third-party companies, in turn, offer their customers an additional service by selling tickets. At the symposium, Phillip Winter, Chief Marketing Officer at a&o Hostels, mentions the advantages of opening up public transport sales: “On the one hand, we offer our guests the convenient option of buying a public transportation ticket for the days of their arrival and departure at the same time they book an overnight stay. On the other hand, as a company, we make an important contribution to the sustainable mobility revolution.”

The challenge here is to make the technical interface between the transport company and third-party providers universal and standardised so that companies do not have to deal with the complexities of public transport. The study participants state that they are open to innovation and to working with start-ups that can implement this technologically.

Walter Reinarz, Managing Director of the Rhein-Erft-Verkehrsgesellschaft, also confirms this in his presentation: “Through external cooperation, we can test new approaches more quickly. These do not have to be fully defined, but can be piloted in an agile manner. We have to give new ideas a chance to prepare public transport for the future.”

“The study clearly shows that the decision-makers in the transport companies are ready for a change in the industry. In the future, public transport must be offered to users wherever they need it. Not only at the ticket machine two kilometers away,” adds Ben Gallmeister, Head of Strategic Partnerships at Vesputi and responsible for the study.

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