Technology

Frictionless ticketing for public transport accessibility

public transport accessibility

This project is exploring new and emerging technologies that can offer a true frictionless ticketing experience for public transport customers with disabilities across multiple modes.

This research will clarify the key strengths and challenges of new and emerging frictionless ticketing technologies. Technology that simplifies connected transport journeys across multiple modes and operators will be explored.

Transport for NSW aims to co-design new research trials of how frictionless ticketing can truly enhance the public transport customer experience, particularly for people with disabilities.

Participants

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Project background

The growing shift from private to public transportation and the increasing use of smartphones have led to the development of new transport ticketing systems.

Major transport operators are transitioning from closed-loop proprietary systems to open systems which can use global payment infrastructure for ticketing via smart cards and, increasingly, smartphones.

Open systems are account-based where identification is separated from the funding. This can leverage various types of frictionless technology such as biometrics and personal verification methods including fingerprint readers, facial recognition (CCTV and camera), iris scanners and radio.

For example, radio frequency identification (RFID) enabled wearables and Bluetooth technologies have the potential to support transport operators in improving their services.

This new technology can enable customers with disability to approach and automatically pay for their fare thanks to gate sensors that immediately detect the RFID tag or sensor card at a train station.

The outcome is a frictionless journey where customers with disabilities no longer have to have to engage a transport worker or face struggles in trying to reach the card readers to tap their card or digital wallets.

This can create accessible connected journeys across private and public operators through Mobility as a Service (MaaS).

Transport for NSW has identified a knowledge gap around the potential of new and emerging frictionless technology options that is limiting their application in a fully integrated MaaS ecosystem. In particular, more research into the policy, regulations and barriers for implementation is required.

As well, frictionless ticketing solutions must meet security standards and be compliant with privacy and safety laws, among others.

With this project, the parties will:

  • Explore new and emerging technologies that can be applied to Opal Connect and other platforms;
  • Undertake an in-depth review of government policies, laws, regulations and other barriers to using frictionless ticketing solutions; and
  • Look into the feasibility of offering a true frictionless ticketing experience to transport customers with disabilities across multiple modes.

Project objectives

The purpose of this research program is to explore new and emerging technologies that can be applied to Opal Connect and other platforms in NSW whilst offering a true multi-modal frictionless ticketing experience for transport customers with disabilities.

The project’s strategic objectives are to:

  • Determine the key strengths and challenges of new and emerging frictionless ticketing technologies based on research in Australia and overseas;
  • Assess technology options for frictionless ticketing solutions which can be used with Opal Connect; and
  • Enable Transport for NSW to design and trial frictionless ticketing solutions that will better connect journeys across various modes and help customers to plan, book, and pay for their public transport under current government policies, laws, and regulations.

The project will also:

  • Coordinate and capture academic research completed to date, with a view to invite researchers to partner in the next steps of the research program;
  • Explore and define new and emerging frictionless technology that will bolster mobility for people with disabilities in a post-COVID-19 environment;
  • Identify an evaluation framework appropriate for new and emerging frictionless technology trials that will meet the social, technological, and economic priorities described in Future Transport 2056;
  • Co-design the next potential and viable trial opportunities dedicated for people with disabilities in NSW.

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