Personalized smart cards in Lyon
Smart cards are storming towards the ticket gates all over Europe. In some public transportation systems, they are already past the gates.
Leading city Lyon has introduced personalized, contactless and rechargeable smart cards for season tickets and kept magnetic
cards for occasional users.
“The challenge was to encourage multimodality of use of metro, buses and trams. We wanted to optimize the range of fares, which was quite complex before,” says Stéphanie Cotte, in charge of the ticketing project at Syndicat Lyonnais des Transports en Commun.
An added bonus was the possibility to know their clients a bit better when travelling patterns was registered in a data base, she says. And hopefully limit fraud with systematic and mandatory validations. Lyon had to start with three technologies, but has given priority to the GTML technology that now has 94 percent of the 500,000 cards. GTML is also interoperable with SNCF, the French railways.
The conference in Lille on efficient public transport showed that Lisbon, Stockholm and Brussels are aiming for systems with a single
technology based on a contactless smart card immediately.
“Of great importance is communication with the clients. They use the system when it proves to be reliable,” says Stéphanie Cotte. The operators provided telephone hotlines and a large number of customer helpers on site to assist during the early days.
Smart cards also offer the possibility of multiple applications. In Bremen and Brussels, the transport cards have the possibility to load
tickets for museums, theater or other services or special offers in the city. The card may also be used as an electronic purse.
Data bases collected brings opportunities for in-depth analyses that will improve the attractiveness of public transportation.