Train and bus tickets could become a thing of the past under a new system the National Transport Authority (NTA) wants to implement which could also have implications for the free travel pass.
The NTA says it is seeking to enter into a contract for the provision of a Public Transport Mobile Ticketing Solution for use across various public transport operators in Laois, Leinster and across Ireland.
In a recently advertised tender document, the NTA says this contract is intended for the provision of a transport mobile ticketing solution from the supplier, which would be deployed nationally across multiple public transport operator services in Ireland. This is likely to include both multi-operator and multi-modal tickets.
NTA says it has 'defined a roadmap for the next generation of automated fare collection for Ireland'. It says this will involve a graduated move to a nationwide Account Based Ticketing (ABT) system across public and private transport operators services, with the eventual aim of enabling the integration of multiple mobility solution providers, as used in 'Mobility As A Service' or MAAS.
"In this context, ABT is defined as 'a method of ticketing where the proof of entitlement to travel and any records of ticket usage are held as records in a ticketing back office and not in/on any physical media held by the passenger'".
"In the longer term, the mobile ticketing solution provided under this procurement competition could become one of the accepted methods of ticketing in the NTA’s ABT system.
"For example, the mobile app could serve as a token or customer identifier, while the details of the customer and tickets are held centrally," says the tender invite.
The NTA says the next generation of ticketing equipment shall be capable of validating such tokens/identifiers.