Ways out of the ticket jungle
Interview with Daniel Ott, krauth technology GmbH - Company is IT-TRANS exhibitor from the very beginning
Mr. Ott, what do you see as the biggest challenges in public transport at the moment?
Everyone is currently talking about the traffic turnaround - and this is where digitalisation plays a decisive role. More and more transport associations are offering e-tickets in addition to the classic tickets that are still very popular in Germany. Chip cards in particular are widely used over here. However, the Scandinavian countries and Eastern Europe are already much further ahead with "account-based ticketing": there, you can simply purchase your ticket using a mobile phone or credit card – and present them if there is a ticket inspection.
Probably the biggest challenge is still public transport in rural areas. If you take the bus to the station, for example, you often don't have good connections. This is why it would be important to implement the Deutschlandtakt nationwide so that there is connections every 30 minutes even in more rural regions. On the other hand, we should be much better equipped for users who travel to the station by bicycle. Do we already have enough bike parking spaces here? Is the cycle path network sufficient and safe enough?
What other solutions is krauth technology GmbH working on?
We are involved in standardisation measures that make the sales interface of individual transport companies easier and more cost-efficient.
Transport companies usually have different suppliers for distribution technology, and in addition they summarize their fares differently, sometimes using Access, sometimes Excel, sometimes pdfs. Within transport networks, every change entails complex efforts, as tariffs need to be imported individually.
This was also to be seen when the nationwide 9-Euro-Ticket was introduced throughout Germany – a massive effort for manufacturers to implement the product on their devices and individual background systems.
A uniform import interface could simplify this. We already developed such a concept of a manufacturer-independent standard interface for tariffs years ago, within the HUSST initiative, of which we are a founding member.
What's more, there is a need for greater manufacturer independence, for example in the input masks, so that transport associations will be able to make changes to the user interface independently and in a neutral format, and any manufacturer can read them out. krauth technology is the first company that has successfully implemented such a system, based on the new PKM standard, for a private railway company in central Germany. The customer is thus able to configure his vending machines spontaneously and independently, and at the same time is able to easily change the vending machine manufacturer or to quickly connect additional devices from third-party suppliers.