There are emphatic changes taking place lately in the conception of and approach to information systems, passenger devices and check-in system solutions in all types of public transportation, along with rapid development in the field of ICT in recent years.
These new integrated approaches enable the provision of mandatory services in a more effective way and more comprehensively than autonomous solutions which are still being used and installed. It is possible to provide integrated services with considerable added value in such solutions that were either inaccessible or provided as individual or individually paid services not such a long time ago.
The project searched for a standard suitable for the Czech Republic:
- Defining a new standard,
- Overtake some of existing foreign standards,
- Following up with already existing standards or with open ones being developed, in order to reach a maximum number of end-users in the Czech Republic.
- Seeking and describing important precedents in foreign projects
- Recommendations on the role of public and national administrations
- Searching for the professional public's opinions on the issue
- Expert opinion on Public Transport Act
- Unified system architecture
- Minimal technical requirements of Check-in System and Single Card System
- Discussion of the project outputs with parties ordering regional and urban transportation.
Key results were:
Saving of transaction processing costs (shift towards centralized and cheaper solution).
There must be the highest central element existing in each integrated card system in order to preserve system consistency; it provides the following functions for all regional systems:
- Central card and application register,
- Central record of registered acceptance devices,
- Central key administration,
- Central register of banned cards
Organisational measures on the side of management:
- Central security manager, registrar,
- Local security managers, application/product administrators
Projects from abroad were analysed and the following results were found:
- National standard based on open standard principle (standard defines OCS activity principles functionwise and does not define the technologies used) has been created in VDV, ITSO, STIF projects. All these standards have been defined in compliance with the EN ISO 24014 standard (it is likewise a function definition of OCS system) and this way the interoperability option (e.g. between those individual systems) is ensured in a long term.
- Advantages of the approach: Open market always allows new technologies and contractors to enter and the best solutions to be located.
- Disadvantages of the approach: The standard has to be prepared by a subject respected by all the subjects on the market with sufficient knowledge of technical (both transport and telematic) aspect of the issue. Standard preparation lasts c. 6 months. Gradual deployment can take place only subsequently along with financing from public sector budgets.
- Supplier of a system including standard and technologies has been chosen in the TLS project in Netherlands (similarly as in Danish, Norwegian and Swedish projects). The system is implemented by suppliers` consortium across the board that way. National railway company is the strategic partner whose ability to overall distribute and use the unified standard is naturally taken advantage of.
- Advantages of the approach: Fast distribution of unified standard and interoperable elements, high compatibility rate, fast satisfaction of public demand.
The 24014-1 IFMS Architecture Standard (IFMS = Interoperable Fare Management System) was developed, which includes all the functions contained in transport processes, such as:
- application management (setup of applications on the card)
- product management (organisation of electronic ticket products' recording into separate applications)
- security management (management and supervision over system security),
- certification, licensing, identification.(partner subjects' record, assignment of tasks and control of their fulfillment).
CS standards usually cover functional (transport) and technical (telematic) specification of:
- electronic purse,
- transport application: tickets/passes,
- individual fare solutions.
Searching for a standard suitable for Czech Republic:
- define a new standard,
- overtake some of the existing foreign standards,
- follow up with already existing standard or with open one being developed, in order to reach great amount of end-users in Czech Republic.
It is important to take into account that the standard influences logical structure, definition of functions, rights and duties of individual subjects cooperating in the system and also influences organisation structure of these subjects through the definition of system functions. EN ISO 24014 thoroughly focuses on this problem; it is preferable to implement national transport standard in the Czech Republic according to it.
The specification has to be transport-telematic, hence containing worked issues of payment and passenger identification in public transport as well as transfer of these issues into technical (data) version, both done in a high quality. This technical version of the standard can be processed to various detail levels; this detail is specified by its author.
We encounter different detail levels elaborated in national transport standards of foreign systems. The amount of detail stems from meaning and function, required from the standard. If the importance is put on the priority of "Attaining interoperability of card systems for passenger payment and check-in" during creation of the standard (as in the Czech Republic), it is necessary to define the standard up to the technical level of minimal technical requirements. If the standard is processed only as a general framework, real interoperability of payment and identification instruments cannot be guaranteed.
Overall, the outcome could lead to:
- A potential increase of public transportation passenger's comfort and increase in public transportation's attractiveness.
- Achieving interoperability of the card systems, providing payments and passenger check-in (creating of SCS).
- Gaining the possibility to collect system data for the purposes of transport output register and statistic data collection.
- Saving of transaction processing costs (shift towards centralistic and cheaper solution).
Recommendations for future actions of state administration are derived especially from foreign projects where role of the state was generally limited to:
- Searching for a standard suitable for Czech Republic:
- Implementation of central system (or appointing, event. motion to search for ICS operator subject).
Recommendations for further approach of public and state administration:
- It is essential that Czech Ministry of Transportation deals with the issues of the standard for integrated payment-identification systems in public transportation because it's the only full-area authority in the Czech Republic. Czech MoT is thus the only institution able to create the conditions for the existence of NTS.
- A unified platform of full-area or superregional ticket products is demanded in the Czech Republic which implies existence of national transport standard. New open standard has to be able to coexist with recent systems, even if their evolution is anticipated.
- An open standard implies not only technical specification of the standard but also methodology of system function, allocation of the competence and reliability of the individual subjects. It is necessary to define national transport standard in this complex way.
- An integrated standard brings the need for central system that has to ensure unified register of cards, acceptance devices, key administration and register of banned cards.
- A team of experts specialised in telematics and public transport issues (e.g. ITS&S CR, in cooperation with CAPTA, SDP and other subjects) shall prepare the national transport standard as soon as possible. The standard has to respect recent systems and has to be open for future technologies and their use in various ticket products.