Smart Card / Municipal “Fare and Fee” Transit Tracking System
Client: Government of Izmir Municipality
The Transportation Department of the Government of Izmir Municipality (GIM) sought technical assistance for the application of a potential “smart card” (fare and fee data technology card payment system) for the GIM’s expanding public transportation system. The dynamic port city with 4M+ citizens had 11 inter-related transportation modes (including ferries, busses, metro, light rail, and commuter rail) in addition to publicly and privately owned parking facilities.
The e-government goal was to provide one modern and easy-to-use payment system for all travel, including on-and-off-street parking and park-and-ride facilities. Any recommended media would need to be technically and financially reliable and secure, and also be adaptable as transportation systems and the region’s social and economic needs changed over time. The smart cards would also have to meet the needs of the community in terms of convenience, efficiency, reliability and cost, while assuring the public and all transportation and parking service providers that the cards generated verifiable data for the accurate and transparent collection of fees and fares - and service provider reimbursements.
Global Resources’ team took to the streets, boats, cars, buses – in fact, all eleven transport modes during their peak usage periods. At the time, the city’s fare and fee collection systems included tokens, paper tickets, and proximity (debit) cards; the system was cumbersome for everyone. Implementing an advanced electronic fare/fee system would clearly benefit the public and the GIM, as labor-intensive cash, token, and transfer handling costs and the risk of theft would be reduced. Ideally, the recommended system would improve reliability and maintainability of fare/fee collection equipment, and permit sophisticated fare pricing, based on distance traveled, time of day and routing transfers. In addition, electronic proximity fare / fee collection systems would permit the automation of accounting and financial settlement processes and create multi-modal and multi-provider transportation networks that would be seamless to the rider, and operationally and organizationally sound for the multiple providers (the GIM as well as outsourced services). For customers, transit would become easier and more efficient as exact change would no longer be necessary and only a single fare / fee card would apply for using all public transportation modes and parking – at any time.
The Public Transportation and Parking Fare/Fee Collection System Study and Procurement Plan that we designed focused on all these parameters. We additionally provided advice and counsel to GIM for improved data capture, fare collection integration, and system modernization. Global Resources’ recommended study plan focused upon the common communication issues and upgrades that would apply to the GIM’s multi-modal transportation network, and also included an analysis of how parking structures and systems could incorporate modern communications (payment and information) systems.
Global Resources’ team also worked with the GIM Deputy General Secretary for Transportation and his consultant, resulting in a refinement of how the communications / transportation feasibility study could be implemented, and drafting the terms for an international tender that would follow the study. We also conducted extensive research and analysis regarding the potential budget, financing, scheduling and staffing for the implementation program, so that our client could have competitive benchmarks as planning tools.
Izmir is a primary commercial center, national import / export conduit, and 80% of the local population uses public transportation. The modernization and increased efficiencies to Izmir’s public transport system had extensive and positive local and regional financial, economic and social impacts. In addition to streamlining an otherwise “hectic” activity (commuting), the project reduced transportation costs, expedited payment systems among private- and public- sector service providers, increased personal and system security, and provided more accurate cost and pricing information for all system providers and users.
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