Four founding member companies announced the formation of the Open Mobile Ticketing Alliance, a one-of-a kind effort to develop global standards that would allow people to buy public transit tickets from a single app on their mobile devices in cities worldwide. The aim of the Open Mobile Ticketing Alliance is to enable the vision of ‘Register once, travel anywhere’ by developing open, interoperable standards with payment vendors and transit operators.
The founding members include HERE, a leader in mapping, navigation and location services, transportation service providers Scheidt & Bachmann and Thales, and mobile payment provider Verifone Mobile Money. Public transit authorities implementing solutions based on OMTA benefit from lower fare-collection costs, while passengers can get the lowest possible fare based on how often they ride.
Instead of buying a ticket or reloading an electronic card, passengers will register with the service once and then they can tap phones enabled with Near Field Communication (NFC) technology at transit systems around the globe in order to travel. OMTA helps standardize the communication between phone and transit infrastructure and facilitates roaming between systems so that users can use an app they are familiar with rather than starting from scratch each time they travel to a new city.
“The OMTA is a prime example of how HERE is transforming the way people navigate fast growing cities and across borders,” said Justus Brown, Head of Urban Mobility at HERE and OMTA Chairman. “Mobile ticketing on a worldwide scale has the potential to increase the use of mass transit. With urban populations growing rapidly, public transportation will play an increasingly important role in reducing emissions and boosting economic growth by ensuring that all members of society are mobile — not just those with a car.”
Over the past few months at the InnoTrans trade fair in Berlin and the APTA EXPO in Houston, Alliance members showcased results from pre-commercial pilots started last year and demonstrated a solution based on the OMTA standard and the HERE Maps application. HERE Maps is available on iOS, Android and Windows Phone and already allows users to plan public transit journeys in hundreds of cities around the world. Alliance members are expected to bring products based on OMTA to consumers in several cities around the world later this year through transit agency trials.