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tl moves into the SwissPass era with its new sales system

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We have been working enthusiastically on innovative projects involving SwissPass since the launch of the popular red card. During this time, we have been supporting the public transport service provider for the Lausanne region (tl) in its ambitious project to completely redesign its distribution and sales system.

tl transports the equivalent of the population of the entire greater Lausanne area – almost 300,000 passengers – on its 38 bus and metro lines every day.

© coll.tl

What is the SwissPass?

The SwissPass aims to offer holders access to the vast majority of public transport services in Switzerland, and to the services offered by partner companies such as PubliBike, RailAway and Mobility. In addition to this, the SwissPass also serves as a pass for several winter sports resorts.

Since its launch in August 2015, the red SwissPass card has replaced the blue GA travelcard and the Half-Fare travelcard. Holders have been able to load season tickets from the Vaud fare alliance Mobilis onto the SwissPass since December 2016.

tl transports the equivalent of the population of the entire greater Lausanne area – almost 300,000 passengers – on its 38 bus and metro lines every day.

More than 1,300 employees work on a fleet of road and rail vehicles, covering a network 260 km long. Since 2008, the m2, Switzerland’s first automatic metro system, has transformed mobility patterns in the area, bringing about a shift towards the use of public transport. In 2016, tl transported more than 109 million passengers across its multimodal network.

© coll.tl

« Right from the beginning of the SwissPass project it was clear to us that tl, based on its openness to innovation and its closeness to its customers, had an important part to play in providing Mobilis cardholders with access to the SwissPass. In joining forces with ELCA, we found a local partner that was in a position to take on the responsibility and offer a first-class Swiss-made solution. »

Michel Joye, CEO

The distribution system is fundamental for transport companies

The sales system is an essential element for a public transport company, because it enables the customer to access the public transport service and, on the other hand, the company to generate revenue.

The sales system links the customer and the transport company via a monetary transaction. It must be scalable, user-friendly and multichannel: scalability enables the public transport company to meet current requirements while anticipating the changes to come, brought about by new spending habits, legislative changes or the emergence of new technologies.

User-friendliness is essential as it helps to secure a purchase, whether by means of sleek user interfaces or by offering the customer attractive deals.

Finally, public transport companies have to offer their services via several types of distribution channels (point of sale, Internet, mobile device, partner companies) in order to offer each type of customer the renewal method that suits them best. Presented with this multiple offering, the consumer can even combine several channels in the course of the same purchase process.

The sales system is an essential element for a public transport company, because it enables the customer to access the public transport service and, on the other hand, the company to generate revenue.

© coll.tl

« In offering our customers the possibility to benefit from Mobilis services on their SwissPass, we are helping to significantly improve access to transport services. We are now in a position to take on a range of challenges in terms of mobility and access to transport services. »

Alexandre Mischler, Distribution and Passenger Information

© coll.tl

© coll.tl

Design of a new SwissPass-ready distribution system for tl

tl, one of the largest public transport systems in French-speaking Switzerland, decided to take a pioneering role in the SwissPass project by offering its customers the possibility of loading the transport services of the Vaud fare alliance Mobilis onto the SwissPass. With this in mind, tl initiated an ambitious and innovative project aimed at completely redesigning its sales system in 2015.

The tl solution is one of the first on the market to have been designed right from the beginning to sell season tickets for fare alliances on the SwissPass. It supports the majority of public transport (TP) platform processes such as the ordering, replacement and blocking of a SwissPass, as well as the digitalisation and updating of customer photographs. In addition to the sale of SwissPass transport season tickets, the project consisted of replacing the client’s electronic point of sale (EPOS) distribution terminals, providing a solution for selling tickets and travel cards on the Internet (online shop), developing a standardised sales system, which can be adopted in due course by all distribution channels, and finally offering partner companies the possibility of using the new system. The solution features the following functionalities:

  • The sales system centralises all the sales logic and is connected to all the sales terminals via standardised interfaces. It is connected in particular to the ERP, the CRM and the TP platform, which contains all the pricing logic necessary for the sale of Swiss transport tickets. Communication between the sales system and the TP platform is implemented via the Nova interface.

  • The distribution terminals are fitted in ticket offices and kiosks (partner points of sale) with a device (EPOS light) that allows for renewal only.

  • The cockpit enables all the stakeholders in the system that do not make sales to follow and interact with the current processes.

The tl solution is aimed at an urban and suburban population pool (agglomeration), and focuses on providing a fast, modern and user-friendly service. The solution is modular and expandable, with a view to enabling other transport companies to use or adapt some or all of the components.

Right from the beginning of the project, specialists in the field worked together with experts in software ergonomics to ensure that the solution could be used to carry out sales management tasks while also meeting the needs of tl customers. The solution is ergonomic and user-friendly, with a season ticket renewal involving just four buttons or mouse clicks. The display of all customer information on a single screen enables sales advisors to offer the best possible service. Finally, a remote touch screen enables customers to check and enter some of their personal information.

© coll.tl

« Just like any innovative project, the redesign of the distribution system called for both courage and endurance. We were required to work with a number of important players and systems with varying levels of development. In offering our customers the possibility to benefit from Mobilis services on their SwissPass, we are helping to significantly improve access to transport services. We are now in a position to take on a range of challenges in terms of mobility and access to transport services. »

Alexandre Mischler, Distribution and Passenger Information Manager

© coll.tl

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