fare.logiQ

Product description

Revenue management – the optimal combination of different distribution channels

fare.logiQ enables the management of sales and booking data with devices from different manufacturers. At the heart of fare.logiQ is a central multi-client-capable database that manages both sales-related data supply from vending devices and all data disposal accounting information from vending devices.

Standardised interfaces simplify data exchange with devices from a wide range of manufacturers. Technical and professional data checks ensure that the data stock is correct and complete, thereby providing security. Driver accounting, manual re-entry and the option of importing data from third-party systems make fare.logiQ a powerful sub-ledger with revenue management.

Featuring extensive exports, statistics and preparation for transport service accounting, the functionalities are supplemented to form a complete system that can handle even the most complex public transport requirements. Furthermore, fare.logiQ can be used regardless of manufacturer. In an extended form, fare.logiQ can be deployed as a central component of the highQ mobility platform. In this context, the mechanisms applied in the public transport environment have also proved to be useful for multimodal processes within the networking of regional mobility service providers.

fare.logiQ is an MS Windows-based desktop application that can also be used as a central installation for remote or metaframe access.

The advantages of fare.logiQ

All numbers in hand

through the direct connection to all your sales channels
 

fully multi-client capable

Independent of the hardware

by HUSST

Multi-level, configurable user administration

Driver Accounting

takes place via driver accounts

Subsequent additions and deductions

can be made in the back office

monthly composite reports

perfectly complement each other

the highQ sales system TicketApp and fare.logiQ complement each other perfectly

simplified processes

Completeness check

the device layers are checked for completeness

flexible cash management

(optionally with safebag management)

Collective booking

shifts can be booked collectively

Daily & monthly statements

can be settled by accounting

statistical evaluations


Functions

Master data and configuration

fare.logiQ offers a wide range of configuration options. The multi-level user administration follows a detailed role concept, which allows you to clearly define individual application areas. Client control can thus be based on a central database. All master data relevant for the accounting of public transport operations is defined in meaningful dependencies on several differentiation levels. Organisations are assigned to the clients, to which in turn are assigned the sales units (drivers or operators of the sales devices). In addition, lines are assigned to franchises and these in turn are assigned to franchisees.

The integrated dual control principle can be activated to ensure that modifications only become effective after they have been confirmed by another user. Import and export options are available in HUSST format for both device and personnel master data. This enables you to maintain the data centrally before distributing it. Among other things, this is also where you can configure revenue accounts, key posting figures and line concessions to enable automatic assignment during processing.

Universal data import

The HUSSTkon conversion module is used for the automated import of data in the format of the vendor-independent HUSST standard interface. Sales data is imported from the connected distribution systems of different manufacturers. HUSSTkon is a stand-alone programme that is also available as a Windows service and does not require manual operation. The XML-format data is cyclically read in from a specified directory, checked and archived. In general, this requires that the XML format used in the data is correct.

When importing sales data, a plausibility check is carried out against the device, personnel and tariff master data stored in the central database. Depending on their characteristics, incorrect data is either flagged as such in the database or not imported at all and stored in file form in a special error directory. At the same time, extensive process and error logs provide information about the type of errors and what measures need to be taken to correct them.

Correctly incorporated data is already pre-sorted by HUSSTkon for accounting and statistics purposes on the basis of a corresponding configuration in the master data. Key posting figures linked to revenue accounts and line concessions, for example, can be directly assigned to sales. This makes it much easier to perform statistical evaluations later on.

The HUSST format allows you to maintain tariff data, device or personnel master data in addition to sales data. Both export and import options are available for this purpose. As a result, fare.logiQ can be flexibly deployed – as the dominant system for data supply or integrated into existing environments.

As a further import option, Safebag data from money counting service providers or booking data from payment terminals can also be incorporated via file interfaces.

Monitoring and control

To guarantee the completeness and correctness of the data stock, fare.logiQ provides mechanisms and data views that allow comprehensive control of the technical condition of the sales devices. Connection control is used to monitor the completeness of the imported sales data. Here, individual devices as well as definable device groups can be automatically checked for existing gaps with regard to the consecutive numbering of the sales shifts for each device group and device. The shift gap report generated in this way provides detailed information. It can be generated in either PDF or MS Excel format.

In the event that missing sales shifts can no longer be delivered, e.g. if a device is defective, you have the option of pre-booking. The corresponding shift data can be manually entered – this option can be explicitly activated for specific users by means of the multi-level user administration. It is also possible to control the activity of individual devices. This allows you to determine whether there are devices that have been inactive for long periods of time.

Shift accounting with operator accounts

All sales processes from staff-operated sales as well as from ticket vending machines are combined in sales shifts that are checked and accounted for via fare.logiQ. Operator accounts are maintained to check the cash receipts of drivers, train conductors or ticket inspectors.

The cash collected can be assigned to the operator account, either manually or automatically by importing Safebag data from a cash service company. In the case of manual allocation, a distinction can be made between whether the payment was deposited by the operator into a bank account or delivered in cash directly to the clearing centre.

A shift corresponds to a debit position that needs to be balanced by the corresponding amount on the operator account as a credit position. To enable a flexible differentiation of the shifts to be recorded, shifts can be collectively booked. Depending on the configuration, this can be done either manually or fully automatically. The decisive factor is that the operator account has sufficient funds. This removes the need to carry out strict shift-based accounting. Shift bookings are consolidated in daily statements, which are assigned to the respective fare.logiQ user. Open item lists provide a quick overview of shifts that are yet to be booked.

There is a special procedure for invoicing contractors. In this case, the system does not use individual operators. Instead, the organisation assigned to the operators is used as the differentiator for the collective posting. This produces a corresponding receivable from the external company.

Subsequent additions and deductions can be performed via fare.logiQ, such as targeted cancellations of individual sales, subsequent voucher submissions or the retrospective booking of block sales. These are then not only reflected in the operator accounts, but also in the statistical data and the monthly association reports. The operator account statements are fixed during accounting month-end closing and can afterwards be sent to the operators. These statements provide detailed information on all cash transactions affecting the operator, including any manual corrections made by the clearing centre.

Additional revenue postings

Revenues are not limited to income from ticket sales. Substitute student transportation, product sales, financial subsidies or revenues from association invoicing are only a few examples that require an additional booking option. fare.logiQ enables this in several modules that have been adapted to different requirements.

Transportation revenue can be recorded by line and allocated on the basis of predefined booking combinations. In the process, you can use the master data to assign revenue accounts to the selectable key posting figures. A receipt is issued at the end of the posting procedure. In addition, both debtors and creditors are maintained in the master data, for which revenue postings can be created on account.

External revenues, such as those from cooperation agreements with tourism providers, are posted to vendor numbers that are likewise stored in the master data. Similarly, other posting types have their own specifically defined revenue accounts, which are transferred as balanced data records during export to general ledger accounting. Entered items such as amounts from change or cash deficits are also receipted. This ensures that all transactions can be transparently traced.

Sub-ledger accounting

All accounting transactions are consolidated in daily closings, which are assigned to the respective user of fare.logiQ. The daily closing is not related to a calendar day and can be finally closed at any time. After that, no further changes can be made to the respective accounting items.

The final daily closing is assigned to the current monthly closing. The month-end closing is assigned to the calendar month. As long as there are no open daily closing dates, a final month-end closing can be performed that consolidates all assigned daily closing dates. In the process, different printouts provide information on monthly totals, for example relating to distribution channels, payment types, products, or revenues per organisation.

With regard to both daily and monthly closing, corresponding exports can be generated for downstream general ledger accounting. SAP R3K interfaces are already available in fare.logiQ for this purpose.

Statistics

All sales and booking data in fare.logiQ are stored in a central database with a relational structure.

An easy-to-use interface is provided to create and save statistical analyses based on SQL queries. For this purpose, there is a default set of standard evaluations.  Evaluation variants can also be created or adapted by the user. As an option, a business intelligence tool is offered to create a graphical representation with interactive editing.

Standard evaluations

The user interface displayed via the statistics evaluations can be used to select preset evaluation variants. After selecting a date range and, if required, setting the desired filters (this is possible for each field of the query), a corresponding evaluation can be created at the push of a button.

Default settings include sales per month, organisation and product; sales by day of the week; usage according to sales location, start location and destination.

Via settings on the user interface, the result of a statistical query can be generated either as an MS Excel file or as a semicolon-separated CSV file.

Editing evaluation variants

Query variants can be freely defined by users with special authorisation. A set of possible fields is provided, which can initially be configured as desired using a selection box. Once this has been done, the attributes “Display”, “Group”, “Totalize” or “Filter only” can be displayed for each field via a further selection box. Finally, each field can be assigned a filter value. After completing the input, the resulting query variant can be given a name and saved. The system then generates a template in MS Excel format. This can be edited and permanently used as a template for this query variant.

As a result, even users without database knowledge can generate statistical overviews of their business activities, such as sales revenue per line, information on passenger counts or ticket use.

Association reports

fare.logiQ also enables the creation of a reporting month that is independent of the accounting month and is controlled by the user. This enables a clear differentiation of the monthly allocation of sales data. Subsequently, reports can be generated for associations on the basis of the tariffs sold. The sales data is formatted according to individual requirements and, if necessary, additional information can be added and formatted. In the process, simple CSV files can be generated or report templates for the association can be filled directly, for example in MS Excel format.

The creation of reports can be marked as final on a monthly basis, thus guaranteeing unambiguous traceability, even independently of any data that may subsequently be incorporated. These reports are assigned to the following month as follow-up reports.

Business Intelligence System

For mapping analyses with flexible reporting, fare.logiQ offers an optional browser-based, multidimensional business intelligence system (BI tool). This allows the user to create individually configurable reports at any time and to display them in graphical as well as tabular form.

This BI system corresponds to a platform with freely configurable evaluation and reporting functions, whereby a wide range of evaluation variants are possible.

The system allows the creation of any kind of evaluation for which the corresponding raw data can be imported from the database (automated daily import job). As an output form, the user can choose between exporting to PDF or printing a hard copy, as well as viewing the data digitally on a PC or smartphone/tablet.

Thanks to interactive control of individual query elements, viewing the digital statistics with the business intelligence system offers a particularly flexible and transparent view of the data. The view can be quickly and easily extended or restricted by clicking on the graphic.

  • Real-time dynamic data analysis
  • Daily data overview
  • Connection of various upstream systems
  • Individual reports/evaluations
  • Excel look & feel
  • Available on different end devices

Transport service accounting

fare.logiQ is equipped with an interface to transport service accounting (TSA). For this purpose, revenues from the sales devices already assigned to the corresponding lines during data conversion are used together with the additional revenue postings from association/partner company billing or subsidies, which are assigned to the corresponding line during data entry. Revenues from non-relational sales that cannot be assigned to a line are initially assigned to a fictitious line.

To prepare the data for the TSA, the line-related revenues are compared with the line kilometres travelled. A VDV-compliant interface is available for recording the line kilometres, meaning that the data can be imported directly from a planning system. For individual assignment and especially for the resolution of the amounts initially assigned to the fictitious lines, the values can be edited manually in the master data administration, allowing distribution keys and corresponding weightings to be specified.

In an export run, this creates the data required for the cost-benefit calculation in the TSA. The system supports the Deutsche Bahn “TSA Bus” interface

CiCoLo

Perfectly organised VDV-KA level 3. Using standardised interfaces, CiCoLo from highQ offers comprehensive check-in / check-out management. With (((eTicket Deutschland and the associated standardisation of data interfaces, the Association of German Transport Companies (German abbreviation “VDV”) offers a specification that fully supports CiCoLo. If you are planning to expand your transport services with a standardised procedure that automatically calculates fares based on actual use, CiCoLo will integrate seamlessly into your transportation company.

Similarly, CiCoLo can also be used as a background component in the field of smartphone app-based check-in / check-out systems.

Operating fully automatically, CiCoLo reads the VDV-KA control transactions (so-called TXEBER data records) of electronic tickets at reading terminals in vehicles or at stops, as well as entry/exit transactions from the app backend of a CiBo system. It then determines check-in and check-out actions on the basis of this data.

Based on configurable criteria, journeys or entire chains of journeys are determined from the actions, which lead to a priced sales data record in connection with the selected tariff. All actions can be monitored via graphical user interfaces and, in exceptional cases, manually edited.

To ensure customer-friendly handling of misuse events that are often unavoidable during the check-in / check-out procedure, such as forgetting to complete the check-out action, CiCoLo features automatic journey completion. This tool uses a memory function in conjunction with configurable criteria to control escalation levels – an intelligent, self-learning solution that will appeal to your passengers.

To transfer the sales data records to a background system for further processing, CiCoLo supports the vendor-independent HUSST standard interface. The tariff stored in CiCoLo can also be imported in full or as a differentiated delivery via the vendor-independent HUSST standard interface.

Thanks to the analogous processes, CiCoLo can also be used for sales systems with check-in / check-out or Be-in / Be-out procedures. CiCoLo was developed in cooperation with Kreisverkehr Schwäbisch Hall, which operates the first check-in / check-out sales system in accordance with VDV-KA standards.

News

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Successful project start mytraQ VBB-prüfApp

Despite the adversities of Corona, the kick-off for the new project of highQ Computerlösungen GmbH with the VBB Verkehrsverbund Berlin-Brandenburg GmbH was successfully carried out via a web meeting on 02.04.2020.

The scope of the project is the delivery of a VBB-prüfApp for inspectors for (partially) automated checking of the electronically stored contents of VDV barcodes and VDV user media for validity checks. The project has a duration until February 2021, already in the middle of 2020 first tests with the system will be carried out in the area. With initially up to 100 end devices (smartphone) and the highQ app mytraQ Pro, the verification of VDV

barcodes according to specifications of the VBB and VDV eTicket Service GmbH & Co. KG (VDV ETS) for all transport companies. From 2D barcodes to chip cards via NFC, in the final stage 500 devices can use the highQ solutions.

In addition to the app mytraQ Pro for the VBB-prüfApp, the highQ background systems fare.logiQ (for the administration of examiners and exams) and IONgate (for the connection to the VDV-KA, incl. the SAM server) are used. This is a good bridge to the TicketOffice for subscription/pupil card system that has been in use for many years at many transport companies in the VBB. Thomas Wanke, Branch Manager Berlin, is very pleased about this success: "Once again, highQ shows how we, with our product portfolio, make a significant contribution to the optimization of public transport processes. Only by using the already existing standard app mytraQ Pro can the VBB schedule be kept and the first tests can already be started. The app mytraQ Pro can also be used for the entire EBE process in the future to leverage further synergies.

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Online mobility marketplace

city of the future

Making purchases via online trading platforms has permanently changed our habits. Never before has it been so convenient to order and pay for products from different suppliers via a single access point. In the future, it will be just as easy to use train, bus, car sharing and other public transportation services via a mobility platform developed by the IT company highQ Computerlösungen. Among the pioneers of this new, digitally networked mobility is the city of Osnabrück in Lower Saxony, Germany.

 

“If you want to get people out of their cars, you have to make them a really attractive offer”, observed Thomas Hornig, Managing Director of highQ. The mobility specialists at the 60-strong Freiburg-based IT company have been thinking for many years about how a change towards more environmentally friendly forms of transport can be achieved. Their pivotal approach is a digital mobility platform on which all of a city’s transport services are combined under one (software) roof. Following a one-time registration with the platform (single sign-on), transportation users can then book any intermodal travel chain directly via an associated smartphone app.

 

This concept, also called “seamless mobility” by transport experts, is intended to compensate for the comfort advantage of the private car. “This is a great opportunity for transport companies to reposition themselves as comprehensive mobility service providers”, Thomas Hornig pointed out. highQ develops the necessary software modules for this type of networked transport service, for example to enable cross-supplier billing for the various transport services provided.

 

Osnabrück leads the way

Among the pioneers in this field is Stadtwerke Osnabrück (SWO), which has been implementing a comprehensive digitisation programme for urban mobility services for three years now. Based on the highQ platform concept, the system has so far integrated municipal bus services, local car sharing and municipal parking garages, with lockable bicycle shelters set to follow soon. “Thanks to the modular system structure, we can add further offers at any time, such as rental pedelecs and e-cargobikes”, explained Maik Blome, marketing and sales manager for SWO’s mobility services. “Following a one-time registration, our customers then have access to all transportation offerings.”

 

A service that appears so simple for the end user required a considerable amount of effort before it could be achieved. In particular, heterogeneous IT inventory systems needed to be linked via adapted interfaces so that the flow of data between the various Osnabrück mobility providers could run smoothly. The implementation of the entire system was carried out under the leadership of highQ as general contractor. According to Maik Blome, this proved to be a good decision: “We always had one central contact person for any questions or problems.”

 

One swipe and off you go

The Osnabrück mobility platform is scheduled to go into full operation in the course of 2020. As well as being able to use all modes of transport across all providers, this includes a new type of ticket system. The check in/check out ticketing system makes bus travel much more convenient for occasional passengers. When boarding the bus, a swipe of the smartphone is all that is required – and that’s it. The system itself determines where you change and get off and automatically calculates the price for the distance covered. A further advantage for passengers is “best price” invoicing. All individual journeys completed within a certain period of time are retrospectively charged to a day or week ticket – meaning that customers always receive the cheapest ticket. “With this system, we in Osnabrück are a nationwide pioneer”, Maik Blome explained.

 

With its mobility platform, the city in Lower Saxony has also prepared the way for the digital future of local transportation. Maik Blome offered a foretaste of how things will be by 2030: “Public transport in Osnabrück will be networked, digital, electric and autonomous, providing passengers with a seamless, multimodal mobility chain from door to door.” In the future, this will include on-demand, non-timetabled services for the last mile. Blome summarised the city’s ambitious goal: “We aim to make public mobility in Osnabrück so easy and convenient that you will never miss your car again.”

 

Rewarding sensible mobility behaviour

Experience shows that it is difficult to persuade die-hard drivers to switch to public transport, even with the best offer. For this reason, highQ has developed an even more far-reaching strategy that includes private cars in the mobility mix in addition to the means of transport provided by the environmental alliance. The concept is to use highQ’s mytraQ app to provide commuters with individual travel recommendations based on current traffic data and the behaviour of other mytraQ users. If traffic is congested somewhere, the app suggests less congested alternative routes or recommends switching to public transport, car sharing or a combination of different modes of transport.

 

Anyone who follows the app’s advice is rewarded twice over. For a start, they reach their destination quickly and without stress. In addition, they are credited with “time mile”, which can later be exchanged for free journeys, free parking periods or shopping discounts. Research results confirm that this type of bonus system works. Provided that a conurbation has sufficient public transport, monetary or non-cash incentives can be used to steer individual mobility behaviour in the desired direction in terms of choice of transport mode, route and time of day. The concept has already been thoroughly tested in Stuttgart under the project name “moveBW” and will soon be put into live operation.

 

Apart from the road users themselves, the cities benefit too by evening out traffic flows in terms of time and space and distributing them more evenly over the existing infrastructure. However, commercial enterprises can also use “time miles” to motivate their employees to use bicycles more frequently or to form car pools, thereby improving the efficiency of parking space management and their environmental balance. As highQ Managing Director Thomas Hornig concluded: “In any case, it makes more sense to invest a comparatively small amount in intelligent mobility than to invest huge sums in additional roads or parking spaces.”

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Barrier open for the modernised DB Sylt Shuttle

The cooperation between highQ and the DB Fernverkehr AG has already lasted over 18 years

highQ’s collaboration with DB Fernverkehr AG, the operator of the “Sylt Shuttle” motorail train between Niebüll and Westerland, has now been in place for over 18 years. highQ managing director Thomas Hornig remembers the beginnings of the project well: “Back then, at the beginning of this millennium, we converted the Sylt Shuttle ticketing system from paper to electronic chip cards and thus – literally – digitised it.” This chip-card-based system, called SVT01, was then in continuous use for 18 years, 365 days a year.

 

Naturally, the technology has not stood still since then, so highQ was given a follow-up order in July 2018 to modernise the Sylt shuttle. The aim was to bring both the customer interface and the backend up to date. The new SVTneo system, which went live gradually during 2019, incorporates a number of new features. These include a customer web shop and a convenient app ticketing system that replaces the chip-card-based payment and barrier machines.

 

“This has now brought the Sylt Shuttle fully up to date for the mobile age”, explained highQ project manager Erik Schlegel. Car train passengers can now book their transfer in advance, either online or via their mobile devices, and then directly enter the loading terminal through the open barrier. This is because the check-in process is now carried out automatically via license plate recognition. “The resulting customer experience is almost magical”, said an enthusiastic Schlegel.

 

highQ was expressly praised for the good and timely implementation by its customer, Deutsche Bahn: “We are proud of the new, jointly developed Sylt shuttle booking system and, at the same time, we can look back on a truly long-standing collaboration since 2001”, commented Thomas Hellwig, who led the project for DB Fernverkehr AG. “Thanks to the company’s expertise, highQ has been able to keep our system up to date over the past two decades through continuous further development – in the fast-moving IT world, this is certainly anything but the norm.” highQ boss Thomas Hornig was happy to return this praise: “We were delighted to receive the follow-up order, as it demonstrated that even after 18 years of partnership, our excellent relationship shows no signs of fading”, he observed.

 

The third group in the mix – the actual users of the Sylt Shuttle – also seem to be happy with the result. The new app received overwhelmingly positive ratings in the app stores and was already used for 600 bookings in the first week after its release on the web and as an app – even before the new functions were actively promoted.

Travel smart, save time

Commuters lose a lot of time every day on their way to and from work. The Time Miles bonus system promises to help:

Commuters lose a lot of time every day on their way to and from work. The “Zeitmeilen” (time miles) bonus system promises to help by rewarding flexible, multimodal mobility behaviour and thus helping to even out traffic flows.

The worst situation is in Berlin: according to a study by the US traffic information service INRIX, in 2018 Berliners lost an average of 154 hours of their lives in traffic jams and slow-moving traffic. Things are not much better in other German conurbations. Nationwide, it is estimated that over half a million hours are lost every year, valued at 4.5 billion euros, and the environment is polluted with an additional 600 tonnes of CO2 as a result of the increased fuel consumption. And there is no prospect of a sustainable improvement, because neither the road network nor the public transport system can be readjusted in the short term to meet the anticipated further increase in commuter traffic.

 

Berlin start-up Zeitmeilen AG aims to demonstrate a way out of this dilemma with a novel digital service. The idea is that rather than stubbornly take the same route every day, commuters should base their route selection on the individual recommendations of their mobility app. Despite having an identical destination, the recommended route can be different every day, or – for example in the case of extensive traffic obstructions – suggest parking the car at the nearest park & ride place and continuing by underground train. In any event, anyone who follows the recommendation will reach their destination faster and with less stress, and the city as a whole will benefit too. This is because the traffic flow will be temporally and spatially evened out and optimally distributed over the existing infrastructure.

 

How it works

For each participant, the Zeitmeilen app determines an individual, congestion-free route to his or her destination. The application is primarily intended for commuters who regularly need to make the same journeys. However, the prediction function also allows new journeys to be time-optimised. The basis for the system’s recommendations is the movement data of all Zeitmeilen users, supplemented by current and historic traffic data from the regional traffic centre. This enables valid predictions to be made based on the most up-to-date data, including taking short-term factors into account. Conversely, the system can also provide traffic authorities with valuable additional information that they can use to influence and optimise traffic flows.

 

Advantages over other routing apps

Compared to other routing apps, Zeitmeilen has several advantages. For one thing, the system has access to a comprehensive regional database and can therefore also take foreseeable traffic restrictions into account in its recommendations, such as those caused by future roadworks. Secondly, the system not only optimises the individual routes of individual road users, but also the routes of all Zeitmeilen users in parallel, thus making use of “swarm intelligence”. It can also take account of the ‘common good’ by not routing alternative journeys through sensitive parts of a city such as residential areas or past schools, for example. And last but not least, Zeitmeilen meets the highest data protection requirements. The application uses a patented positioning system that conforms to the German General Data Protection Regulation (DSGVO), meaning that no individual movement profiles are created. All processes run anonymously and encrypted via German servers and networks.

 

Bonus points create additional incentives

All that remains is for road users to follow the good advice of Zeitmeilen and everything would be fine... Unfortunately, of course, humans are creatures of habit and like to take their accustomed route every day. To help them discover new routes and to encourage them to adopt “sensible” mobility behaviour, Zeitmeilen also includes a reward system with gamification components. Anyone who uses the application regularly and follows the route recommendations will not only reach his or her destination faster, but can also – as a thank-you for being flexible – collect bonus points (time miles). These can later be exchanged for non-cash, virtual or monetary rewards, such as periods of free parking or shopping vouchers. In this way, the incentive programme integrated into Zeitmeilen also enables a variety of participation models for regional mobility providers.

 

Corporate applications

Apart from commuters who use the Zeitmeilen app to avoid traffic jams, and local authorities who benefit from reduced traffic peaks, companies can also gain advantages by introducing Zeitmeilen for their employees. For one thing, staff arrive at work punctually and more relaxed in the morning, while concrete savings can be achieved through the more efficient use of company fleets and the reduction of parking spaces. The costs of setting up and operating the Zeitmeilen application are thus rapidly recouped – after all, it takes just a fraction of the costs that would otherwise be incurred in the construction and operation of parking spaces, for example. Moreover, the company can improve its long-term CO2 balance by actively involving its employees in sensible commuting.

 

Incentivisation within companies

Incentives can be used in a meaningful way in the corporate context as well. If an employee follows the recommendations of the app (e.g. driving outside rush hours or using an alternative route), or drives in a resource-saving manner such as carpooling, using public transport or cycling, she or he will collect “time miles” (Zeitmeilen) that can then be exchanged for a bonus. On top of that, internal competitions (“Time Miler of the Month”) can boost motivation. As a supplement to the app, there is a dashboard for tracking individual records of success. This can be placed in the company canteen, for example, to motivate other employees to participate. Because Zeitmeilen always rewards positive mobility behaviour rather than imposing sanctions, employee representatives and trade unions generally have no reservations about introducing such incentive measures.

 

Flexible integration into mobility apps

Today, Zeitmeilen AG belongs to the family of Freiburg-based software company highQ, which specialises in the development of IT solutions for public transport and controlling solutions for banks. Users of the mobility app mytraQ, developed by highQ, can therefore already use the full spectrum of Zeitmeilen functions to optimise business mobility. In addition, Zeitmeilen will continue to be available as a stand-alone app and as a white-label product for integration into routing and ticketing apps from other providers. One example of this type of white-label application is the multimodal mobility app moveBW in Stuttgart. Zeitmeilen has also already been used in the corporate context as part of the SB:digital initiative of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

 

To maximise user acceptance, Zeitmeilen fundamentally follows the principle of “rewarding instead of punishing”. Rather than being sanctioned for driving your own car – as in the case of a driving ban or congestion charge, for example – motorised private transport remains part of the mobility mix optimised by Zeitmeilen. However, if the user chooses, switching to the transport modes of the environmental alliance can be rewarded via the incentive function. In this way, even die-hard motorists are more likely to be won over and gradually moved towards multimodal, more environmentally friendly transport behaviour. Consequently, it may turn out to be more effective for traffic-stricken communities as well as companies to invest a small amount in Zeitmeilen rather than infinitely greater sums in additional roads or parking spaces.

 

About Zeitmeilen AG

Zeitmeilen AG is a sister company of highQ Computerlösungen GmbH and makes a concrete contribution to the realisation of sustainable mobility. Through the technological networking of information, mobility can be made convenient and stress-free for the individual, efficient for the economy and society, and environmentally friendly.

www.zeitmeilen.de

Intermodal and demand-driven: planning for transportation transformation

Development of an intermodal planning component based on the planning system PlanB

Integrated traffic concepts consisting of scheduled services and on-demand offers are to be tested within the framework of the MaaS L.A.B.S. research project. Freiburg IT company highQ is developing an intermodal planning component based on its PlanB planning system.

 

The world of mobility is still clearly divided into two halves: motorised private transport on the one hand and public transport on the other. Within the next few years, however, traffic in cities is likely to look much more colourful. Line-based public transport will be supplemented by individual, demand-driven sharing components, sometimes referred to as “individual public transport” (German “IÖV”). The aim is to enable all transport users to reach their destinations as safely and conveniently using environmentally sensitive modes of travel as they are used to with travelling in their own cars.

 

The feasibility and acceptance of such a transport system is to be clarified by the four-year research and development project MaaS L.A.B.S. (Mobility as a Service Platform: Alive, Automated, Demand & Sharing Oriented). The project is funded by the BMBF with approximately 4.5 million euros and was officially launched on 15 May 2019. Potsdam was selected as one of three pilot cities. There, the existing public transport schedule is to be supplemented by self-driving electric microbuses as well as car, bike and ridesharing services. All offers will be brought together via a common digital platform to create a uniform, attractive overall offer for transport users.

 

Integration of all mobility offers

The basis of the system is an integrated mobility platform that links the transport services of the various providers and enables comprehensive and coordinated planning, control and billing functions. Transport users will be able to access the complete range of services via a routing and ticketing app, which is yet to be developed. Users will be able to compile their individual travel chains via smartphone, receive a total price for the chosen option and then book it directly.

 

In addition to the transport companies of the three pilot cities (Potsdam, Cottbus and Hannover), several universities and IT companies are involved in MaaS L.A.B.S. One of the ten project partners is Freiburg IT company highQ Computerlösungen GmbH, which has already gained experience in numerous research and customer projects in the field of digital mobility. Alongside its involvement in the overall MaaS architecture, highQ is significantly involved in the development of the platform’s own ticketing and clearing systems, as well as the MaaS app and the MaaS planning component.

 

Making planning more flexible

An integrated offer of this kind, in which scheduled and on-demand services are flexibly linked with one another, requires intermodal operational planning. This has so far not been supported by conventional public transport planning tools. As part of MaaS L.A.B.S., a planning tool of this nature will now be implemented for the first time. The basis is provided by the highQ planning software PlanB, which will be supplemented for this purpose by additional modules for preliminary planning and ad-hoc deployment planning of on-demand transportation. The supply corridors will be defined in the preliminary planning phase. The actual deployment planning of the vehicles will then take place in real time on the basis of passenger requests. These requests will be efficiently pooled onto the vehicles, and connecting services will always be taken into account to minimise waiting times for passengers. In this way, reliable travel chains can be created that offer a genuine alternative to travelling in your own car.

 

Because on-demand transport will be handled by electric microbuses, the specifics of electric vehicles – such as range and recharging time – will also need to be taken into account in route planning. The necessary additions to PlanB are already being implemented. The creation and optimisation of the routes will then be based on the available (remaining) ranges of the vehicles, depending on the energy requirements (e.g. elevation profile) of the respective route, as well as on the climatic conditions, which also have an impact on actual vehicle ranges.

 

A role model for other cities

The project results of MaaS L.A.B.S. are intended to form the basis for an ecological traffic transformation in cities – away from private transport and towards what is being called “individual public transport”. For this reason, the project will not focus solely on the technical aspects: it will also actively involve the population, urban development, transport planning and political representatives of the participating cities. If the desired project objectives are successfully implemented and achieve the hoped-for acceptance among transport users, planned intermodal transport systems will soon be introduced in other cities and municipalities.

 

 

Flexible planning for every size of operation

The PlanB planning system was originally developed for timetable, route and duty scheduling in small, regional bus companies. For this reason, the focus was on making the system as simple and intuitive as possible, as well as achieving significantly lower implementation costs than the “big” planning systems on the market. PlanB continues to offer these advantages, even though the system is now used just as much in large transport companies and associations as it is for the planning of tram services. Today, PlanB is being used by a large number of public transport companies nationwide, in rural areas (e.g. Nahverkehr Hohenlohe/NVH, Verkehrsgesellschaft Vorpommern-Greifswald/VVVM) as well as in special transportation in metropolitan regions (e.g. Verkehrsbetrieb Hamburg-Holstein/VHH, Dr. Richard Linien, Vienna).

 

PlanB is particularly suitable for flexible planning scenarios, such as those required for tendering. For instance, meaningful results can be generated by entering just a small amount of data. The simultaneous provision of routing and service information allows tendering participants to take into account the applicable legal and tariff regulations. Optional modules for optimising vehicle and duty rosters support planners in the best possible use of resources. Another particular strength of the system lies in the flexible planning of day-specific services, for instance in school traffic.

 

The latest version 11 of the programme, released in August 2019, additionally offers a functional “planning situation” extension to display alternative plans (route sequences, journeys) in specific time periods. This enables current traffic events to be prepared even more effectively and the corresponding planning data to be made available for subsequent passenger information or operations control systems (ITCS).

Contact

Do you have questions about fare.logiQ? Kai Horn and his team will be happy to answer your questions.

Kai Horn

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+49 (0) 761 70 60 40

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