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May 2020

THEMEN: Sales platform Schwabenbund | S-Bahn Hamburg | Check-in/Check-out ticket system

Mobility

Digital sales platform for the Schwabenbund

The territory of the Schwabenbund, an association of local authorities, stretches from the Allgäu to the Swabian Alb. Two transport associations (mona and VVM) with a total of 24 participating transport companies offer their services here - and now for the first time digitally: As part of a consortium, highQ was commissioned to create the background system for a digital distribution platform including two web shops for the sale of electronic season tickets (e.g. monthly tickets, job and school tickets).
 
The central background system is formed by the highQ products TicketOffice and fare.logiQ. Public transport users only have to register once to use all mobility offers of the Schwabenbund region ("single sign-on"). Their ticket purchases are automatically assigned to the tariff area of the respective responsible provider and thus enable a line-sharp distribution and billing of the travel services. On the other hand, the multi-client capability ensures that although customer and revenue data are managed jointly, each provider only has access to his own area - the individual "data sovereignty" of all parties involved is thus respected.
 
The project was successfully completed by the end of 2019. "The cooperation with highQ was efficient, on an equal footing and brought a high added value for the entire consortium" judges Marius Maruhn, Managing Director of the operating company Schwabenbund-Services (SBS) GmbH. "The new multi-client-capable e-ticketing platform with its differentiated customer administration is exactly the right solution for our diverse transport region. We are thus optimally prepared for the digital demands of future mobility".

Read the detailed report here.

 

S-Bahn Hamburg successfully converted to TicketOffice

Our "digital ticket office" TicketOffice was originally designed for small to medium-sized transport companies and transport associations, but has now long since also arrived in the Republic's metropolitan regions. Because the current program version is scalable at will and can therefore cope with large amounts of data without any problems. For example, highQ recently successfully implemented an extensive migration project for S-Bahn Hamburg GmbH. "A total of 380,000 job tickets from S-Bahn corporate customers were transferred to TicketOffice," reports Martin Jäschke, who manages the Hamburg highQ branch. "By October 2019, all paper subscriptions and smart cards were in the new system". According to Jäschke, current additions, such as the new Hamburg BonusTicket for trainees, are currently being added.
 
In addition to the migration of data from the old system, the project included a web-based client access for corporate customers to manage their job tickets. The ticket holders themselves can now also access their data via their own web interface and, for example, order a replacement ticket directly in case of loss. With TicketOffice - or the overall system known as KVT neo - administration is considerably simplified for both the S-Bahn and its customers, explains Martin Jäschke. "Everyone involved benefits from this."

 

Unlimited mobility in the Lake Constance region

By train or bus, from Ravensburg in Baden-Württemberg to Lindau in Bavaria: since 2018, the Lake Constance-Upper Swabia Transport Association, or bodo for short, has been offering its passengers a convenient check-in/check-out ticket system with downstream fare calculation. The passenger simply checks in and out using a chip card. "highQ supplied the entire background system, the web portal and the ticketing and pricing system, including the daily maximum price logic," reports bodo authorized signatory and project manager Bernd Hasenfratz, and notes with satisfaction: "This works extremely well.
 
The backbone of the system is formed by the highQ products TicketOffice for fare management and fare.logiQ/CiCoLo for fare chain formation. In the medium term, the bodo-CiCo is to be linked with the existing CiCo systems of the neighbouring networks in order to make it even easier to use transport modes across networks.
 
In this video you can see how convenient it is to use the bodo-CiCo "eCard" to change means of transport and cross national borders:

Click here for the video.

THEMEN: Administration of stockholder objects

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THEMEN: code generation | CrefoZert award | customer satisfaction | support | new employees

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December 2019

THEMEN: Modernised DB Sylt Shuttle | highQ service point portal | mytraQ

Mobility

Double praise: modernised DB Sylt Shuttle is well received
We have already reported on our DB Sylt Shuttle project in the April issue of this newsletter, which we successfully brought up to the state of the art after 18(!) years of continuous operation. A number of innovations were implemented, including a customer web shop and user-friendly app ticketing. For example, car train users can now book their transfer in advance online or via their mobile devices and then enter the loading terminal directly through the open barrier – check-in is carried out automatically via license plate recognition.
“The Sylt Shuttle 2.0 is now fully up to date for the mobile age”, said highQ project manager Erik Schlegel. Deutsche Bahn, highQ’s customer, expressly praised the good and timely implementation: “We are proud of the new, jointly developed Sylt Shuttle booking system and at the same time can look back on a truly long-standing cooperation since 2001”, commented Thomas Hellwig, the project manager responsible at DB Fernverkehr AG.
“Thanks to the company’s expertise, highQ has been able to keep our system up to date over two decades through continuous development – in the fast-moving IT world, this is certainly anything but the norm.” Users of the Sylt Shuttle seem to be happy with the result too. The app has received consistently good ratings in the app stores and was used for 600 bookings in the first week – even before the new features were actively promoted.

 

All customer data at a glance: the highQ service point portal combines various mobility services under one interface

The future (and to some extent already the present) of mobility is multimodal. In addition to buses and trains, more and more public transport customers are also making use of other mobility and service offerings in their everyday lives, such as car or bike sharing. To simplify the correspondingly more complex customer management processes at the service points of local public transport companies, highQ has developed a web application that brings together all relevant offers under one interface – regardless of the provider and the software they use. Other processes such as CRM, complaint and EBE management can also be integrated.

Whether subscribing, sharing, parking or renting a bike box, employees can constantly keep track of all relevant customer processes via the service point portal. Depending on the preferences of the service providers involved, it is possible to perform just the registration or also the booking and billing of services.

Incidentally, there is also a corresponding counterpart to the service point portal on the customer side. Via the web customer portal, transport users can order their public transport subscriptions and other mobility services from the comfort of their own homes or while on the move, or view their most recent invoices.

 

mytraQ: the multimodal mobility assistant can now do even more

In the future, all app developments related to a mobility platform will be bundled under the brand name mytraQ. As early as 2004, highQ had already developed a first mytraQ app (free of charge and completely free of license fees), which has been available in app stores ever since. As Kai Horn, head of marketing and sales at highQ pointed out: “This made us pioneers of multimodal mobility.”

mytraQ enables a flexible combination of different transport modes. In the future, depending on the traffic and environmental situation, additional transport services such as eScooters, car and bike sharing as well as carpooling options will be combined and networked alongside public transport. The app provides users with real-time routing recommendations and, at the same time, enables them to purchase tickets via online payment – for example, when changing from a private car to public transport. This is just as practical for users as it is for transport companies. Besides enabling travellers to purchase tickets, mytraQ also makes it possible for transport operators to check e-tickets, including a link to blacklists and promotion lists.

In the future, mytraQ will offer real-time route suggestions as well as an incentive system – both functions originate from the previously separate “Zeitmeilen” (time miles) app. This will enable travellers who follow the route recommendation and preferably take buses and trains to collect bonus points (time miles) for their environmentally friendly mobility behaviour. “The incentive helps to even out local traffic flows and reduce the CO2 footprint of a municipality or company”, explained Kai Horn. “In the future, the name mytraQ will thus stand for three things: professional ticket control within transport companies, optimisation of operational mobility and, of course, continued mobility for the common good of everyone.”

THEMEN: GoB conformity in TicketOffice | Volksbank Nordoberpfalz now calculates with abakusBT

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THEMEN: Working at highQ | Learning with highQ

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August 2019

THEMEN: Cities get mobile | Research project MaaS L.A.B.S. | Usability project with students

Mobility

Cities get mobile – and highQ helps them do it

The diesel scandal has had one positive effect. Ever since it first made the headlines, the focus has shifted increasingly towards the expansion of public transport and additional funds have been made available. For example, the “Digitisation of Municipal Transport Systems” funding guideline issued by the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) has promoted the creation of Green City master plans. Around 70 cities with particularly high nitrogen dioxide concentrations have drawn up master plans for their municipalities and defined measures to reduce pollutants. One important measure in many of these master plans is the establishment of a digital mobility platform linking public transport and sharing providers in the region – one of highQ’s core areas of expertise. As a result, we are already in discussions with several of these municipalities (as “local heroes” naturally with our home city of Freiburg too) to determine what a mobility platform adapted to the respective structures could look like. Due to go live this year, our project in Osnabrück is a good example of how a comprehensive digital mobility service can be implemented step by step, based on the existing infrastructure.

 

Exciting research project with a complicated name

highQ is once again involved as a major player in an innovative research and development project. The slightly cumbersome name of the project is “User-centred Mobility-as-a-Service platform: Alive, Automated, Demand- & Sharing-oriented” (MaaS L.A.B.S. for short, based on the German version of the name). This is a four-year project funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) to the tune of approx. five million euros, within the framework of which various digital mobility services are to be developed and tested. To ensure a high level of acceptance for the new services right from the start, they are to be substantiated and tested in multi-stage feedback processes involving the residents of the partner cities of Potsdam, Cottbus and Hanover. “We are very pleased to be part of this exciting research project”, commented Thomas Hornig, Managing Director of highQ. “With our experience in the development of multimodal mobility concepts and our relevant product portfolio, we will be making a significant contribution.”

 

Apps should be fun: Usability project with students

A decisive factor for the acceptance of a software product is that it is easy and motivating to use. Developed as part of the SB:Digital project, our mytraQ app is used to make commuting more efficient and environmentally friendly. In terms of its interface, we didn’t want to leave anything to chance and reworked the design with the help of the usability experts at UseTree. At the same time, we entered into a collaboration with the Stuttgart Media University (HdM). This concerned the accompanying dashboard, which can be installed in the foyer or canteen of a participating company, for example, or integrated into the company’s intranet. The aim is to provide employees with an up-to-date performance review and to enable playful comparisons between colleagues. An interdisciplinary team of students from the HdM degree programmes Information Design, Online Media Management and Business Informatics was given the task of developing proposals for the design of this dashboard, with the goal of arousing interest and encouraging participation. The impressive results of the challenge will hopefully win many new participants for intelligent mobility.

 

moveBW: New mobility in Stuttgart goes into full operation

We have already reported here several times about the moveBW project for the Stuttgart region launched in July 2016, in which highQ is involved as part of a consortium. We are now on the point of going fully live. A final, two-week field test of the moveBW app involving 50 users was successfully completed in February/March. The incentive system we developed, which rewards environmentally friendly transport behaviour by crediting “time miles”, was particularly well received. The moveBW project was thus successfully completed at the end of April. The findings and experience will now benefit the people of the region in two ways. The local public transportation company NVBW, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the state of Baden-Württemberg, will take over central results as the core of its new “Mobility Data Platform Baden-Württemberg” from November 2019. Subsequently, the moveBW app will be made available to all regional citizens. Robert Bosch GmbH and highQ are expected to operate the app.

 

VDV Annual Conference: Focus on digital mobility

highQ was of course present at the major industry meeting that took place in June, hosted by Rhein-Neckar-Verkehr Gmbh (rnv) in Mannheim, Germany. According to the VDV, a total of 850 participants took part this year. On a joint stand with our Potsdam partner moveo Software GmbH, we presented our modern planning and scheduling solution PlanB, and were also able to engage in interesting discussions about our other mobility solutions. At the moment, numerous transport companies are asking themselves how they can use their limited resources to convert to digital mobility in the future, and we were well able to provide some useful information in this regard. Another promising development is our recently initiated collaboration with a manufacturer of interactive information steles, which are set to become part of everyday life at multimodal stops and mobility points within the next few years.

THEMEN: New abakusRE tool | New functions for abakusBT

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THEMEN: Data protection | Customer satisfaction | Tomorrow's mobility

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April 2019

THEMEN: Sylt Shuttle | Mobility Platform | bwtarif | Control App

Mobility

Sylt Shuttle 2.0: Everything new for our oldest project

Talking of customer satisfaction, our partnership with DB Sylt Shuttle – which has already lasted 18 years – was confirmed again last July with a follow-up order. In the fast-moving world of IT, this is almost unheard of. That said, the solution we implemented back then proved totally reliable. Over the entire time period, the system has never once failed and the specially equipped 17/7 emergency service was rarely used.

Nevertheless, time has not stood still. What was at the time an innovative, chip card-based eTicketing system for the car train to Sylt now needs to be upgraded for the smartphone age. We will also be bringing the entire sales system up to date. In future, passengers will be able to conveniently pre-book their tickets via an app. When they enter the terminal, their number plate will be automatically recognised and the barrier to the train will open. “At that time, highQ was one of the pioneers in RFID chip card applications; today, we are leading the way in mobility apps and background systems”, explained project manager Erik Schlegel. “We are delighted that DB Sylt Shuttle has chosen to remain loyal to us and will continue to make every effort to ensure the success of Sylt Shuttle 2.0.”

 

Osnabrück: Integrated mobility platform nears completion

A web shop with complaint management, an EBE solution with direct connection to the (also new) TicketOffice background system, and a routing and ticketing app that enables multimodal journey chains across provider boundaries. In addition to public transport, the solution will also integrate local car and bike sharing, bicycle box rental companies and other partners. All offers can be booked and paid for directly via the app using single sign-on.

Existing subscriptions have already been transferred to the new platform and further modules will be activated progressively over the next two months. Later in the year, an innovative check-in/check-out ticketing system (CiBo) via smartphone will be added – the first such system in everyday use in Germany.

 

bwtarif: Reaching your destination faster with highQ support

Valid across the entire network, the new Baden-Württemberg tariff (or bwtarif for short) is proving tough for operators to implement. While the tariff makes it easier for passengers to travel anywhere within the state, transport companies needed to work extra shifts in the background to ensure that the comprehensive tariff system can be fed into their systems. The first deadline was December 9, 2018. On this date, all transport companies that operate across network boundaries needed to be able to offer the new ticket. This was no problem for highQ customers. With our support, the Sigmaringen District Transport Authority (KVB) was able to achieve punctual delivery. In the course of the first half of 2019, highQ will offer an update of our TicketApp, which already includes the new tariff. This will enable our other customers to effortlessly implement the bwtariff as well.

 

Control App: Penalty charges per smartphone

Many transport operators still issue paper receipts for penalty charges (EBE) in the traditional way – a cumbersome and time-consuming process. And even where electronic systems are already in use, most of them are still based on the antiquated Windows CE operating system. With our Android-based Control App, which can be installed on conductor devices as well as on standard smartphones and tablets, issuing an EBE is now much faster. The data collected by the ticket control service is transferred directly to the highQ background system, which has been extended by a module that then makes it available for the usual administrative processes. Since January 2019, Stadtwerke Osnabrück has been the first user of the innovative EBE application.

THEMEN: New Sales & Marketing Team | BUS2BUS | Public Transport Innovation Congress

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