|Employees||350 bus drivers|
|Vehicles||130 private buses, 50 buses from outside contractors|
|Transport services||39.7 mill. bus passengers per year|
|Operations||Urban revenue services with buses|
|Objectives||Promote inter-modality and multi-modality via intelligent ticketing, flexible, passenger-friendly fare system and invoicing|
|Special features||First nation-wide fare system with flexible prices for occasional riders|
|IVU products||IVU.fare, IVU.ticket, IVU.validator|
It might the bicycle capital of Germany, but even in Münster there are bus services. Whenever dealing with long distances or when faced with the unpredictability of Westphalian weather, even Münster’s citizens make the switch. There are more last-minute bus trips here than anywhere else, since buses serve as an ad-hoc umbrella for the weary bicyclist – in addition to the normal rush-hour traffic in the morning and after work.
A current trend can be observed in many metropolises of using multi-modal or inter-modal trips, i.e. connections between different modes of transport. Passengers have become more flexible: they combine public transport services with car sharing offers or riding a bike. Ideally, this modified travel behaviour is coupled with an intelligent fare structure and accounting that are implemented with modern ticketing solutions.
A precondition for the flexible usage of public transport services is an appropriate fare structure. This is what gave rise to Stadtwerke Münster’s (SWMS) idea of creating the first flexible occasional rider fare nation wide. In order to make this a reality, SWMS needed a comprehensive e-ticketing solution.
This solution would have to include both the necessary hardware components, such as chip cards and boarding control terminals, and the background systems from the software side of things for accounting and data administration. Due to the special demands for security and data protection, the solution also had to support the VDV-KA standard.
"In Münster our innovative fare solutions are setting standards for all of Germany. This has only been possible thanks to an effective IT solution. IVU.suite provided us with hardware and software under one roof and allowed us to implement our ambitions in an optimal fashion. This high-quality solution has already been integrated into our project and put into practice."
SWMS opted for IVU’s IT systems with their intelligent e-ticketing: their highly complex software solutions for accounting and data administration, as well as the corresponding hardware solutions, such as smartcards and IVU.validator. All of this made it possible to implement an unparalleled fare structure throughout Germany: thanks to the best-price calculation system, occasional riders only have to pay in accordance with their usage behaviour. In order to achieve this, detailed fare rules have to be depicted in the background system and large amounts of data must be processed on a daily basis. The IVU.fare product from IVU.suite takes care of both of these aspects.
IVU.ticket, which abides by the VDV-KA standard, guarantees that user data and personal data are kept separate from one another on the chip cards and encodes them cryptographically. This prevents misuse in the event of loss or theft.
The e-ticket, which is called the “PlusCard” in Münster, reigns supreme across the city buses and regional trains in the municipal area. Electronic fares, both for subscriptions and for occasional riders, that can be adjusted dynamically to the usage behaviour could already be added to the range of tickets on offer. This reflects a new culture of mobility, lightens bus drivers’ loads by reducing the amount of on-board ticket sales and speeds up boarding onto the bus.
Thanks to the flexible invoicing functions, the electronic fares encourage passengers to use transport services more outside of the morning rush hour. At the same time, they do not necessarily exclude trips in the early morning period. This provides the customer with a comfortable and transparent range of fares, which in turn increases satisfaction.
For years SWMS has been at the top of the list of the best German transport companies. Innovation and customer-friendly fare management contribute to this success by and large. E-ticketing significantly increases the room for manoeuvring when setting up a fare system and at the same time is comfortable for the customer to use. Just one year after introducing the flexible ticket system, the number of PlusCard users in Münster has risen by 20,000.