Servizio Comunitario di Informazione in materia di Ricerca e Sviluppo - CORDIS

Implementing a new ticketing system in Kaunas (Lithuania)

Result description
Electronic ticket marking machines are installed in almost all of the auto and trolley buses, with 309 installed in Kaunas buses and 460 installed in trolleybuses. All single tickets are validated on public transport once they have been marked in this machine.

The ticket is marked with the year, month, day, hour, minute and ticketing machine number and the name of the stop where the trip was started. The ticketing machine functions automatically when the ticket is placed inside a narrow slot and in each vehicle, each single machine is managed from a central unit and has a compulsory blocking system which renders it impossible to mark a ticket in the machine.

The ticketing machines are turned on and off from the general management unit, which has a time clock. In some of the new Solaris buses, the ticket machines are operated and controlled by a central computer in the driver’s cab that also operates the electronic information and direction screens. It was initially a difficult task to justify the purchase of new ticket validating machines but clearly the old ones were out of date and not suitable for current situation.

Also, the new machines were less likely to be open to cheating and misuse by passengers. The cost of the new ones was justified by the fact that we could use these new machines in line with our e-ticketing plans for the future as well as them giving us many more possibilities in terms of ticket diversity (time tickets). The machines currently used on all trolley and autobuses for issuing tickets on-board the vehicle are also being phased in as standard equipment on all new microbuses. Where they are not currently in use on these vehicles, this is due to some microbus companies still being under old contracts and therefore the municipality has no jurisdiction to enforce new equipment upon them.

However, under the terms of re-tendering old contracts that come up for renewal, the municipality is pushing through a range of requirements that microbuses have to fulfil before being awarded a new contract - including improvements in air emissions, passenger comfort and safety, and ticketing (which will be as it is on the auto and trolley buses - apart from the price per trip which is almost fifty per cent more expensive per trip.

Who are the end-users of this result?
The new systems engage with a large percentage of the population of public transport users in Kaunas - almost 64% of the population of Kaunas City. The most common reason for using public transport is for the daily return journey to and from work. This represents approximately 40% of users with the most common route being between the inner districts and the city centre.

Main innovative features/benefits (technical/commercial success factors)
Innovation is in many cases relative, and so for Kaunas what is innovative here may be common practice in a partner’s country.

Therefore for this project, when we set out to plan our project outputs, the areas of innovation were the: - Introduction of fixed-date tickets;- introduction of electronic tickets. Market or application sectors & potential applications Not really an applicable question for this particular activity; the ticket machine is a simple machine that has been tailored for the needs of Kaunas city public transport users.

Potential barriers
Barriers here are clearly the ability to implement technological improvements on a public that are not always sure of the benefits. We have embarked on a plan of action to work with better equipped external marketing companies to ensure that we deliver a good compromise.

Reported by

Kaunas City Municipality Transport Division
Sv. Gertrudos g.7
44290 Kaunas
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