How Stockholm Public Transport Launched Digital Ticketing
Stockholm Public Transport (SL) is the public transport organization responsible for buses, rail, and trams in the Stockholm County. In 2016, it expanded its customer ticketing options and moved to a cloud-based ticketing platform.
The updated system gave customers the choice of buying tickets using a credit card, through the SL smartphone app, a travel card, or by purchasing a paper ticket.
SL needed to equip the crew (in charge of ticket validation) with scanning devices to validate the tickets purchased on the app.
It selected Android smart devices with the Scandit Barcode Scanner SDK. Overall, crew satisfaction increased as a result of updating their legacy hardware. Ticket scanning accuracy and efficiency were boosted, helping to create a faster and more convenient service for customers.
“Scandit’s Barcode Scanner SDK has made it easier for the crew to scan tickets. The switch to smart devices has resulted in a faster and more accurate service. And we’ve had really positive feedback from the crew who previously couldn’t scan tickets with the former equipment.”Karin Harrius IT Administrator for Portable Equipment – BKU
SL has a responsibility to ensure everyone who lives in or visits Stockholm County has access to well-developed, easily accessible, and reliable public transport.
SL needed new functions in the handheld devices to validate tickets in the new ticketing system. Challenges included:
- Difficulties in tracking ticket validations
- An increased risk of ticket fraud
- Delays in service due to slower validation times – especially at peak times
Fraud was a challenge as it was difficult to detect old or shared images of tickets. Crew members also found it difficult to use handheld devices effectively during ticket validation, especially on crowded trains. This led to lower accuracy rates.
SL expanded its digital ticketing system to overcome these challenges. It also provided the crew with Android smart devices, carrying a smart data capture-powered app, to scan and validate tickets.
The app uses the Scandit Barcode Scanner SDK. Scandit’s support team worked closely with SL during the SDK’s implementation process, providing customizations and guidance to ensure a smooth transition.
Using Scandit-powered smartphones instead of handheld devices made ticket scanning easier and faster. Scandit is optimized to scan smartphone screens, even when they reflect sunlight or the glare of an overhead light. Sometimes, trams and buses can be crowded, so it’s important to be able to scan customer’s digital tickets from various angles. Improved service efficiency and ticket validation accuracy followed.
Other benefits include scanning accuracy, increased passenger convenience by allowing them to buy through an app, improved data collection, and enabling SL to boost its sustainability targets by providing an alternative to paper tickets.
SL successfully addressed key challenges in its ticketing process after implementing the ticket-scanning application with Scandit’s Barcode Scanner SDK. The new system also enabled SL to track data and offer additional services.
Other improvements include:
- Increased Volume of Scans: SL experienced a 249% year-on-year increase in scans performed using Scandit’s technology between 2021-22. In 2022, over 1,150, 800 scans were made. As of August 2023, it was over 1 million.
- Improved Digital Data Collection: The availability of more travel data has allowed SL to optimize routes and enhance overall service efficiency. This data-driven approach improved decision-making and led to potential efficiency gains.
- Enhanced Efficiency and Accuracy: The addition of digital tickets significantly improved the efficiency and accuracy of the ticket scanning process.
- Crew found it easier and more accurate to scan tickets using smartphones, resulting in a faster service, increased efficiency, and reduced delays.
- Paper ticket usage has fallen: The use of paper tickets has dropped by around 50%, accelerating a long-term trend to move to digital ticketing.
- Positive Feedback: SL received positive feedback from the crew on the convenience and accuracy of the new system. Customers appreciated the ease of purchasing and validating tickets through the app, while the crew found the scanning process more efficient and reliable.
The collaboration between SL and Scandit ensured a seamless implementation of the technology, underscoring the value of utilizing smart devices and digital ticketing to transform public transportation systems.