Smart Payments in public transportation
Implementation of Metropolis Toll collection system at MZK Tychy
Pioneer in the application of tolling system
The Upper Silesian metropolitan area (GZM) – a Metropolitan union formed in the Upper Silesian conurbation area on 1 July 2017 – unites 41 cities and municipalities with a total area of 2,500 square kilometres, with a population of 2.3 million. The union began operations at the beginning of 2018. Well-organised public transportation is the basis for the functioning of the GZM. Every day more than 1,600 public transport vehicles take to the streets of the Metropolis, serving about 6.7 thousand stops. Annually they cover more than 100 million kilometres.
Integration of ŚKUP with EMV
Until 2018, there were three different public transport organizers in today's GZM: KZK GOP, MZKP Tarnowskie Góry and MZK Tychy. At the first two, the Silesian public services card system (ŚKUP) functioned and the same ticket fare was in effect, while at the third – a different one. This generated additional travel costs and was inconvenient for both residents and visitors to the metropolitan area.
It was an obvious need to integrate public transportation, which culminated in the merger of transportation organizers into a single entity, the Metropolitan Transport Authority (ZTM), and the extension of the ŚKUP system to the area of operation of the former MZK Tychy serving the City of Tychy and 16 municipalities from the so-called tychy agreement.
An important requirement was the implementation of support for EMV contactless card payments in vehicles, as well as the launch of functionality for handling and settling payment card transactions at ticket vending machines and controllers, and the collection of additional fees also by debit card.
Metropolis Toll collection system (SPO).
In response to the client's needs, Asseco Data Systems implemented its proprietary Metropolis Toll collection system (SOP) solution and integrated it with the Silesian public services card system. The company provided comprehensive support for ŚKUP cards, as well as payment cards in the Mass transit transaction/Pay as you go model.
The solution allows simultaneous operation of two conceptually different contactless cards: MPC and EMV, taking into account their technologies and different formal and legal conditions. Despite the fact that both cards are contactless at their core they have different concepts of operation. The ŚKUP card is a carrier of electronic money issued by the ŚKUP organisation within the so-called closed loop, and it stores information on purchased services and tickets. EMV cards are primarily a secure identifier that does not require recording additional information on the card.
Processing of the purchase transaction takes place inside the system and the final debit of the payment to the account takes place within the open loop of electronic money. Since the handling of each type of card proceeds differently, the terminal uses an intelligent switch that waits by default for the proximity of EMV cards. The solution used made it possible to implement support for the same fare using an identical user interface for different cards.
Modern, friendly solution for GZM passengers
- Full functionality of the ŚKUP on the territory covered by the Tychy agreement
- Convenient payment with EMV cards in vehicles
- Compliance with Visa and Mastercard standards for public transport
- A single, integrated Toll collection system throughout the operator's area of operation
- Opening up the ŚKUP system to a wide variety of devices and peripheral service providers
- + 160 vehicles (buses and trolleybuses) equipped with modern infrastructure
- 560 touch-screen ticket vending machines with card readers in vehicles
- 190 universal tablets in vehicles
- 10 state-of-the-art card-enabled control devices
- 11 bln PLN net project budget
- 13 months maximum project implementation time
'We have implemented a new payment method on Tychy buses using the MTT standard, which is the international standard for contactless payments in public transportation. This is the first such project in Poland. Once the payment card is placed against the reader, the transaction is identified with a unique, encrypted token. The card then becomes proof of the acquisition of rights of way, and in the event of a ticket inspection it is enough to bring the card close to the controller's device. Settlement of fare entitlements takes place in a separate process at the end of the day. This provides additional opportunities to apply algorithms for selecting the fare that is most favourable to the passengers. The solution has been certified by Visa and Mastercard international payment organisations. The implementation in Tychy perfectly demonstrates the potential of the ŚKUP service platform, where the most technologically advanced solution and convenient forms of fare payment have been made available to passengers. The project itself, which was quite a challenge for many reasons, was executed in an exemplary manner.'
Paweł Barnaś, Director of Smart City Division at Asseco Data Systems
'Contactless card payment is a standard these days and a huge convenience for people who don't carry cash and make virtually all transactions with it. Now it will be possible in Tychy's buses and trolleybuses. We want this to be a standard in our transportation, which is why we are working on this solution in connection with the planned and global modernisation of the ŚKUP system.'
Jacek Brzezinka, member of the board of directors of the Upper Silesian and Zagłębie Metropolis