The AltoAdige Pass project started with the aim of improving the quality of public transport in the Province of Bolzano, especially for attracting new passenger
Although the PT system was already of high quality, both in terms of infrastructure and vehicles, a further investment was made in ticketing technology.
Thanks to a contactless card (the AltoAdige Pass) all trips made by individuals are registered and counted on an annual basis. Different fares are then applied, with a kilometre cost which diminishes with the increase of total travelled kilometres.
Before the introduction of the AltoAdige Pass (active since February 2012), transport operators of Alto Adige established an Integrated Transport System which comprises all urban and inter-urban buses, regional trains (sections under the Province’s administration and lines to Trento and Innsbruck) the Historical touristic Train (Riten train) and some funicular railways. The constitution of this entity was a pre-condition for the effective development of the new ticketing system and the process was co-ordinated by the Province of Bolzano.
The system has been implemented with a twofold aim: to incentivise citizens, commuters and leisure travellers to increase their use of use PT, and to attract new passengers. For this reason, the fare system has been conceived as an awarding mechanism: the more you travel on PT, the less each kilometre will cost you.
Before the introduction of the AltoAdige Pass transport operators of Alto Adige established an Integrated Transport System. The constitution of this entity was a pre-condition for the effective development of the new ticketing system and the process was co-ordinated by the Province of Bolzano.
Evidence of success
The incentive mechanism of decreasing fares while increasing travelled kilometres was conceived in order to encourage people to use public transport more intensively and that is what has actually happened. In the first year of operation of the new ticketing system over 120 000 passes were distributed, with an increase in season tickets of 75 per cent.
During the trial stage, some constraints and obstacles were encountered: users had to rapidly change their travel habits (ticket buy, validation, renewal, etc.) and the organisation had to plan and arrange a fair scheme and to change former equipment with new contactless machines in all vehicles.
Potential for learning or transfer
Important aspects to learn of, are the friendly interface of the system with an online account with personal status, the availability of multiple options for recharging the card and, last but not least, the convenient fares applied. All those aspects have convinced people to use PT and although they may not always use it, it is certainly more than ever before. The system has proved to be widely appreciated, thus offering a best practice example for further exploitation and application.
Recently, new functionalities have been added to the card: people travelling with a bicycle or with an animal can pay the corresponding additional fee by selecting the relative option during the check-in.
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