BOB Ticket: An innovative pricing strategy for non-frequent public transport passengers
Innovative ticketing can encourage new customers to start using buses and trams. Special offers and incentives can be integrated into e-ticketing based on smart cards.
Implementing sustainable mobility
Surveys indicated that about 30 percent of all citizens were using public transport frequently, while the remaining 70 percent rarely used public transport and were not familiar with networks, schedules and tickets.
The BOB ticket, designed by the public transport operator BSAG and the Bremen transport association VBN, is a chipcard aimed at non-frequent public transport passengers. It allows customers easy access to public transport without the need for prepaid tickets or cash. The passenger uses public transport and pays later, making immediate savings via the built-in best-price function.
Having registered with the system, the customer books in the destination and number of passengers on entering the bus or tram. This information is stored on the registered smart card and transferred to the main database for calculating the monthly bill. Passengers making single trips are charged as if they were using a ticket from a discounted book of 10 prepaid tickets, while those making several journeys a day are billed for a cheaper one-day ticket only.
The BOB ticket was designed in line with other innovative e-ticketing options, such as the combined chip card for public transport and car-sharing. The existing electronic infrastructure and touch-screen terminals that were already in use on the trams and buses operated by BSAG were included in the BOB ticket scheme.
The BOB ticket was introduce to the public in May 2005. Within one month more than 5,000 citizens were registered as BOB ticket holders. By the end of 2005, a total of 13,000 people were registered and numbers continued to climb annually by about 12,000. The positive development was supported by a poster campaign that made clear how easy the system was to use.