The Future of E-ticketing – RMV Makes the Ticket Purchase Obsolete

The Future of E-ticketing – RMV Makes the Ticket Purchase Obsolete


Markus Huber, RMV


This paper presents the approach of Rhein-Main-Verkehrsverbund in the development of e-ticketing and mobile ticketing systems in public transport.


The Rhein-Main-Verkehrsverbund (RMV or Rhein-Main Transport Authority) is a pioneer in the development of e-ticketing and mobile ticketing systems in public transport. The transport authority replaced the majority of paper-based season ticket types with smartcards. The eTicket RheinMain, the brand name of the smartcard, can store more than just ticket data. It is also vehicle key, because it can be used to operate car sharing vehicles, electric cars and to rent bicycles or Pedelecs.
In 2005 the RMV started already the development of its mobile ticketing implementation with the first NFC trial worldwide (NFC Ticketing Hanau). NFC and mobile ticketing became a steady part of the RMV’s ticketing and information infrastructure. With a daily purchase of more than 10,000 tickets the RMV’s mobile Ticketing implementation called RMV-HandyTicket is one of the most successful mobile ticketing systems in Germany. With the RMV-App a smartphone becomes a ticket vending machine und a terminal for the eTicket RheinMain. Users of NFC enabled smartphones can read and update the tickets stored in the smartcard via the NFC interface.
In the future the RMV’s customers will use a revolutionary ticketing method, which makes the ticket purchase obsolete. Together with partners the transport authority is developing a Be-In/Be-Out (BIBO) ticketing scheme. All the trains and busses will be equipped with this automated fare collection (AFC) system. The AFC system will detect smartphones (with activated BIBO app) or RMV’s active smartcards automatically. So the customers can use the public transport without buying a ticket. BIBO is eliminating most of the user interaction. The customers just have to enter the bus, ride and leave the vehicle when they arrived at their target destination. The system will calculate the fares afterwards and is designed to be very comfortable for the users. BIBO will give the RMV an excellent data base for planning bus and train lines and services. Using the public transport will be much more convenient. Furthermore the RMV is planning to integrate different means of transport into this service. Car sharing or bike sharing will be also part of the BIBO system. Thanks to BIBO the dream of seamless travel will come true.
However, several questions occur in this context such as: Which technology will be used? How does the development of the BIBO system will take place? Is it possible to switch from one ticketing scheme to another overnight? What does it cost? How can you data guarantee data security? To answer these questions the RMV developed a roadmap, which considers customers wishes, integrates the upcoming NFC technology, and the opportunities of the eTicket RheinMain backend system, as well as describes the way towards the new ticketing system.


Association for European Transport