Travellers to consumers: Reflecting on this year’s Transport Ticketing Global

Travellers to consumers: Reflecting on this year’s Transport Ticketing Global

With the world’s largest public transport gathering, Transport Ticketing Global, over for another year and our feet firmly in 2019, it seems apt to reflect on the changing global vision set at this year’s event for the future of public transport. Or perhaps more accurately, its evolution into the world of mobility services.

Attended by key players from across the global smart ticketing, passenger information and connected cities industries, the London-based event provided the perfect platform for market experts to discuss the major challenges facing transport ticketing and how it’s likely to evolve in the next few years.

Luckily, I was given the opportunity to present how I see the market and why we need to adapt as an industry to keep up with new demands. Today’s digital consumer was central to both my presentation and conversations on the floor, as well as the urgent need for more intelligent, inclusive and better-connected services. So how are consumers driving transport to mobility services, and how can traditional transport players avoid falling behind?

Today’s consumer world…

The growth of contactless and mobile services is enabling more seamless consumer experiences across a number of verticals. From how we pay and communicate, to what we watch and listen to; a few ideas encapsulate the attitude of today’s consumer world:

Digital: The physical and digital are now inextricably entwined. We live online as much as we do in the real world, and our services increasingly reflect that.

Ubiquitous: We expect a level of service that’s consistent, seamless and available wherever we go and whatever we do.

Global: We’re all operating on an increasingly global scale and traditionally local services need to think further afield accordingly.

On-demand: Mobile has undoubtedly created an expectation for services here and now, and the successes of the likes of Uber, Netflix and Amazon reflect the high demands of the modern age.

Trust and convenience underpin everything. And, crucially, the consumer sits at the heart of all innovation. What I and many others asked at the show was, why shouldn’t this same level of service apply to transport too? The everyday traveller, waiting for and reliably using public transport, is now the consumer; transport ticketing is becoming part of a whole host of trusted services expected on-demand, conveniently and flexibly.

…tomorrow’s transport

To realize this vision of mobility on demand, transport needs to become more than just offering the means of getting from A to B. For public transport operators and agencies (PTOs and PTAs), this means moving from a fare-centric approach to one that’s service-centric.

Journey planning, personalized services and contextual mobility (offering, say, hotel and local travel services with a flight booking) will become central requirements. Not to mention that transactions will become increasingly seamless, flexible and near invisible. Consumers want to travel with minimal effort and planning: to book a hotel and connecting travel effortlessly, with a free loyalty-scheme coffee en route. All from the device they choose, wherever they are and whenever they need.

But, as the vast representation of the industry at the show illustrated, we’re facing a period of dissonance that reminds me of the telecoms industry during the 90’s. And much like the telecoms industry’s move to GSM, open standards initiatives and cross-collaboration will be key to long-term success at this pivotal point for transport. Hearing from many at the show, its clear PTOs and PTAs want to innovate – but how? What’s next?

Setting the scene for open standards

Creating an infrastructure based on trusted open standards is crucial to realizing the true potential of mobility on demand. Standards are a proven solution in preventing overlap of work and resolving fragmentation, as well as facilitating better collaboration, innovation and technology advancement.

With so many players required to collaborate, standardization offers seamless interoperability and simplifies access to wider, global markets and adjacent industries. There are also the other long-term benefits of economy of scale, cost reduction, and legal protections including liabilities, privacy compliance and patents.

Industry association, OSPT Alliance has matured in the transport world and in the last decade, it’s CIPURSE Specification has become the open standard for transport ticketing. But it has applications far beyond across ID, access control, payments and more. We recognize the industry is changing and our mission has broadened to enable the future of mobility services by facilitating a single, secure, common platform for both the traditional transport world and new mobility stakeholders.

Evolving consumer demands, centralizing services, adapting infrastructures – Transport Ticketing Global set the stage for the many developments expected for mobility services in 2019 and beyond. It’s clear the market is at a turning point, and there is a real opportunity to enhance mobility on demand applications with open standards.

Find out how to join the future of mobility services on the OSPT Alliance website.


  • Philippe Martineau

    Philippe is Vice President of Ecosystem Business Development at Rambus, where he is responsible for bridging Rambus’ core technology with the mobile world. His career started with the emergence of mobile technology in the early 90s, where he contributed to the GSM standardization bringing SIM technology to the market. Philippe was elected as President of the OSPT Alliance Board in 2018.