More ABT schemes, more locked in data

ABT is the acronym for Account Based Ticketing (or Account Based Travel, to give it a more appropriate name). This is the concept where customers use a central “back office” account for transport, rather than buy individual tickets in advance.

This account allows either pre-pay functionality (where the customer adds funds to the account beforehand and journeys are then subtracted as they travel) or post-pay (where journeys are made and the customer is then subsequently billed for their usage).

Both of these options can also be used alongside:

1. A “best fare” promise, where the customer is only charged the minimum possible amount over a travelling time period (e.g. a day, a week or longer).

2. A multi-modal proposition, where journeys across several modes of transport (e.f. bus, train, subway and even ferry) all get charged back to the same account

In fact, several of the founding members of the Open Transport initiative have experience of delivering an ABT project. Meaning they have first-hand knowledge of both the effort needed to design & implement such a scheme… as well as the potential benefits of such a service too.

And this, in part is why the Open Transport initiative was created. As our founders saw yet another transport system being created that locked Authorities and Transport Providers into a proprietary technology standard or vendor. Meaning that even more silos of customer mobility account & usage information were generated.

And that’s why we are now about to give away all the work we have done in creating a transport account interoperability standard. Why we are creating an Open Standard for mobility accounts to unlock the data held within them, rather than perpetuate the increasing lock-in that could happen as more and more ABT schemes are demanded and supplied.

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