Make the most of public transport with your smartphone – without having to know anything about fares

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Article: Make the most of public transport with your smartphone – without having to know anything about fares

07/2022 - Apps featuring DB's innovative check-in/be-out service offer decisive advantages for passengers and the regional and local public transport industry as the digitalisation of public transport enters a new phase.

Check in, get on board, travel: that's how easy it is with the regional and local transport apps Tickin, DB TiMo and Eezy Check-in (Ticket NRW app), which are already being used by certain transport associations.

Tickin - Exemplarische Screens
Tickin screen examples (only in German) 

Absolutely effortless  

Using the apps is as easy as it is convenient: once the passenger has downloaded the app for their region onto their smartphone and registered, they simply open the app at the stop and confirm with a swipe that they are ready to go (check-in). The app automatically recognises when the journey is finished (be-out). In addition, the three apps already available are characterised by different services: 

Teaser 1 Travio (1)

The DB TiMo app is a three-year pilot project involving regional and local rail passenger transport services in Northern Germany. The DB TiMo ticket app can be used to buy "Deutschlandtarif" (DTV) tickets and tickets for the Verkehrsverbund Region Trier (VRT) and Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Mosel (VRM) transport associations. The app can currently be used on local rail services and allows passengers to store various discount cards. 


Teaser 2 Travio

Throughout North Rhine-Westphalia, the check-in/be-out solution is integrated into the existing Ticket NRW app as Eezy Check-in. This means that the Ticket NRW app offers passengers both classic tariffs, which are based on tariff areas and zones, and electronic tariffs ("eTarife"), which consist of a fixed basic price plus a price based on the distance between the journey start and destination.

Logo NRW Ticket

Teaser 3 Travio

The Tickin app used by the Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Neckar (VRN) transport association features an impressive best-price guarantee. Whether they make a single journey or several journeys a day, passengers are always charged for the cheapest ticket. So the days of puzzling over the ticket machine are finally over. 


Consolidated competence 

The apps were developed based on the TRAVIO project, which was launched in 2019 by DB Vertrieb and DB Systel. The goal of the project participants was to capitalise on the widespread use of smartphones in order to promote the digitalisation of rail transport

"It's time to move on from simulations to real-life customers! All signals on the market are green."

Barbara Berdan, head of innovative sales solutions and projects at DB Vertrieb

Profilbild Barbara Berdan

This led to the launch of a new mobile ticketing system. The new system consists of a platform solution that is attractive for public transport authorities and a passenger-friendly check-in/be-out solution in the front end. DB Systel is responsible for developing and programming the apps, while DB Vertrieb provides functional experts and contact with customers.  

Deutsche Bahn is collaborating successfully with renowned technology partners such as Axon Vibe, a specialist in the field of smart mobility solutions that has contributed the check-in/be-out technology. The TRAVIO platform went straight to the market: "We decided it was time to move on from simulations and prototypes to real-life customers. All the signals were green," says Berdan from DB Vertrieb.  

Unique on the market 

The platform's success confirms that this was the right decision. By the end of this year, 31 tariffs are expected to be fully integrated into the platform. The creators of the TRAVIO platform, with the help of which the apps were engineered, are convinced that the Tickin app could be a solution for many transport associations.  

"We have a check-in/be-out solution that is absolutely marketable."

Klaus Schlender, Product Owner TRAVIO at DB Systel

Klaus Schlender

This is because the check-in/be-out solution offers a number of advantages, not only for passengers but also for local transport authorities. The apps used to provide the technology can be adapted to the requirements of individual transport providers.  

The check-in/be-out solution can be implemented and operated without any special infrastructure at stops or on board vehicles. All of which means a very favourable cost-benefit ratio. "We have a check-in/be-out solution that is absolutely marketable," says Klaus Schlender, Product Owner TRAVIO at DB Systel. 

An award-winning solution for the digital future 

And the ability to travel on regional and local transport without having to worry about fares, journey times or payment methods is not just a hit with passengers: the Tickin app has also received the "German Innovation Award" as well as the "Railtech Innovation Award" twice.  

"This kind of success confirms that our apps are a real source of inspiration," says Barbara Berdan. "We are very confident that our check-in/be-out solution will successfully support the local public transport sector in its digitalisation efforts in the future."  

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