Company News • 10.06.2013
Greater improvements in ticket machines
Touchscreen solution by Höft & Wessel has been installed in Geneva
Mr Roland Bonzon, Managing Director of transports publics genevois (tpg) and Mr Rudolf Spiller, CEO of German manufacturer Hoeft & Wessel (H&W) inaugurated the first ticket machine equipped with a high visibility screen.
Symbolically positioned in front of the entrance to the 60th UITP World Congress and Mobility City Exhibition, which runs until Wednesday evening in Palexpo, the device heralds a full range of ticket machines equipped with optimal functionalities. A phase-out of old machines is planned.
The 260 latest-generation machines already present across the tpg network were equipped with prepaid card readers for use with the cart@bonus, which is very popular with many tpg customers. Incorporating this functionality was not initially planned for the new machines, as other prepaid formats were to be used instead. However, as these modes of payment were not available when the new machines came into operation, it was deemed useful to let passengers use prepaid cards, first with the existing old generation machines, and then by equipping the next wave of machines with suitable card readers. Card readers in the new generation machines enable users to check the balance and validity of their card; a functionality that was previously not available. In the coming months, a further 260 new machines will be equipped and installed across the network. These will replace the old machines, which will be progressively phased out. 520 H&W machines will be installed across the network by the end of the year, accepting credit cards, cart@bonus and coins (Swiss francs and Euros) and giving change. The new machines are reputed to be less vulnerable to vandalism and theft attempts, and are easier to maintain. The number of 'out of service' machines, which are particularly inconvenient for customers and are often outside tpg's control, will be substantially reduced.
Readability of screens on existing new machines is not optimal and has come under criticism. These tactile, multifunctional screens, which are becoming more widespread in Switzerland, were, until now, essentially found in stations or in areas away from direct sunlight. Both tpg and public transport users have asserted that these screens, spread across the urban network and in the open air, are difficult to read in certain light conditions. Hence why tpg, together with the manufacturer H&W, have actively looked for a solution. This research has now resulted in a screen with a maximum brightness of 1,000 candela (cd) compared to 500 cd for standard screens. Furthermore, for greater reading comfort, the new screens (like those found on smartphones or tablets), adapt to light conditions, whilst offering reduced energy consumption and a longer lifecycle.
180 old generation ticket machines will remain on the network until the end of 2014. These run on solar power. From autumn 2014, these will be replaced by the latest H&W solar-powered machines, which are still under development and which will be tested before being deployed.