International rail companies are implementing numerous new, innovative ways for commuters to fund their journeys. One such method is a smart phone app, called Lezzgo, that operates under the get-on, get-off, pay-later principle – no travel card or ticket required.
The Lezzgo system from BLS enables limitless, carefree and simple travelling in Switzerland, explains BLS international affairs and project head Jürgen Maier-Gyomlay.
BLS is a Swiss railway company.
With the Lezzgo app – on iOS or Android – commuters check in on their phones at the start of the journey. The app allows commuters to board a bus, tram or train, changing however and wherever they want, across any number of zones.
Commuters must, however, have their GPS location activated.
Lezzgo users then simply check out on their phone when they arrive at their destination.
The app reminds them to check out if they forget.
At 05:00 the next day, the price is calculated. At 07:00 payment happens automatically, with a receipt sent by e-mail, notes Maier-Gyomlay.
Lezzgo calculates the journeys made, optimising the price so that commuters pay no more than the cost of a day ticket, he adds.
At the end of the month, clearing and revenue distribution happen among all the various transport entities.
Lezzgo moved from proof of concept in 2017, and now forms part of a market testing phase that will run until the end of 2019.
Within this testing period, the functionality of the app is being optimised and extended.
Developing the app was the easy part, says Maier-Gyomlay.
Ensuring that everything in the background works – how the data will be collected, how payment will happen – was, however a completely different story.
“We needed to get around 80 partners on board,” says Maier-Gyomlay. “It took a long time for this to happen.”
He adds that BLS uses the aviation industry as its benchmark when developing and expanding its services. This means there is an increased focus on ease of use, seat comfort and the creation of shopping opportunities within rail precincts, for example.
Maier-Gyomlay also notes that two police officers travel on its trains on weekends and at night, to ensure the safety of passengers.