Road Network Operations
& Intelligent Transport Systems
A guide for practitioners!

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Increasingly products and services are being purchased via the internet. Transport is no exception. Users expect to be able to purchase tickets online using Apps and Websites. Transport operators need to provide easy to use interfaces, that allow users to determine the most appropriate ticket, based on factors such as cost and time, and to purchase them online.

Delivery options will depend on the ticket types offered by the transport operator. If no electronic ticketing products are available (See Electronic Payment), then delivery to the user’s address or collection points at stations or travelshops will be required.

If other ticket methods are used such as print your own ticket or mobile ticketing, the user can generate their ticket at home. Mobile ticketing involves signing up and creating a ticketing account. Tickets can then be downloaded to your mobile phone. The phone is shown to the driver on boarding. The phone image includes a QR code which can be validated to demonstrate legitimacy of the ticket. For example, Arriva bus in the UK operates mobile ticketing.

The websites or Apps developed, need to be accessibleso that easy are use and compatible with screen-readers or other assistive technologies for those with sight or hearing impairments.

Technological Considerations

When developing e-commerce, the key consideration is theplatforms on which it will be available. Will it be available as a website, or on mobile devices as a mobile website or as a dedicated smartphone App (and if so, what operating systems shall it support)?

Web browser compatibility is an important issue - if the website does not function correctly in a particular browser it is likely to limit usage and create user frustration. It is important to test the website in the most common browser/platform/screen combinations. This should include mobile platforms since, increasingly, users are using these devices. For instance, the United Kingdom Gov.Uk website provides for compatibility testing. The aim is not to ensure 100% visual clarity but to ensure key information functions actually work.

It is important that eCommerce websites are intuitive and easy to use, particularly if customers will be using them regularly to purchase tickets. It is also essential that websites support accessibility functions - such as high contrast or screen readers so that those with sight problems can also access the site. The W3C Web Accessibility Initiative provides design techniques and guidelines for ensuring accessibility. It also includes a procedure for testing accessibility and its rating.

Websites must be secure - particularly to protect user personal information and payment details. The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards provide mandatory security requirements for card payments.

Ticketing technologies are a major factor in e-Commerce. For instance, users with a Near Field Communications (NFC) enabled phone can potentially use a mobile phone app to purchase tickets and load their tickets onto their smartcard by tapping their smartcard against the NFC sensor on the phone. (See Passenger Transport)

Reference sources

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