HERE in new alliance to standardise mobile ticketing on public transport

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HERE, the mapping arm of Finnish vendor Nokia, has formed a new alliance to help develop global standards for mobile-based public transport ticketing.

The Open Mobile Ticketing Alliance aims to develop a “register once, travel anywhere” solution that provides a single app offering tickets that are valid on public transport systems in cities worldwide.

HERE proposed that, instead of buying a ticket or loading an electronic card, passengers could register with the service once and then validate tickets by tapping an NFC-enabled mobile device at transit terminals.

Cities such as London already accept NFC-based payments on public transport.

[Read more: Gemalto to bring tap-to-pay travel services to China]

OMTA aims to help standardise the communication between phone and transit infrastructure and aid roaming between transport systems so that users can use the same app regardless of location, HERE explained.

It claimed public transit authorities using OMTA solutions would benefit from lower fare-collection costs, while passengers will also be able to travel for cheaper.

Transport companies Scheidt & Bachmann and Thales, and mobile payment provider Verifone Mobile Money, form the rest of the OMTA’s make-up.

Justus Brown, Head of Urban Mobility at HERE and OMTA Chairman, said: “The OMTA is a prime example of how HERE is transforming the way people navigate fast growing cities and across borders. Mobile ticketing on a worldwide scale has the potential to increase the use of mass transit.

“With urban populations growing rapidly, public transportation will play an increasingly important role in reducing emissions and boosting economic growth by ensuring that all members of society are mobile - not just those with a car."

The Alliance is expected to enter trials with transport services in cities around the world later this year, HERE said.

Nokia is looking to shed HERE, with discussions ongoing with a number of parties. In May, CEO Rajeev Suri told European Communications there was "significant interest" in the mapping arm.