Burulas Electronic Ticketing and Sales Kiosk Projects

20 Kas 2020

burulas-electronic-ticketing-and-sales-kiosk-projects

With Kiosk Innova's Electronic Ticketing Kiosks, Bursa's municipality-affiliated transportation company BURULAŞ shortened passenger waiting times by half.

Bursa is Turkey's fourth most populated city and was ranked as its most liveable and the 37th most liveable city in the world in 2016. Burulas A.S is the transport company of the Bursa Municipal Authority and has become a trusted brand in inner public transport systems.

Burulas runs the city's metro, trams, city buses, intercity sea buses, bus terminals, travel and car rental agencies, seaplanes, and helicopter taxi operations. It is the only company in Turkey that manages and operates such varied modes of transport. When it needed a kiosk solution to speed up the time needed to top up credit and reduce operational costs, it turned to Innova for the perfect solution.

Burulas's Information Systems Manager, Alper Güvercin, explained that until July 2015, its electronic ticketing systems were operated by a subcontractor. However, when the contract came to an end, it decided to run this operation in-house. Güvercin said 120 million people used Bursa's light railway system, and 180 million passengers traveled on the buses in 2015, requiring a shift in focus towards automation systems. "Considering the volume of people who use the ticket boots to upload credit and buy tickets, we are talking about a serious number of passengers, which means that uploading services must operate very quickly. We need to ensure passengers can reach their destinations as quickly as possible. We try to operate as often as possible, and it is also important that our passengers are not kept waiting to upload credit or buy tickets."

The desire to improve customer ticketing underpinned the search for a solution that would reduce passenger waiting times while also reducing operational costs. Güvercin explained that the process began by studying examples of systems used by other cities and preparing a product description that exceeded their standards and accorded with the regulations set out by the Turkish Public Procurement Authority. Burulas's experience and sensitive approach to public contracts helped to produce a high-quality project specification: "We aimed to work with a company that could provide the features identified in this detailed study in the most cost-efficient way possible, and with utmost professionality. We were concerned about whether vendors would choose to take part in the tender due to the extreme time constraints and demand for standards so far above the norm. But then we met Innova."

"We got a product above our specification"

The project began on 16 July 2015, and the kiosks went online on 15 January 2016. Güvercin makes clear that despite only having six months for the project, the systems were ready for the targeted launch date: "Innova gave us the product we described in our technical contract in full. Our contract demanded a very ambitious delivery time. Innova was able to finish the project despite the acute conditions and delivered a service that was even better than the one described in our agreement. We want to thank Innova for helping us to realize the plan so effectively."

Saving on the workforce, time, and energy

Pointing to the traditional staffed ticket booths, Güvercin stated that "The process of taking the passenger's card, putting it on the reader, accepting cash and returning change could take a long time as it was largely dependent on human resources. But with kiosks, we are now able to provide this service much more quickly. Our main goal was to shorten the time spent on transactions to give our passengers a better service. They would spend up to 40 seconds at the booths before, this been reduced to around 10 to 15 seconds." He also added, "Passengers had to queue to check their balances, but this can be done in a couple of seconds with the kiosks. We need to get passengers moving without them having to wait. In addition, in terms of operational costs, the savings are significant when you consider workforce, time, and energy reductions. So we save our passengers their most important asset—time—, and we also reduce our operational costs."

"We requested the highest level of security"

Güvercin also emphasized the importance of managing the security of outdoor kiosks remotely and said that Burulas insisted on a solution with the highest possible security standards. He added, "We have included wave vibration and proximity sensors to detect and warn us when the kiosks are opened, and it is possible to control and monitor everything by using our central security software. It is now possible to record detailed information about incidents of interference."

A modular and functional kiosk

Güvercin stated that Burulas is now making plans to activate a range of new features, made possible by the initial specifications were designed to be ready for the future. The kiosks were designed to accept all types of payments and bring flexibility for expansions: "The multifunctional and modular structure of our product is one of its standout features. For instance, the kiosks currently include at least two card and ticket sales modules, but we predefined a system to increase this to four. Currently, our basic kiosks give change with coins, not with banknotes, but if there is demand for this to change, then the modular structure would make it possible to offer this functionality."

Regarding even more advanced uses, Güvercin said, "There is a camera on the kiosks because it is important to provide customized card services continuously and uninterruptedly to our passengers. We maintained offices to handle this, employing considerable numbers of staff members for a long time. Now all the kiosks include the hardware to print our customized cards. The kiosks will first take a photo and the national ID number of the passenger and then connect to the database of relevant institutions to run necessary searches. If the checks approve a passenger's right to a customized card, the kiosk will create the card instantly. These features are not yet active, but our goal is to make them available as soon as possible."

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