Written by Johanna Taskinen, Founder & CPO, Kyyti Group
Matkahuolto is a consortium of Finnish bus operators with a majority market share of Finnish intercity bus travel. In November 2019 Matkahuolto signed a contract with Kyyti for building a multiservice trip planning and ticket booking application powered by Kyyti MaaS Platform. Only after four months, in March 2020, the first version of the Trips and Tickets app was published in app stores, and Matkahuolto became the first nationwide public transport travel chain provider in Finland.
The deployment of the March 2020 version consisted of setting up and configuring the already existing building blocks of Kyyti MaaS Platform for Matkahuolto:
- Tenant and admin panel for Matkahuolto as the merchant of record
- Intercom for online customer support and communication
- Stripe for payment service
- Open Trip Planner setup
- GTFS feed configuration for Matkahuolto and Hämeenlinna routes
- User app variant creation and customization with Matkahuolto brand and details
- Integration of Matkahuolto’s own ticketing system API (Minfo)
- Integration of Finnish Waltti ticketing system API for Hämeenlinna local public transport
After the first version the Trips and Tickets service has gradually been complemented with several more services and integrations during the first year:
- GTFS feed for all regional and local public transport routes in Finland
- Public transport ticket API integrations of the two biggest urban areas (Helsinki and Tampere regions)
- Onnibus intercity bus tickets API integration (together Matkahuolto and Onnibus comprise in practice all of the intercity bus services in Finland)
- Kyyti ticket solution with visual validation for four mid-sized and small cities’ public transport services and for Valmet Automotive commuting service
- Kyyti ticket solution with visual validation for commuting tickets to Valmet Automotive, one of the largest vehicle contract manufacturers in the world with 4 500 employees in Finland
- Kyyti DRT setup for a demand responsive transport service for the city of Porvoo
This all means that currently the Trips and Tickets app enables ticket purchase for the majority of intercity bus services in Finland and seven regional/local public transport services, plus one DRT service and one closed group commuting ticket service. Furthermore, intercity train routes and tickets (VR) will be integrated during spring 2021.
“We’re adding services and operators to the app one by one. Our goal is that, in the future, the service will cover the entire country’s public transport, so that it would be easy to travel without your own car”, says Leila Lehtinen, the director of passenger and carrier services at Matkahuolto.
Each new integration takes 2-5 weeks to deploy for Kyyti depending on the quality of the API and responsiveness for support and testing from the transport service provider. The Kyyti in-house visual ticket solution can be set up by Kyyti or Matkahuolto itself in only a few hours from the admin panel. This is a very low-cost mobile ticket solution for smaller and mid-sized municipalities and operators who don’t have a mobile ticket system in place yet. A new simple free floating DRT service area with Kyyti in-house technology can be set up in 2-3 weeks and most of this time is spent by the owner of the DRT service (e.g. municipality) to figure out the service brand, area, hours and size of the fleet.
What does this all mean for the end-users?
With the Trips and Tickets app the user can plan trips from address to address including both intercity and local – fixed and demand responsive – public transport services throughout Finland. The user can also book and pay for the tickets all in one click directly from the route itinerary.
Local public transport tickets can also be purchased directly without a route search. This makes the Trips and Tickets app in practise the biggest nationwide digital ticket shop for local public transport services: seven services already and 1-2 new services are added every month depending on how fast Matkahuolto is able to sign contracts with the authorities or operators.
The Kyyti DRT software Matkahuolto offers for example to Finnish municipalities who wish to run their local DRT services with modern technology. The users of the Porvoo DRT service (Village Ride) can make ride requests – and if needed cancel them – with the Trips and Tickets app 24/7, either in advance or for immediate travel within the defined DRT service hours. So no need to call and book at least a day before which is the traditional way in many towns currently. Kyyti DRT software schedules and pools the orders automatically and passengers can follow the schedule and arrival of the vehicle in real time. So they can go out eventually at the right time even though there is flexibility in the original pickup schedule. Drivers follow the trip manifest from an app with their Android devices. Call center booking tools are available as well. The specialty with Kyyti powered Trips and Tickets app is that the DRT service can be booked seamlessly as part of a travel chain connecting fixed routes and DRT. And the same app can be used for booking services – both fixed and demand responsive – in all of Finland!
“With the help of Kyläkyyti we have been able to solve the mobility challenge of the sparsely populated areas in Porvoo which suffered from lack of public transport”, says Hanna Linna-Varis, the transport planning officer from the city of Porvoo. ”Booking and pooling of trips with an easy-to-use application improves the mobility of people from different age groups and reduces car dependency”, she continues.
The employer subsidized commuting tickets are available for Valmet Automotive employees only and they can be bought with the Trips and Tickets app only. The employees need to enter a code and their employee number to the app in order to be able to find and buy the Valmet Automotive commuting tickets. The bus line is open for other users as well, but Valmet Automotive finances the line heavily as it enables them to recruit more employees. This is why it is important to manage the eligibility of the commuting tickets and Kyyti MaaS Platform enables that.