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With Kiosk Innova’s Electronic Ticketing Kiosks, Bursa’s municipality-affliated transportation company BURULAŞ shortened passanger waiting times by half.
Bursa is Turkey’s fourth most populated city and in 2016 was ranked as its most liveable, and in fact the the 37th most liveable city in the world. 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.
The deadline we foresaw for the project was quite strict and challanging, however Innova successfully delivered before the deadline. We carried out a highly-efficient project with Innova, characterized by team spirit.
BURULAŞ IT Systems Manager
Burulas’s Information Systems Manager, Alper Güvercin, explained that until July 2015 its electronic ticketing systems were operated by a subcontractor, but when the contract came to an end it was decided that it would run this operation in-house. Güvercin said in 2015 Bursa’s light railway system was used by 120m people and that 180m travelled on the buses, requiring a shift in focus towards automation systems: “considering the volume of people that use the ticket boots to upload credit and to buy tickets we are talking about a serious number of passengers, which means that uploading services must operate very quickly. It is important for us to ensure passengers can reach their destinations as quickly as possible. We try to operate as frequent a service as possible and it is also important that our passengers are not kept waiting to upload credit or buy tickets.”
The desire to improve ticketing for customers underpinned the search for a solution that would reduce waiting times for passengers, 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: “Our aim was to work with a company that could provide the features identified in this detailed study in the most cost-efficient way as 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.”
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 and Innova was able to finish the project despite the pressing conditions and delivered a service that was even better than the one described in our agreement. We would like to thank Innova for helping us to realise the plan so effectively.”
BURULAŞ IT Systems Manager Alper Güvercin
Pointing to the previous reliance on traditional manned ticket booths, Güvercin stated that “at the manned booths 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 the service much more quickly. Our main goal was to shorten the time spent for transactions in order to give a better service to our passengers. Before it they would spend 35 to 40 seconds at the booths but this has now been reduced to around 10 to 15 seconds.” He added that “passengers were having to queue just to check their balances, but with the kiosks this can be done in two or three seconds. It is important for us to get passengers moving without them having to wait. In addition, in terms of operational costs, when you consider manpower, time and energy reductions, the savings are significant. So we save our passengers their most important asset—time—and we also reduce our own operational costs.”
Güvercin also highlighted the importance of being able to manage the security of outdoor kiosks remotely, and said that they Burulas insisted that the solution had to be implement to the highest possible standards of security. 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 therefore possible to record detailed information about incidents of interference.”
Güvercin stated that Burulas is now making plans to activate a range of new features, something made possible by the fact that the initial specifications were designed to be ready for the future. The kiosks were designed to accept all types of payments and to leave flexibility for expansion: “The multifunctional and modular structure of our product is one of its standout features. For instance, the kiosks currently include at least two modules for card and ticket sales, but we described a system that allows this to be increased to four. So currently our basic kiosks give change with coins but not with banknotes but if there is demand for this to change then the modular structure would make it possible to offer the functionality.”
Regarding even more advanced uses, Güvercin said “There is a camera on the kiosks because it is important to provide our passengers customised card services in a continuous and uninterrupted way. For a long time we maintained offices to handle this, employing considerable numbers of staff members. Now all the kiosks include the hardware to print our customised 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 result in the approval of a passenger’s right to a customised card, the card will be created by the kiosk itself. These features are not yet active but our goal is to make them available as soon as possible.”