Management & Operations

Cubic pilots virtual ticketing agent tech at German rail station

Posted on March 29, 2016

Cubic's NextAgent technology is being tested at Stansted Airport in London, U.K. (pictured).
Cubic's NextAgent technology is being tested at Stansted Airport in London, U.K. (pictured).

Cubic Transportation Systems (CTS) announced the pilot trial of NextAgent, an innovative hybrid between a virtual walk-up ticket office and a ticket vending machine with a video-linked call center, at the central station in Essen, Germany in cooperation with Essener Verkehrs-AG (EVAG). Essen will be the first German city to field trial NextAgent with its regional commuters.

NextAgent delivers the functionality of a staffed ticket office, including vending a comprehensive range of media such as smart cards, magnetic tickets, paper barcodes, e-ticketing and mobile ticketing. NextAgent’s integrated camera and document scanning enables photos and other personal documents to be verified. Live video lets customers see and talk to a customer service representative no matter where that representative is located within the transport system.    

“NextAgent not only supports our operators at peak times, like at the beginning of the month, but also reduces the waiting times for our riders,” said Günter Neuen, director of the EVAG customer management. 

“The Essen field trial for NextAgent is the second trial underway in Europe, as successful testing at the Stansted Airport in London, U.K. with Abellio Greater Anglia commenced in February,” said Roger Crow, executive VP/managing director, CTS Europe. “NextAgent offers great benefits to not only the operators in their proper allocation of staffing requirements, but also to commuters who are more open to user-friendly technologies in public transportation, such as these innovative machines.”

The transport association Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Ruhr and its affiliate Kompetenzcenter Elektronisches Fahrgeldmanagement North Rhine-Westphalia are also supporting the testing of NextAgent in the regional area of Essen.

For the field trial, NextAgent is positioned at the EVAG information point on the first level of Essen central station and will be tested in real-time operation until the end of June 2016.

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