David Thompson, Group Managing Director of Flowbird Transport, understands how to deliver transport fares solutions that support frictionless travel. In our latest ‘Meet the Team’ blog, Dave talks about technology, trust and the essential role of relationship-building in delivering value to customers.
Where did your career journey begin?
I started my career in the banking sector, as an IT project manager. I quickly came to appreciate that there is always a need to help customers/passengers trust new technologies, so that they adopt them and can benefit from the advantages they can bring. These experiences underlined the importance of customer service and trust, and have stayed with me ever since.
I joined the Flowbird family over twenty years ago as a project manager and had the pleasure of implementing the new tap on tap off project for the Perth Transport Authority in Western Australia.
It was an incredible introduction to the company. The programme was for the delivery of a tap on tap off system across multiple modes of transport, migrating from the existing magstripe ticketing system. It was the first contactless smartcard system in Australia and proved to be a huge success from the outset.
Some years later, I moved to Australia in order to develop the Flowbird Transport business. I started in Perth, then moved to Sydney, to oversee the delivery of the new on-bus driver consoles and back office for Transport for New South Wales’ Opal transportation system.
Very soon, I was overseeing Flowbird delivery and operations for transport authorities in Perth, Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra, with employees across Australia.
What came next?
I returned to the UK as Managing Director of Flowbird Transport UK and in 2023 I was appointed Global Managing Director of Flowbird Transport. In my role, I am very focused on improving every aspect of our delivery and support for our customers across the globe.
I enjoy exploring ideas for reducing the friction caused by fares systems and increasing the integration of fares for multi-modal mobility, to make transport networks more accessible for travellers and by providing better insights for operators and authorities.
What is your vision for transport?
The phrase “effortless mobility” encapsulates the Flowbird mission to simplify the management and use of mobility systems. We’re unlike any of our competitors because of our experience across the mobility landscape. Flowbird can help cities connect the dots of end-to-end journeys as we provide transport and Mobility-as-a-Service systems alongside solutions for parking, including park and ride, park and charge and mobile parking.
Transport ticketing will continue on its transformational journey over the next five years, with Flowbird’s expertise in integrated mobility systems in high demand. Cloud-based modular solutions will continue to make account-based ticketing and open payments accessible to operators of all sizes.
We’ll also see integrated payments and MaaS become cornerstones of more interconnected systems as operators and authorities meet passenger demands for easy access mobility networks. Together with transport authorities and operators, we help unify the experience of planning, booking and paying for multi-modal journeys, allowing people to fully explore what the city or region has to offer.
Flowbird has a strong culture and vision – and our focus on innovation benefits all mobility stakeholders.