Over the next few years, technology will transform the relationship between bus operators and their customers, according to leading public transport systems provider Parkeon Transportation.

The company is currently helping operators of every size to embrace the digital era, through retail systems, real-time information and data analytics.

However, according to Gavin Trimnell, Head of Sales & Marketing at Parkeon, this is just the start point on a journey that will enable operators to connect with passengers as never before.

Today, the most visible expression of the digital era is the increasing adoption of contactless EMV payment systems, as recently rolled out by Parkeon for Arriva Bus and for Lothian Buses’ Airlink Service in Edinburgh, but there is much more to come.

“Our future-proof technologies will help transport operators deliver the vision of ‘frictionless’ travel for their passengers, delivering personalised information to people in real time which, when coupled with customer-centric retail systems, will make multi-modal travel easier than ever before,” says Gavin Trimnell.

“At the same time, these and other cloud-based systems will enable operators to leverage the power of data to improve efficiency by integrating back office, payments, hosting and inspection functionality while using data analytics to optimise marketing activities and make efficiency gains.”

A key innovation for Parkeon customers looking at the concept of ‘Mobility as a Service’ is CloudFare® – a cloud-based platform that enables operators of every size to move easily from cash and commercial smart card transactions to EMV contactless, mobile payments, m-ticketing, account-based ticketing and smart device fare collection, while taking account of standards such as ITSO.

This is particularly powerful when coupled to Parkeon’s new PrismAnalytics® platform, which enables operators to capture performance data from a myriad of sources in a ‘visual’ presentation to spot trends, address issues and see the potential for new revenue streams.

“Taken together, the effect of these systems will be to transform the customer experience and encourage more people onto public transport,” says Gavin Trimnell.

“That’s good news for operators and for the wider environment – and its scalability makes it relevant for every bus company, irrespective of fleet size.”