French tyre capital acquires cutting-edge SAE ticketing system for Frances first tram on tyres

Paris, 2005 -- The French capital of tyre, the city of Clermont-Ferrand, is lining up a series of innovations for its new public transport system: one of the very first French cities to adopt an electric tram on tyres, its future north-south line coming into service in 2006 will be equipped with Frances most modern line management system. This revolution, because it is one, encompasses a new sale & ticket validation system and a completely new passenger information system.
parkeon.gifThe future line management system was jointly developed by Parkeon, ERG Transit Systems and Inéo Systrans for the Syndicat mixte des Transports en Commun de l’Agglomération Clermontoise (SMTC). Featuring latest technological developments available on the French market, it has been designed to facilitate operational management of the tramway line and also to ensure that it is fully integrated with the bus network, particularly in terms of rates.
At its heart is the Centralised Control Station, which looks after line operations and passenger securitization. It also includes a computerized Passenger Operational Assistance and Traveller Information (SAIEV) system, to improve traffic regularity and correspondences with the bus network. On board the trams, visual and sound information will update passengers on the vehicle’s progress. At the station, information terminals will provide general information to travellers, who will be able to choose between paper tickets and contactless smart cards to travel.

The new ticketing system includes equipment for 13 points of sale and 80 agents, to enable ticket purchases and the reloading of 50,000 smartcards distributed to regular users. Network subscribers will be able to opt for an automatic subscription renewal and direct-debiting of the corresponding amount, thus alleviating the need to go to a point of sale to reload their card.
Controllers will be equipped with portable terminals to verify smartcards. Resulting data, sale transactions and validations recorded by the system will be processed by the central system, designed and implemented by ERG. Statistical data processing tools will enable the operator to perform detailed analyses of activity on the network at various levels.
Clermont-Ferrand’s SMTC had also required the new ticketing system to be fully integrated with other ticketing tools currently being used on its network, to lead to the development of a “revenue chain”.

Norbert Schuwer, Managing Director of ERG France, states: “We are very proud to be involved in the project of the Clermont-Ferrand SMTC, a true city project that also includes the transformation and modernisation of the existing network. We are thrilled that ERG was chosen, both for its technical expertise in the implementation of ticketing systems and for its ability to be one of the key drivers of this far-reaching project.”

To buy tickets or reload their smartcards, travellers will have the choice between turning to any of the 80 ticket sales agents or the network’s main agencies, or to use Astreo, a cutting-edge automatic ticket vendor designed by Parkeon. 45 of these machines will be deployed throughout the Clermont-Ferrand region.

Astreo boasts the latest innovations in terms of design and ergonomics and is particularly suited to the constraints of self-service mass transit ticket purchases. Parkeon has devoted particular attention to access for disabled people. All of its functions are accessible at a height of between 90 and 110 cm. Astreo is the only machine on the market to integrate the latest European standards in this regard.
Yves Chambeau, Parkeon Chairman, explains how it works: “Users will be able to use these new terminals to instantly reload their passes or to buy tickets. Astreo is a key element of the new line’s ticketing system, eventually ensuring a full interoperability, i.e. access to other public transport modes for travelling on the regional lines.”

Implementation of the new line management system is a decision by the SMTC, whose actions involve the 18 communities of the Clermont urban community and the communities of Orcines and Sayat. Together, they make up the “urban transit perimeter” or UTP, in which the tramway network in the Clermont-Ferrand region will be deployed. Indeed, this new tramway line will be an addition to the existing east-west line and will link up 30 stations over a 14 km route. The project is a top-priority for the Clermont-Ferrand community.

There are 274,000 residents in the UTP representing more than 74% of the population of the Puy-de-Dôme département. With this new system, users will be able to travel more easily in and around Clermont-Ferrand, which will help to spur up the region’s business activities and economic development.
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