Nokia’s mapping business HERE announced the formation of the Open Mobile Ticketing Alliance (OMTA), an initiative designed to develop global standards for people to buy public transit tickets on a single app in cities worldwide.
HERE, which has been subject to takeover speculation in recent months, said it teamed up with a range of partners in the public and private sectors, including transportation service providers Scheidt & Bachmann and Thales, and mobile payment provider Verifone Mobile Money.
OMTA is designed to develop “open interoperable standards with payment vendors and transit operators”, HERE said in a statement.
Passengers registering for the service will be able to tap NFC enabled phones at transit systems across the globe, using a familiar app rather than starting from scratch in each new city. Public transit authorities implementing the solution will benefit from lower fare collection costs.
OMTA will serve to standardise the communication between the phone and transit infrastructure, to support roaming between systems.
“Mobile ticketing on a worldwide scale has the potential to increase the use of mass transit. With urban populations growing rapidly, public transportation will play an increasingly important in reducing emissions and boosting economic growth by ensuring that all members of society are mobile – not just those with a car,” said Justus Brown, head of urban mobility at HERE and OMTA chairman.
Alliance members began pre-commercial pilots for a solution based on the OMTA standards and the HERE maps application last year, and showcased the results at trade fairs in Berlin and Houston over the past few months.
The next phase of the project will see alliance members bring products based on OMTA to consumers in several cities around the world later this year through transit agency trials.