Go-Live of BONNsmart: First contactless public transport Ticketing system in Germany starts in Bonn

- Fare-Collection-Systems
  • Partner project of SWB Bus und Bahn, Postbank, Scheidt & Bachmann, the Kompetenzcenter Digitalisierung NRW and Visa
  • Contactless and paperless check-in and check-out will soon be possible in 230 buses and 99 trains of SWB
  • Almost half of the passengers would like to pay contactlessly in public transport - already 81% of the passengers think that this will be commonplace in 5 years

Bonn, September 3rd 2020 - Smart from A to B(onn): With launching "BONNsmart", a funded project of SWB Bus und Bahn, Postbank, Scheidt & Bachmann, the Kompetenzcenter Digitalisierung NRW and Visa, a modern ticketing system is being launched that represents clarity, transparency and time savings. Passengers now have the option of using their debit or credit card to pay contactless for their public transport tickets. Paper tickets are no longer required and the inspection is entirely digital. Contactless payment will be possible with all NFC-capable customer cards in the second stage of expansion five weeks after the go-live and with all mobile devices in the final stage.

Bonn is the first city in Germany implementing BONNsmart, a new payment system for contactless and mobile check-in and check-out in buses and trains of SWB Bus und Bahn. The city follows the example of metropolises such as London and New York, where this modern ticketing system has already proven itself.

The project, which was announced in March, will equip 230 buses and 99 trains of SWB with the necessary technology to bring passengers to their destinations in a relaxed atmosphere and always at the best fare. The new system simplifies payment significantly: Passengers will now hold their contactless credit card in front of a validation device both when boarding and alighting in order to pay for their journey. The payment process is just as easy to handle once the card data is stored on a smartphone. In this way, the passengers transmit the beginning and end of a journey anonymously. The data is processed by means of “FareGo Suite”, the back-office system from Scheidt & Bachmann. The cheapest price will then be determined according to the best price principle on the basis of the 24-hour tariff. This is calculated based on the journey via the inserted card of the passenger.

The NRW Ministry of Transport has supported the project with a grant of 498,376 Euro. The total costs amount to approximately 2,570,000 Euro.


Another step towards the mobility of the future

BONNsmart is an investment in the future, as increasing digitalisation is accompanied by growing mobility requirements of the public. Whether bus, train, car sharing or last mile scooter - all modern transport systems have one thing in common: consumers must pay for their journeys. The payment process should be as user-friendly, transparent and smooth as possible. Bonn's new contactless ticketing system in  public transport complies with these requirements and is also prepared for the future: There are many more possibilities for the digital connection of BONNsmart in the future, such as the SWB mobility platform BONNmobil with its extensive mobility offers for individual travel design.


This is what the partners say about the announcement:


Jürgen Schübel, Head of Merchant Solutions & Acceptance Central Europe at Visa:

„The successful future of our cities is not only related to the future of public transport and mobility, but depends directly on it. We are working with our partners to simplify payment for millions of commuters worldwide. On the other hand, the aim is to support public transport operators in developing sustainable and practical transport solutions that improve people's lives. We are therefore working on integrating payment as smoothly as possible into the transport systems of the operators. Eight of ten passengers are already convinced that contactless payment in public transport will be a standard in the next 5 years.”


Ashok Sridharan, Lord Mayor of Bonn:

„Smart mobility also means choosing the appropriate means of transport depending on the route and purpose of a journey. BONNsmart from SWB Bus und Bahn makes it easier to use public transport. This service is both a project for climate protection and a future-oriented digital 'Smart City' offer for Bonn and the region.”



Anja Wenmakers, SWB Bus und Bahn:

BONNsmart makes the use of public transportation more attractive. By using this new payment method, we are providing a further incentive for the ecologically urgently needed switch to bus and rail. For climate, environment and air pollution control. In the future, customers will be able to simply step in and off - without any knowledge of tariffs, without cash and without needing to purchase a ticket. And they will provided with the most favourable tariff. The removal of access barriers is a fundamental component for the strengthening of public transport within the multimodal urban transport of the future.“


Lars Stoy, Leader Postbank Privatkunden Deutschland:

„Its simplicity is the special charm of the product ", says Lars Stoy, Leader Postbank Privatkunden Deutschland. „As a customer, I not only pay in passing, I also automatically get the best tariff for me. We are convinced that contactless payment - which has received a huge boost due to Corona - enables many areas of commerce and public life to become more customer-friendly. We want to drive this development forward with our own solutions.“


Dr. Maximilian Müller, Kompetenzcenter Digitalisierung NRW (KCD):

„An efficient and reliable public transport system is the backbone of the traffic turnaround, which we can only implement in public transport with our customers. The state's public transport digitisation offensive therefore focuses on the customer and uses digital technologies to reduce access barriers. The aim of the Kompetenzcenter Digitalisierung NRW (KCD) set up for this purpose is to exploit the potential of digitisation for public transport and to create new mobility projects with networked solutions andfuture-oriented offers. With "BONNsmart" as a nationwide pioneering project, we are taking a step forward in making public transport more attractive and customer-friendly with a digital solution. This means that public transport passengers always travel at the lowest price without any knowledge of the tariff. The contactless payment option in public transport helps transport operators to stabilise their revenues. “


Matthias Augustyniak, CEO Scheidt & Bachmann GmbH:

„We are proud to supply the people in Bonn with a new service with maximum travel comfort together with our innovative project partners“, says Matthias Augustyniak, CEO Scheidt & Bachmann GmbH. „With this unique project in Germany, we are a pioneer and contribute to making public transport more attractive and accessible.“

Further information about the project BONNsmart can be found here: www.BONNsmart.de