Blazing a new path
Skånetrafiken is the third-largest public transport operator in Sweden with 175,000 million passengers per year, within Skåne and in transit between Sweden and Denmark. Back in the 2000s, Skånetrafiken procured a ticketing system, but by the time it was delivered, the smartphone had emerged and completely changed the game. Smartphones made it easy to purchase all kinds of services and stay up to date on everything anytime and anywhere. Commuters naturally began to expect the same mobility and ease of use from public transport.
The procured system was unprepared to meet these challenges, and with the contract set to expire in 2019, Skånetrafiken was confronted with a choice: more of the same or find a new path. Mariell Hallenhed, Head of Unit IT Sales Systems at Skånetrafiken, explains how the company blazed a new path in 2015:
“Instead of procuring a system, we decided to source the skills to help us build a system. This was a bold step because none of our peers in Sweden had tried this at the time. After passing our detailed criteria with flying colours, we felt confident in choosing Stratiteq to help us navigate these uncharted waters and accelerate our digital transformation,” Mariell continues.
The spill-over effects of co-located agile development
Malmö Central Station is not only the largest regional public transport hub but also the hub of Skånetrafiken’s agile development team. The team was assembled with a combination of expert Stratiteq consultants and Skånetrafiken employees in 2015 and is still in operation to this day. Mariell underlines the importance of this location and Stratiteq’s expertise in agile working methods:
Having everyone working under the same roof is crucial for ensuring smooth collaboration, flexibility and agility. The central location also gives the team easy access to local commuters for surveys and product tests – all they have to do is step outside. We have taken the agile ways of working we learned from Stratiteq to heart over time and they began spilling over into other parts of our business.
Ticketing revolutionized in just one year
In only about one year of development, Skånetrafiken released a completely new back end, consumer-facing app and ticket pricing model in 2016. Mariell underlines the importance of the speed and simplicity of this release:
“The agile development methods adopted led to very fast results by public transport industry standards. Simplicity is a core value for us, and this release enabled us to revolutionize our pricing model – going from 200 ticket zones and a variety of offers to three zones with fixed discounts on everything.”
Overcoming regulatory concerns to leverage the cloud’s flexibility
Today, public sector cloud regulations are clearer, but back when Skånetrafiken was looking to implement cloud technologies, it was a pioneer among Swedish public transport operators. Mariell reports on how the cloud is used legally and what benefits it provides:
“We were a bit hesitant about whether and how we could use the cloud at first, but Stratiteq helped us devise a secure cloud strategy, ensuring our data stayed within the EU. The cloud enables us to save money on data centre costs, scale up during peak travel periods and deliver more personalized traffic information to travellers.”
User experience drives customer satisfaction
Indicative of the long-term success of Skånetrafiken’s digital transformation, its customer satisfaction index soared from 46% in 2015 to 76% in 2019. This was driven by simpler ticketing, streamlined payment models and improved traffic information. Mariell explains the crucial role the app has come to play for Skånetrafiken:
“Over 75% of our passengers now use the app. This is a major shift from the past when most tickets were purchased in a ticketing centre or on the vehicle. We are also proud to be the first Nordic public transport operator to implement ‘tap and ride’ as a payment method in 2019, another successful user experience initiative.”
Looking to a future of easy payments and combined mobility
Skånetrafiken’s track record in customer satisfaction and uptake caught the attention of other Swedish public transport operators. As a result, both Östgötatrafiken and Blekingetrafiken decided to join in on the project – and more are bound to follow.
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