Helsinki Region Transport to Launch World’s First Public Transport Retail Interface Open to Everyone
Helsinki Region Transport (HSL) is creating an open retail platform for single tickets that allows anyone anywhere, in Finland and abroad, to purchase single tickets for retail sale. The interface will be available next year at sales-api.hsl.fi. At the same time, HSL is inviting all transport operators, in Finland and abroad, to develop and innovate new mobility services using the interface.
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“We are building a highly innovative and advanced digital retail API. A lot of work remains to be done but we are confident that we will have many types of businesses and innovative pilot projects generating creative value-added services using the interface. We also aim to actively contact transport operators both in Finland and abroad,” explains Mari Flink, director of HSL's Customer Experience and Sales Department.
HSL has solid expertise with and traditions in open interfaces. For example, the highly popular journey planner service, Reittiopas, has already been using open interfaces for 15 years. However, in an open sales API, information security and minimizing business risks are critical factors.
“Opening interfaces for accessing data is considerably easier than opening a public sales interface, which moves plenty of money and high transaction volumes. We want to ensure that the interface poses no information security or credit risks. Some 370 million journeys are made annually on HSL’s transport services, and there are dozens of millions of sales transactions. We are talking about a huge volume here,” emphasizes Hannu Heikkinen, director of HSL's Technology Solutions Department. HSL's interface will continue to be developed after its first launch.
At the same time, HSL will start a two-year Idea Lab program for mobility services, and invites transport market operators from Finland and abroad to participate in the program. HSL's Idea Lab project tests the operating models of mobility services as a joint operation.
“We are currently allocating resources at HSL for the MaaS project and assembling a team to develop mobility services in the HSL area through a variety of pilot projects. As part of the Idea Lab, there will be an innovation contest for mobility services, from which we will select the ideas to be piloted. The ideas can apply to physical mobility services, ticketing and marketing collaboration, combination and relaying services for travel chains, or experimenting with automated transport. The experiences from the pilots will be assessed and used as a basis for further developing HSL's services,” says Flink.
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