NS and Arriva will test check-in and check-out based on GPS and smartphone app

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The train companies NS and Arriva will start a trial on 14 February in which a hundred customers can check in and check out based on GPS. As a result, travelers no longer have to check in and out on the platform when they change carriers.

In order to participate in the trial, the hundred travelers must install a smartphone app and share their location, NOS writes. That app generates a QR code to walk through the station gates. Upon arrival at the destination, the app can be closed again to stop the journey. With the GPS data, the app reconstructs your route. Translink uses this to calculate the price of the journey and ensures that the payment is sent to the correct carrier.

The app is intended for travelers who use multiple carriers and therefore have to check in and out on the platform during their journey. If travelers use the app, this is no longer necessary. Fifty passengers from Arriva and fifty from NS are taking part in the trial. These travelers could register via OV-pay.

OV-pay program director Bas van Weele tells Trouw that the location data is only used to calculate the compensation and to ensure that the money is sent to the correct carrier. “We are not looking for extra data that we can do nothing with,” Van Weele told the newspaper. Bart Schermer, professor of privacy and cybercrime at the University of Leiden, warns that the data can be used by the police, for example to see who was present at a station during an incident.

According to Van Weele, public transport has looked at other solutions, but these were less suitable or too expensive. According to the program director, traveling with GPS remains a free choice that is not mandatory. OV-pay tells the NOS that the project will be evaluated later this year and, if all goes well, will be rolled out more widely.

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