Hypercube has been providing the distribution keys for the proceeds of interoperable rail products since 2013 on behalf of a working group with all rail carriers in the Netherlands (EOS). It started with the then new chipped subscriptions (“Nick & Simon”). All interoperable travel products are now being distributed, including propositions offered from the NS Flex formula. A method has also been developed to continue determining allocation keys during a transition to Account Based Ticketing. The Tariff Units Card is used here as one of the starting points.
Before regular processing of chip card transactions into keys starts, there is always a study into the best allocation method given the existing EOS business rules. Hypercube guides the process to arrive at consensus, whereby in addition to the purest method, we also look at a distribution method that all carriers can agree with. This method is highly appreciated by the carriers.
The research and distribution practice teaches a lot about the quality and application possibilities of the source data. For example, there are now better options for forming interoperable journeys than interpreting times from consecutive checkuits and checkins, and there is consensus about enriching incomplete journeys.
Even products that have not been chipped (tickets from the Railway Store, route maps with a selection element and international tickets) are the subject of the study. In order to determine the probable journey made between origin and destination station, a reference database has been developed in which key figures of all train journeys made in the Netherlands over a number of years are recorded for each origin-destination relationship. Based on coordinated profiles, the actual travel behavior of a group of travelers can in this way be used to determine allocation keys in such situations for trips for which no check-in and check-out data are available.
This method is becoming increasingly important due to the rise of e-tickets that do not (yet) allow checking in and out. An accurate distribution key can still be determined for these tickets on the basis of origin and destination information. The migration of the use of CT cards to e-tickets as a carrier for action tickets and the impact of this on distribution keys is a current topic that is now being elaborated by Hypercube.
The results are made available to the carriers via an online portal. Naturally, the layout is arranged in such a way that carriers only see the information relevant to them and can be presented with the available data according to their own preferences.
The experience and knowledge that Hypercube has gained during this period is now also being applied to other distribution issues in which Hypercube plays a role.
Questions and information
Do you have questions about our work in public transport or do you want to know what Hypercube can do for you? We are happy to exchange ideas with you in an informal conversation. You can reach us by phone on 030 233 8080 or email Jan Willem Mulder.