Ticketless Public Transportation in Liechtenstein

Can you imagine hopping on and off any train or bus without needing to buy a ticket? Now that is becoming a possibility in Liechtenstein and Switzerland. Gian-Mattia Schucan invented the Fairtiq app, an innovative alternative to the traditional train/bus ticket.

How does it work? Essentially, there are sensors on trains that record a passenger’s entry and exit via his/her smartphone. The data is sent to a central authority which calculates the cost and issues an electronic bill to the passenger. The lowest price is charged – for example if a daily pass would be cheaper than multiple trips, the passenger is charged for a daily pass.

Currently twelve transportation companies in seven regions of Switzerland and in Liechtenstein have incorporated Fairtiq. About half of Switzerland employs the app, and by the end of the year it is expected to be the entire country.

Deutsche Bahn (German railway) is also considering digital tickets, and there is a pilot project in the Netherlands, which invested a billion euros in the check-in-check-out system.