Travelers in Germany to use their mobile phones to pay for bus, train and parking
Citizens of the Vogtland region in the German state of Saxony will soon be able to pay for almost all transit- or traffic-related services via their mobile phones.
The current electronic ticket system, which already lets customers in the region purchase bus and train tickets via cellphone, is now being expanded to offer parking tickets as well. The solution, which was implemented by Siemens Business Services, is the only one of its kind in Germany.
Saxony’s Vogtland region is located on Germany’s border to the Czech Republic. In 2004, Siemens Business Services introduced a solution that let customers purchase public transit tickets with their mobile phones. The system is now being expanded to offer drivers the additional option of paying for parking in the same way. The first towns to offer the new service are Auerbach and Plauen, with the rest of the region set to follow soon. The system undoubtedly makes life easier for the user: no need to find a parking ticket machine, no need for small change, and the ticket can even be extended over the phone. Monitoring also becomes easier, which in turn means more money for the municipal coffers.
Users have to register for the service. They will then be mailed a sticker for their car windshield that identifies them as potential "mobile parkers". Any tickets purchased via mobile phone are stored electronically. Meter maids check parked cars with a standard mobile camera phone, and the system compares the image of the license plate with the record stored in the data center.
Drivers in Berlin, Paderborn, Vienna and more than a dozen other cities in Austria are already using their mobile phones to pay for parking fees - thanks to solutions from Siemens Business Services.