Helsinki City Transport's SMS Ticket service is a success

During the first months of 2002 over 100 000 SMS tickets have been purchased using the mobile ticketing service of Helsinki City Transport.

Commuters in Helsinki have warmly welcomed the mobile ticketing service of Helsinki City Transport. Every day, approximately 3000 single tickets for trams and metro trains are being purchased using mobile phones. Managing Director of Helsinki City Transport, Mr Martti Lund, appreciates the mobile service as a real benefit for the passengers: "SMS Ticket simplifies and facilitates traveling, which increases customer satisfaction. This mobile service innovation improves the image of Helsinki City Transport and public transportation in general."

Planning Director of Helsinki City Transport, Mr. Seppo Vepsäläinen, confirms the positive experiences of passengers. "Finnish people are highly interested in mobile services and this service, being the first real step in mCommerce, has really won consumers' confidence." Mr. Vepsäläinen also states that the mobile ticketing service has widely raised international interest.

Mr. Ari Pakarinen, Executive Producer for Plusdial MTSP Finland which is the provider of the mobile ticket service, comments that the co-operation with the public transport professionals has increased the practicality and usability of the service. "Our first SMS service has been a positive surprise. We believe that mobile tickets will become popular and widely adopted in other European cities as well." Pakarinen states that Plusdial will launch the SMS Ticket service in two other European cities during this year.

SMS Ticket service used in Helsinki works in all mobile phones that can send and receive short messages (SMS messages). The service covers over 90 per cent of all mobile phone subscriptions in Finland and three largest operators, Radiolinja, Sonera and Telia, are connected to the service. Technology partner in the SMS Ticket service is Add2Phone.

The single ticket bought by mobile phone is valid for transport on any route and in any direction in trams and in metro trains for a period of one hour, until the time indicated in the message. The ticket can be ordered by sending a simple keyword to service number. The single ticket will be received in return showing the validity time and area, identification number and consigner number. The price of the ticket is charged in the phone bill.