Budapest Transport Co. introducing digital tickets
By the time the FINA World Championship begins on 14th July, BKK Centre for Budapest Transport will introduce the new online ticket purchasing system, according to Index. In order to purchase tickets an online registration will be required, and the monthly ticket can be shown on the display of a phone.
With the help of the new system, anyone who buys a monthly ticket will be able to show it on their phone. BKK’s chief manager Kálmán Dabóczi confirmed that the final tests of the system are in progress, and the initiation of the system can be expected between 13-14th July.
Customers will have to register online with an ID (which can be personal or student, passport or driving license), and the system will connect it electronically to the purchased tickets. The tickets can be displayed by connecting to an online interface through a smartphone.
The tickets will appear on the screen in two windows. On the default image, the name of the item can be seen in front of a green background along with the date of validity. Under these, the name, type and number of the registered ID appears. An animated vehicle and the current time will be on the bottom of the screen. In case the ticket is no longer valid, it is marked with a red background instead of the green one.
The detailed data can be displayed in another screen: These include the QR code; the registered name of the passenger and the type of ID; the type of the ticket; and the date of expiration. The conductors will have to check whether the background is green or red, the animated vehicle moves, and the ID and the ticket belong together.
With this innovation, BKK tries to replace the often-damaged ticket dispensers. When Darbóczi was asked about how forgery proof the system will be, he replied that everything can be forged, but the online system is definitely more secure than the printed tickets. The company will offer special combined daily tickets to Lake Balaton during the time of the FINA World Championship.
The question of forgery is always essential. The current paper-based tickets are constantly forged, despite the fact that they are being printed on special paper with metal fibers. Theoretically, a screenshot might be enough to fool conductors. You may just send it over to your friends, and they can travel with the picture. If the conductors are just as careful as they usually are nowadays, cheaters might get away easily.
BKK also considered this problem. The only thing that we know is that an active online connection is needed to use the system. Besides the name of the passenger, the type of the ticket and the expiration date, colorful animations and the current time also appear on the screen, thus excluding the possibility of using recorded pictures or videos.
And what if some hackers create a fake application? This is a difficult solution as it requires expertise, and it is hard to spread the app without being noticed. Uploading it to online shops would guarantee failure.
The other obstacle for forgers is the unique QR code for each ticket. There is little information about how will conductors read the QR numbers, but the application of some reading devices might be among the plans. It is possible that metro entrances and bus doors will be equipped with fixed readers.
After all, the forgers might be demotivated if the data of the tickets can be checked in no time. And if some cheaters still want to try forging, BKK can apply some new tricks to filter them, like constantly changing the interface. They might place random tokens on the screen or change the color of the background every hour.
Anyway, this new system might be a huge step forward.