In 2017, New Zealand’s Intercity Group were looking for a supplier to provide the first automated on-board EPOS system for their Auckland Explorer Buses, and came to ECR. With our experience in Hop-on-hop-off tour ticketing, we were able to present just the solution that they needed, and demonstrate our understanding of their business challenges.
The Auckland Hop On Hop Off Explorer is an all-day sightseeing tour visiting Auckland’s Big 14 Attractions with full commentary. Auckland Explorer offers timed tickets (starting and ending at a given time). Tickets can be sold directly or via third parties and the system needed to account for tickets of every origin.
Paper ticketing sales are managed via the ECR Go2 handheld terminal, as well as electronic ticketing via the website http://www.explorerbus.co.nz/.
ECR provided the Auckland Explorer with the Go2 all-in-one handheld devices, as currently used around the globe. The fully mobile devices can process payments, issue, scan and validate tickets all in the same, portable unit.
Upon presentation by the passenger, tickets are validated via the ‘Boarding’ app on the Go2. Tickets have a validity period which is activated through an API upon first scan, after which the passenger journey is tracked throughout the duration via bus entry scanning.
All tickets contain an encrypted QR code for revenue inspection or validity scan checks
ECR’s development team have also carried out bespoke work for Auckland Explorer since implementation, including:
Timed tickets, for example a 24-hour ticket starting today at 13:00 would expire at 12.59 the following day. Ticket inspectors scanning the ticket would be alerted to the end of validity.
SAP Integration of ticket revenue, agent commission, and attraction billing (to third party attractions).
Given the distance, time differences, and requirement for onsite training, ECR sent a dedicated engineer to New Zealand, overseeing reception of the hardware; training; onsite support and facilitating any intervention during the transition period.
All installation was carried out remotely, and data was uploaded from files supplied by the client, so the system was ready to use from day one.
ECR provides a cloud-based solution to Auckland Explorer, offering online and telephone support, with a dedicated helpdesk number and email contact. At any given moment, ECR is able to send updates to terminals anywhere in the globe (subject to connectivity), with client consent. This ensures that operators do not need to intervene to perform updates or maintenance on the EPOS system, and that ECR’s technical teams can manage performance whenever and wherever required.
Client-side, Head Office operators have a clear overview of real-time sales and activity by location, by operator, by terminal, with extensive control over devices and functionality. Together with ECR, sales screens, functions, products and many linked parameters were defined and set via the back office. ECR provided a full training programme and online wiki reference for users to refer to post-go-live.