Dublin, Ireland

Leap Card Evolves with Mobile NFC Application

Vix Technology has been working with the National Transport Authority (NTA) on fare collection solutions for six years, and is currently the system integrator for the RTPI system operating across the public transportation networks of Ireland’s major cities.

Vix provides the central system engine, which takes inputs from Dublin Bus AVL/Bus Eireann AVL and Luas and outputs the data on to over 700 street displays and the National Journey Planner. Vix also plans to help integrate the North and South systems to facilitate real-time passenger information (RTPI) for cross-border travel.

In 2011, Vix delivered the Integrated Ticketing Smart Card (“Leap Card”). With over 1.5 million cards sold, the contactless card can be used on public transport across Ireland’s cities. The electronic fare collection (EFC) scheme processes nearly 100 million journeys annually and handles over €10M in travel credit top ups per month. A defining asset of the Leap Card system is that the smart card itself contains the record of balance and recent journey history, enabling the system to ensure there is sufficient travel credit or an applicable ticket so the passenger can travel.

In 2016, Vix and the NTA became the first public sector body in Ireland to introduce NFC technology on a large-scale basis. This was instigated due to passengers struggling with delays in checking card balances and collecting pre-purchased tickets, and needing to physically visit vending machines or point-of-sale shops to top up. Vix partnered with Snapper to develop the innovative Leap Card NFC mobile app ("Leap Top-Up App"), which allows NTA passengers with NFC mobile wallet-enabled Android phones to check their card balance and instantly top-up with travel credit or collect pre-purchased tickets – all by simply touching their card against their phone.

The NTA won an excellence in innovation award in 2015 for this product, and has been nominated for an award in Transport Ticketing in the UK in 2017.

  • More than 1.5 million Leap Cards in use
  • Leap Cards alone process nearly 100 million journeys annually
  • Leap Card NFC app recorded €1,000,000 in top ups for the month of November 2016
Case Study: Manchester

Manchester, in the UK’s Northwest, has the country’s second biggest population and is the third-most visited city in the UK.

The city lays claim to having had the world's first purpose-built passenger and goods railway station and is at the heart of the Northern Powerhouse.

These days, Manchester’s transport network is modern and integral to the lives of the 2.5 million people in the wider region. Residents are able to easily navigate this busy, densely-populated urban area, thanks to an integrated network of bus, tram and train services, which also help them access the city’s international airport, and other major cities such as Leeds, Liverpool and London.

A core component of this network is Metrolink, the city’s tram service. Since 2013, Vix Technology has provided an automatic fare collection solution across Metrolink, supporting 34 million journeys a year, over 57 miles of track.

Bus and tram users benefit from an integrated experience, thanks to Manchester’s Get Me There card. Vix manages this seamlessly alongside Metrolink’s 750 platform validators and back office systems to ensure that residents get great value, as well as easy-to-access transport.