One year, all of South Tyrol – and one ticket for every need: Exactly ten years ago, the Südtirol Pass innovation heralded a whole new era for public transport in the entire region.
On 14 February 2012, all lights turned green for the new Südtirol Pass ticketing system. The transition, which had been meticulously prepared over the course of two years under the direction of Thomas Widmann, the then South Tyrol Minister for Mobility, was exceptionally complex. But the ambition was clear: a single ticket for buses and trains, a new fare system that incentivises frequent travel, fast check-in upon boarding and a convenient billing system to pay for fares, to name but a few aims.
To prepare for the launch, the fare zones needed to be redefined, a contactless check-in system for electronic tickets had to be developed, new ticket validation machines were purchased, installed and connected into a network spanning all of South Tyrol and, last but not least, more than 60,000 application forms – some of which were still on paper – had to be processed to ensure that the new tickets are issued and delivered on time.
Transfer made easy
Almost instantly, the Südtirol Pass ticket became a faithful travelling companion for many South Tyroleans on the move. As changing back and forth between buses and trains was suddenly made easy and convenient, passenger numbers sky-rocketed. And the system also attracted plenty of attention in the neighbouring regions: Since its launch, the concept has been showcased to countless different institutions both at home and abroad, especially in Austria – and a whole host of aspects have been borrowed and copied from it.
All of South Tyrol in your pocket
Südtirol Passes come in many different shapes and sizes, and almost half the population of South Tyrol now owns one of its many versions – and with it, a cheap and flexible way to travel throughout the entire province.
To mark the 10-year anniversary in style, blue tote bags sporting the “All of South Tyrol in your pocket” motto will be handed out at selected train stations over the coming days, accompanied by a poster campaign putting a celebratory spotlight on the Südtirol Pass.
Südtirol Pass: an ever-evolving tool
Over the past few years, the Südtirol Pass idea has continuously been developed: with the addition of an option to pay for transporting bicycles or accompanying pets, for instance, with the introduction of the Euregio Family Pass offering discounts at cultural institutions or with the Summer abo+ subscription for students. But there’s more: The Euregio Ticket Students pass for example is a first step towards cross-border public transport. And while last year saw the addition of an online check-in function, this year will usher in mobile ticketing – plus, a Südtirol Pass ticket for sustainable mobility management in businesses and companies, which is currently being designed.