App developers challenged to build travel app

App developers challenged to build travel app

North East app developers are being given the opportunity to help build the next generation of smart and digital ticketing for bus and metro travel across the region.

The North East Smart Ticketing Initiative (NESTI), managed by Nexus, is offering £50,000 worth of commercial opportunities to an app developer who can develop a new virtual travel ticket system for mobile devices.

NESTI is working alongside smart ticketing organisation ITSO Ltd, to allow mobile devices to replicate a smart card such as the Pop card, which is currently used by more than 100,000 people in North East England.

The opportunity for app developers follows work that NESTI has done which has already seen the roll-out of Pop card through a partnership between 12 local authorities, Nexus and transport operators.

Nexus is working in partnership with Digital Catapult North East & Tees Valley (NETV) on behalf of NESTI, and will hold a workshop in January, followed by a pitching competition where developers are invited to pitch their solutions to a judging panel.

It is looking for a developer that is able to wrap the ITSO interface into a single App, to offer Metro and Bus passengers a fully digital ‘customer experience’.

The aim is to replicate the current functionality of the Nexus, Metro and Pop card apps, making it easier for customers to purchase and store tickets, check and top up balances and to receive real time journey updates. 

John Fenwick, director of finance and resources at Nexus, said: “We have led the roll-out of Pop cards for travel on public transport as programme manager for the NESTI partnership.

“We are now looking ahead to the next generation of smart technology, with mobile devices replicating the convenience and simplicity of travel with a Pop card.

“We want to work with the best app developers as we make our plans for future ticketing a reality as part of wider investment in public transport.”

Naomi Morrow, Head of Innovation at Sunderland Software City and Lead for Digital Catapult NETV, said: “The North East is home to world-class talent when it comes to software and app development, so we’re pleased that Nexus, on behalf of NESTI, is looking for a local company to work with.

“Host card emulation draws on a number of emerging technologies to create a ‘virtual travel ticket’.  The partnership between NESTI, ITSO and the global digital disruptor is yet another example of how businesses in the region are at the forefront of industry innovation.”