Dan North is a mass transit company which was incorporated during 2010 as a subsidiary of “Dan”, which operates public transportation in the Tel-Aviv metropolitan area. The company has about 150 employees.
Dan North runs the Metronit (pronounced Metro-neet), a new bus rapid transit (BRT) system in Haifa, Israel. The name was chosen for several reasons, including the similarity with the names of the existing Carmelit funicular subway and Shkhunatit internal neighborhood minibus system. The Metronit is unique to Israel in that it uses bi-articulated buses on specific routes. The choice of this mode of transport was due to the advantage of limited damage to the environment during construction, increased capacity on existing roads, and reduced operating costs compared to a standard bus or light rail line.
The Metronit consists of ninety (90) high-capacity buses on three routes, with a capacity of 120-140 passengers per bus. The buses travel along 60 kilometers of designated roadways.
The Metronit Pubic Transport Ticketing System began operating on August 16, 2013. The system began testing on August 2nd 2013, and passenger operations on August 16th 2013. It is the first BRT system in Israel.
The Metronit is a platform system that allows for passengers at the boarding and alighting stations to purchase new tickets, to update (add credit or top off) current travel smart cards that they hold with all possible payment methods, including cash, credit or even online. The system consists of two (2) types of automated sales.
1. Ticket Vending Machine that supports all types of payment methods
2. Ticket Dispensing Machine that only accepts credit cards
The Ticket Printer Machines and Ticket Vending Machines are grounded outdoors under the open skies and as such are resistant to the elements, including harsh weather conditions, vandalism, attempted burglaries and the like.
All of the equipment communicates with the TapNGo back office system through an already existent and permanent optic network infrastructure and is backed up by a cellular connection to each and every individual piece of equipment. All of the equipment in the project includes a user interface that supports five (5) languages and where all of the text that appears on the screens is controlled by the TapNGo back office.
Types of ticket methods, contracts, and pricing are all managed from the TapNGo back office system through a sophisticated system of versions and permissions that allows the Ticket Vending Machines and validators to receive updated data on a certain date, and to execute those changes at a later date and time.
The equipment is constantly being monitored by the TapNGo back office system so that a supervisor or controller that is working with the monitoring system can direct technicians to problematic machinery and areas in a timely manner, or alternatively send security personnel to a potential attempt at vandalism or burglary as it commences to occur.
The entire project is being run under an interoperable smart card ticket project with other Israeli Public Transport Ticketing Systems, and as such, all of the information and data received allows for offsetting and balancing out with the other public transportation companies. The system is operated by a single transportation company (Dan North), but in actuality is serving and selling tickets for numerous companies.
They system in place includes numerous validators strategically placed outside on the platform, in front of the vehicles’ doors and allows for passengers who wish to board onto the Metronit BRT vehicles to validate their respective cards with these conveniently placed validators. The validators in this project are connected through a data channel line to the TapNGo back office which allows for updates on price data and software while the back office is able to receive validation and monitoring data from the machines.
The Electronic Ticketing System project includes inspector devices that allow the inspectors to check if validation on a smart cards being held by the travellers on the BRT actually validated their cards, as well as to collect fines from passengers who failed to validate and pay for their ride. Data can be transferred through either cellular technology or through an inspector card, in a manner that requires the inspector to first to pass the card through a validator on the platform before passing it through the Inspector Mobile Device. This procedure allows updating the Inspector with data regarding the position and location of the station from which the inspector boarded for the inspection.
The Ticket Management System on the Metronit project allows the transportation company to focus and deal with the daily operation of the buses themselves since the principle part of the ticketing sub-system is managing itself automatically.