Integral Public Transport, museums and/or attractions card

innovation photo
Integral Public Transport, museums and/or attractions card

Salzburg card official website (2016). Available:

Puhe M., Edelmann M., Reichenbach M., (2014), Integrated urban e-ticketing for public transport and touristic sites: Final report on application concepts and the role of involved stakeholders, STOA project: ‘Integrated urban e-ticketing for public transport and touristic sites’, Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis – Karslruhe Institute of Technology, Science and Technology Options Assessment/ European Parliamentary Research Service, PE 513.551, IP/A/STOA/FWC/2008-096/LOT2/C1/SC12, January 2014. Retrieved on 15.05.2017 from:

Weiß, M., Favilli, F., Seidel, D., Vinci, A. (2012) “Sustainable Mobility and Tourism in Sensitive Areas of the Alps and the Carpathians: Good Practice Collection for Multimodal Transport”, ACCESS2MOUNTAIN Project, South East Europe. Available:

The innovation should be initiated by a public authority (public transport authority, municipality, regional authority). For the implementation it is required to collaborate with other public and private organizations in the city such as museums and hotels. In the case of the Salzburg card, the main involved stakeholders are the sightseeing spots, the Tourism Association Salzburg and the regional traffic transport service (Weiß, 2012).

The most important barriers that are connected with this innovation are legal, regulatory and financial. The innovation is based upon a combined offering of services that may be offered and governed by different authorities or parties. This condition poses significant regulatory challenges for each involved organization. A comprehensive business and governance model for the functioning of the innovation should be developed. The involved parties should be paid for the services that have provided, so an appropriate model for the fair and proportional distribution of the revenues among the players is required. The innovation also has significant requirements in technological terms, namely the development of a platform for the service and the upgrading of public transport payment systems.

Single card or combined ticket granting free admission to public transport and other services and spaces, such as Museums, events, or providing travel with discounts on city activities, such as on cultural activities.

The solution refers to the creation of a new type of Public Transport card or ticket that incorporates in its price the entrance cost in activities or spaces, such as events, athletic games, Museums, cultural activities: festivals, concerts, etc. This combined ticket/card comprises a new ‘product’ of added value since it simplifies the purchasing process for the customers/passengers, increases the visibility of both the travel and the other services and may encourage this way the usage of Public Transport instead of other transport modes.

There is a big potential of the development of this concept, particularly in European cities that comprise major tourist destinations (attractions, poles of interest, etc.) and entertainment centres for tourists and visitors (Puhe M., et. al., 2014). Although the concept is usually implemented with low technology (e.g. with traditional paper tickets without the need of collecting users’ data), the existence of a smart ticketing (e-ticket) system could enable the easier integration of complementary services, other than transport related ones (e.g. possibility to enter a museum) into cards of multiple services, known also as ‘destination cards’ or ‘welcome cards’ (Puhe M., et. al., 2014). Up until now, there is a lack of many wide-scale applications and co-operation models between the various key stakeholders (Puhe M., et. al., 2014).

The innovative solution/measure is presented through the analytical description of an indicative case example, known as the ‘Salzburg Card’. This card is a tourist card offering combined admission to Salzburg’s museums and public transport at a competitive price. It is available online and at the city’s tourist information offices, ticket offices, hotels and airport. The initiative was launched in 1995 and is still in operation (Weiß, 2012). The basic Salzburg Card offers pricing options as per the duration of the card (24, 48, 72 hours) and the passenger age group (adult, child). Indicatively, an adult card of a 24 hour duration costs 24 Euros and grants unrestricted admission to all the city’s sights (about 30 museums, historical buildings, zoos, etc) and public transport services, as well as discounts in concerts and City Tours. The ‘Salzburg All Inclusive’ package combines the above offering along with accommodation options in some of the city’s hotels. The standard offering in this package is two nights’ accommodation with a 48 hour Salzburg Card at a cost of €139 per person. Since its introduction the number of sold cards increased steadily (Weiß, 2012). No other detailed information is available about the success rate of the innovation. It is expected, however, that the most important benefit of this innovation is the attraction of more customers at a low cost. This innovation may have caused an increase in the number of the journeys performed or the distances travelled with an increasing effect on the amount of energy consumed.

Under certain conditions (cities with simple and streamlined administrative structures) can implement this innovation at a relatively limited cost.

  • Finance and business models
  • Integration with other services
  • Marketing and promotion, customer care

General concept
Attracting more customers
  • Better experience
  • Improving customer orientation
  • Increase promotion

  • Globalization
  • Shared economy
  • Sustainable lifestyle

A change in the regulatory framework of participating organisations will be needed. Several stakeholders from the private and the public sector will need to collaborate. The initiative needs to be dynamically marketed and promoted on an international level, since it is mostly addressed to tourists.

Once the regulatory barriers have been solved, this innovation is very likely to be successful in attracting more Public Transport customers at limited extra costs in any European city. It would be implemented more easily in cities which are governed by a single of very few authorities and cities with streamlined government procedures.

In Salzburg’s case, three factors are considered as key to the success of implementation (Weiß, 2012): (i) Strong cooperation and wide support among tourist associations and transport providers, (ii) Increased number of visitors, with a consequent increased stakeholders profit, (iii) Attractive and good value offer promoting culture sites and sustainable mobility transport.

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