December 12, 2017

Helsinki to launch open retail interface for public transport

Written by 
  • Print
  • Email

HELSINKI Regional Transport (HSL) is claiming a world first with the launch of an open retail platform which enables anyone anywhere to purchase tickets for retail sale.

HSL says it is inviting all transport operators both in Finland and abroad to develop new mobility services using the interface, which will be launched next year at

On January 1 new legislation comes into effect in Finland which requires public transport operators to open up their data and passenger information systems, and ensure they are interoperable with those of other operators.

“We are building a highly innovative and advanced digital retail Application Programming Interface (API),” explains Mrs Mari Flink, director of HSL's Customer Experience and Sales Department. “A lot of work remains to be done but we are confident that we will have many types of businesses and innovative pilot projects generating creative value-added services using the interface. We also aim to actively contact transport operators both in Finland and abroad.”

HSL says its Reittiopas journey planner has been using open interfaces for 15 years, but opening a sales API presents a different range of challenges around information security and minimising business risks.

“Opening interfaces for accessing data is considerably easier than opening a public sales interface, which moves plenty of money and high transaction volumes,” Flink says. “We want to ensure that the interface poses no information security or credit risks.”

In addition to the API, HSL is inviting public transport operators from Finland and overseas to participate in a two-year Idea Lab, which will test joint operating models for mobility services, with an innovation contest to find ideas which are suitable for piloting.

Get the latest rail news

Global news and analysis from IRJ, Railway Age and RT&S by email