On each workday, over 200.000 students and trainess in Upper Austria, Lower Austria and Burgenland are on their way to schools and training posts in buses and trains. The free-of-charge rides for students and trainees are subsidized by the Austrian Federal Ministry for Social Affairs and Consumer Protection and administrated by the transport associations in the federal states. In the case of the SLF project, those are the Oberösterreichischer Verkehrsverbund (OÖVV) and the Verkehrsverbund Niederösterreich/Burgenland (VVNB).
Within the framework of the transport associations, many public and private transport companies are organized. They operate buses and trains and provide the students with the free tickets.
Consequently, the system with which the free tickets are administrated and brought to account has to be able to deal with large amounts of data and high user requirements.
Since July 2003, the SLF system meets these demands. With technology by GEVAS software, SLF guarantees that the free-of-charge rides are organized reliably from the ticket issuing until the final account.
SLF is subdivided into four modules. In the Central Administration Unit the data is governed. The tickets are generated by the Application and Ticket Issue Unit. With the Analysis and Statistics Issueing module, transportation companies can retrieve statistical data, which is sent by e-mail. The Allocation and Distribution Unit is responsible for allocating the money to the Ministry and to distribute it among the transport companies involved.
For transportation companies operating within several associations, GEVAS software has created the SLF umbrella system, which provides the opportunity to integrate the data. At the ÖBB-Postbus GmbH, the umbrella system is used for bringing together the data from the state transport associations. The SLF system offers significant organizational advantages for the students and trainees as well as for administration. Along their route, students and trainees can choose their means of transportation freely, but need only one free ride ticket for the whole semester, independent from the number of transportation companies they use. Just a single form has to be submitted at the initial transportation company.
Administration and account of the free rides work quickly and efficiently. The student data are entered into an “intelligent PDF” at the transportation companies, then checked, transferred to the database and printed on the tickets on-site. The data can be called from the database at any time and edited in the intelligent PDF. The ticket issuing process is very fast because of the data capsuled in the PDF – on average, it takes only one minute to issue a ticket. The PDF documents are totally platform-independent, thus the system works on every computer, with every operating system and every printer.
During the first five years since system installation, over one million tickets have been issued, and the transaction volume is half a billion Euros!