It is no longer necessary to prove a physical card to a conductor or inspector; a mobile application suffices.
The newest PID Lítačka application has arrived for regular passengers and public transport in Prague, as well as suburban lines in the Central Bohemia Region.
This is another step in the modernization and digitization of urban travel, in where the new transport system started in Prague and the Central Bohemia Region last year. This significantly facilitated the purchase of tickets and coupons as well as their recording on physical carriers. Until now, only physical plastic cards have been used as identifiers with which you could prove yourself during the transport control.
Since the launch of the new transport system, the PID Lítačka application has also worked, but it was only possible to buy short-term fares. However, this is now changing, and it is finally possible to upload long-term coupons (i.e. quarterly, half-yearly or yearly) to a mobile application that works on both Android and iOS. As of December first, the application can serve as an identifier.
Lítačka has been ready for long-term coupons and their uploads for a while, but more than 3,000 check-in devices had to be ready for vehicles to work with in-app vouchers and reviewers. With the vehicles now prepared, they can safely recognize a long-term coupon on both a plastic card and a mobile phone.
Either a card or app
A long-term coupon can still be uploaded to a single identifier, but you can only have it on either a physical card (Lítačka, In ČD Card, Visa, Mastercard) or in the PID Lítačka mobile app. Therefore, it is not possible to prove your card just once, by your mobile phone— you have to choose, or manually change your coupon when you change the carrier.
As the representatives of Prague Integrated Transport have revealed on our inquiry on Twitter, the impossibility of multiple identifiers is mainly due to the possible misuse, which significantly increases the existence of one coupon on two identifiers. Two people could theoretically travel on one document, one showing the card and the other on their mobile application.
The developers do not exclude that the system will be technologically modified in the future for the possibility to use more identifiers, because—even according to them—although it would be a “more friendly and modern” solution, it is not yet possible. However, the Czech Railways In Karta card, for example, works both on the physical card and mobile application.
To verify the long-term coupon, the QR code will be displayed in the PID Lítačka application, which will be scanned by the attendant or reviewer. Contactless NFC chip will also work on selected Android mobile phones. It will be possible to identify in both metro and trams as well as buses or trains, as was the case with single tickets so far.
Passengers still have to go to the PID Lítačka e-shop when they want to buy a long-term coupon. Momentarily, the ICT operator is working to move this feature into the mobile app. We should expect further updates next year.