Validating and Selling Tickets on Board with the Tixys BusApp

The Tixys BusApp allows your bus drivers to validate tickets during boarding and to check them in. It also allows selling tickets on board.

Free vs. Premium

On-board ticket validation and on-board sale are only available in the “Premium“ version.

Setting up the hardware and the app

Android Nexus device

The Tixys BusApp should generally run on all mobile devices with Android 4.0 or better. However, Tixys officially only supports “Nexus” devices with the original Android operating system, because other vendors ship modified Android versions, which can cause malfunctions.

The Android device must have mobile broadband connectivity (3G/4G); Bluetooth and GPS are recommended for additional functionality. We recommend using tablets rather than smartphones, as they are more convenient to operate, at similar costs.

We also recommend purchasing a suitable mounting kit to fixate the device in the bus. An on-board electric charger is also a good idea, as the device will draw a lot of power.

By the way, your bus drivers may use their own devices if they meet the above requirements – this is not at all a security problem. You just need to issue a device code for them (see below), so that the device will be associated with your shop.

Woosim Porti SC-30 mini-printer

If you want to sell tickets on board and wish to hand them to customers, you will need a printer. The Tixys app supports only one printer model, the Woosim Porti SC-30. In our experience, this is a reliable and handy solution for mobile printing, which can be obtained from international distribution partners of Woosim. We do currently not plan to support other brands or models, because developing hardware drivers for Android is really tedious, and, to be honest, we have better things to do.

Connecting the printer with your phone is pretty easy: Simply turn on the printer, then go to the Bluetooth settings of your phone and pair the devices. The Tixys BusApp will do the rest.

Alternative hardware

If you do not want to use Android devices, for example if you already have ticketing devices in your busses, you can access the Tixys sale APIs directly. This way, you can use virtually any point-of-sale device you like. See the GitHub repository for the API documentation.

Setting up the Tixys app

First, install the Tixys app on your Android device, then launch it.

When launching the Android app, you will be asked asked to enter the user ID and the password. Note that the user ID is the number which is visible in the first column of the user management page at Administration areaUsersCompanies.

At the first launch of the app (or after deleting the app’s stored data), you must enter a “device code”. Each device must have its own code which can be created by an administrator on the Administration areaOperationsMobile devices page. The device code is stored on the device permanently.

Using the Tixys app

Select a tour

The first step after logging in is selecting a tour. Let’s see how this works, and at the same time have a look at the general app layout.

General layoutLogout button: Terminate the current session. A busdriver should always log out after each shift, especially if another person is going to use the device after him.Day/night switch: The default is day mode with light colors. You can toggle to night mode with dark colors.Navigation: Switch between the four different pages: tour selection, booking list, ticket sale, accounting. The latter three can only be accessed after a tour has been selected.Select a tourNext departures: All your company’s departures within the next two hours will be automatically loaded on start. Click an entry to select the tour.Reload list: If the list is outdated, you can trigger a reload.Direct input: You can also load a tour by directly entering its tour ID.

Booking list

After selecting a tour, the booking list will be loaded automatically. It shows the list of booked tickets for your tour and allows validating them.

Tour details: The tour details are visible at the top of the page.Reload list: If the list is outdated, you can trigger a reload.Read QR code: You can validate a ticket by scanning the QR code in the top left corner of a ticket. Clicking the “read QR code” button will activate the primary camera of your device. Place the ticket in front of the camera so that it can scan the QR code. If the QR code was scanned successfully and the ticket is valid for your tour, the ticket details will be shown. Otherwise, an error message will be shown.Ticket list: The actual list of tickets booked for your tour, grouped by departure station.Ticket search: Search within the list by entering a part of the ticket code.Check in: Activate the check-in after a customer has boarded. A yellow button means that the customer has already boarded. The check-ins will later be submitted to the server.Ticket details: If you cannot or don’t want to scan the QR code of the ticket, you can also validate the ticket by the ticket code and the ticket details. Important: Make sure that the ticket code is correct.Submit check-ins: When the boarding is complete, you can submit the check-ins to the server.

Ticket sale

Selling tickets through the Tixys BusApp is very easy. The prices are already loaded, you just need to select the stations and the passengers.

Tour details: The tour details are visible at the top of the page.Reload prices: If for some reason the prices should become outdated, you can trigger a reload.Departure station: Station at which the customer boards.Destination station: Station to which the customer goes.Passengers: Select the passengers for the ticket by entering a number or moving the slider.Booking details checked: You must activate this checkbox in order to submit the booking. This is necessary to make sure that you didn’t hit the submit button by accident.Instant check-in: Normally, if the customer buys the ticket during boarding, this checkbox should be activated. Only if you sell a ticket for a different tour, you should deactivate the checkbox.Create ticket: Submits the ticket to the server and returns the ticket code and an invoice number. After that, the ticket single view is shown (see below).

Ticket single view

The ticket single view shows the details of a ticket – either one from the booking list or one that you have just sold.

Back: Go back to either the booking list or the sale view, depending on where you came from.Print: Print the ticket on the mini-printer. This button is only visible for freshly created tickets to prevent an accidental second issuing of the ticket.Ticket details: Ticket code, invoice number, customer name (not available with on-board sales), stations, passengers, price.

Accounting

The accounting view shows only the logged in user’s sales for the selected tour. It can be used to see how much money the user (e.g. bus driver) must have in his cash box.

GPS tracking

The Tixys app has got an invisible feature: It submits the devices geographical location every 2 minutes to the Tixys server. This is useful because it allows the operator to see if the bus is on time.

The GPS functionality of the device must be active, and the device must be attached at a position near the front window, so that it gets signals from as many satellites as possible. Also, the device must not be put to sleep mode. Otherwise it is possible that no location information is transmitted or that outdated location information is submitted.

Tracking the busses’ geographical position may invade employees’ privacy, it also may have legal implications. In any case, operators should discuss this issue with the affected bus drivers as well as a lawyer. If in doubt, simply deactivate the GPS functionality of the device.