Interchange/Transfer Authority


The Interchange/Transfer Authority application is operational only where there are agreements for interchange/transfer between services. These agreements may facilitate interchange/transfer:

  • on some or all modes in a service area
  • only for interchange/transfer between services on the same mode
  • only for interchange/transfer between services of the same operator or group of operators

Interchange/transfer may be available on all fare products, or only on designated fare products. In some cases, an additional fare or supplement is payable for interchange/transfer.

The Service Interchange Authority application has the following main functions, in cases where interchange/transfer may be permitted for some or all fare products:

  • To determine whether a trip is a new trip or may meet the criteria to be considered as an interchange/transfer trip
  • To determine whether a presented fare product is valid for the form of service interchange/transfer being undertaken
    • If not valid for interchange/transfer, to process the fare product as a new trip and apply the appropriate fare rules and charges
    • If valid for interchange/transfer, to determine what additional charge (if any) is applicable; to initiate the fare calculation and charging processes; and to initiate the travel authorisation and evidence processes
  • Where permitted and requested to do so, to add authorisation for subsequent interchanges/transfers on the same trip or future trips

Technologies, data and resources

Interchange/Transfer Authority applications consist of software processes. They are conducted within the fare collection equipment. In essence, they are modules/routines that are called down by the active fare collection processes to apply rules about service interchange/transfer, or to add future interchange/transfer authorisations.

The data requirements are:

  • Identification of the route, boarding and lighting points, customer type, fare product, and interchange/transfer conditions relating to the trip being undertaken
  • Data about of previous trip(s) that may be taken into account for interchange/transfer rules and fare calculation
  • Interchange/transfer rules for the accepted fare products
  • Data exchange with upstream and downstream fare collection processes

Advantages and Cautions

The primary advantages of Interchange/Transfer Authority are to:

  • facilitate interchange/transfer between services
  • ensure that the interchange/transfer rules are correctly applied and the correct fare determined
  • manage complex ranges of fare products and fare values
  • support the automation of the fare collection process
  • provide interchange/transfer data for planning purposes

The principal cautions in relation to Service Interchange Authority are:

  • interchange/transfer rules can be difficult to negotiate and define clearly for the full range of circumstances in the service area
  • interchange/transfer rules and related fare tables can be extremely complex.
    • The software can be very expensive and time-consuming to develop and fully test
    • Maintenance, checking and updating of fare tables often imposes quite substantial administrative and technical burdens
  • multi-modal and multi-operator integrated ticketing increases complexity. It may require the Operator to work within a common framework with other modes, whose ticketing equipment and fare collection logistics are quite different.

Relevant Case Studies

Prince William County

Dublin (please see Fare Collection Toolkit)