There are plenty mobile phone applications for purchasing one-time tickets for public transport all over the world. Nowadays, smart cards for public transport (e.g. Oyster card in London) are being replaced by solutions based on application in smart mobile phones.

However, there is a huge difference between mobile phone and smart card: you cannot print the holder's photo on a mobile phone as you can do on a smart card.

That's why it is not very common to use mobile phone applications for long-term non-transferable tickets (e. g. one year), because a traffic inspector could not verify if the mobile phone holder is the same person who purchased the long-term ticket.

Is there any mobile phone based ticketing solution with holder's photo in your country or your city? Does the traffic inspector download your photo from some remote cloud storage, or do you display the photo together with your ticket?

I know that my question doesn't fit Travel site 100%, but I think it is still the best choice. If you think there is a more appropriate SE site, please, let me know.

  • We don't support list questions, sorry. Please look at the help center for details – Gagravarr Feb 26 '16 at 10:00
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    No, because anything on a mobile phone's screen is easy to fake. However some systems (including most police systems) show the photo of the person taken from the database. – JonathanReez Feb 26 '16 at 10:41

SNCF (the french national railway operator) operates a free frequent traveller program called "Voyageur", which is coupled with several apps (the "SNCF" app, the "TGV Pro" app...). Users subscribed to this program show their Voyageur card or the 2D barcode inside the app instead of a ticket (there are actually no tickets).

In the general case, a user may have to show proof of ID to justify it's actually their card (especially if it's some kind of discounted fare).

For very frequent travellers, there are discount programs ("Fréquence" which gives a 50% discount, and "Forfait" where you pay a small symbolic fee to book a seat), which require an associated card which bears your picture. You can now choose to "dematerialise" these cards from within the TGV Pro app or on the Voyageur program website by taking/uploading a picture. Once you manage to get through (it is very poorly designed), your picture will be available both inside the TGV Pro app and (in theory) on the train conductor's portable terminal. Not sure when/how the info is downloaded (i.e. on demand during the trip or at the beginning of the trip based on booked tickets).

Note that this not really "mobile phone ticketing" per se, as there is no ticket or ticket-specific barcode available in the app (the app always presents the same barcode, which is the one for your Voyageur card), and you could use the Voyageur card instead (I believe they can even look up your ticket using your personal data without any card or barcode at all), but you can indeed use the app for this, and your picture is indeed on SNCF's servers and on the conductor's terminal.

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  • Excellent! Thank you! Is the SNCF system based on train conductor's presence on each train, or are there some turnstiles at the entrance to the platform? – vojta Feb 26 '16 at 10:37
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    This system is used on the "mainlines" (long-distance) trains (TGV, Intercités), where there are conductors on the trains and no turnstiles (though they're experimenting adding some). On many trains, the check is actually done as you board (with an SNCF employee at each door, or at the entrance to the platform), though the smaller terminals they have in that case probably don't show pictures (they just confirm the ticket is valid for this train or the Voyageur card holder has a ticket for this train, and display the coach and seat numbers). – jcaron Feb 26 '16 at 10:42
  • Are you sure your picture shows up on the terminal ? The picture is only mandatory for SNCF discount cards (young/senior/frequency, etc.), and even in that case I dot not recall having my picture digitally saved at any point. They do, however, have the right to ask for an ID in addition to your "Voyageur" card when checking your ticket validity, as the digital-only tickets and discount cards are tied to your name, but the accepted IDs are up to the conductor: it may range from the national ID down to "something with your name on it" (e.g. a library card). – strnk Feb 26 '16 at 13:51
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    As I said, that's only valid for Fréquence/Forfait cards. You have to go through the "dématérialisation" procedure (in the "TGV Pro" app, or on the Voyageur website), which isn't really very cooperative. Once you have managed to pass through its hoops, your picture will appear in the TGV Pro app (though that's really only informative), and should appear on the conductor's terminal (though it seems to take a few days to get there). As far as I know, they haven't extended that to other cards. – jcaron Feb 26 '16 at 14:38

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