Crossing the German-Dutch border with an e-ticket

Realized in Germany

Crossing the German-Dutch border with an e-ticket

What if you could use your Dutch public transport chip card to cross the German border and then continue by bus to Aachen? Or what if you could use a German e-ticket to get from Aachen to Limburg? Within the framework of HORIZON2020, we worked together with a large number of other partners to develop a pilot project to make this kind of travel possible. In addition to project management skills, Rebel also contributed highly valuable technical knowledge about interoperable systems.

The challenge

There’s lots of daily cross-border travel between southern Limburg and Aachen. People living on the German side of the border buy their groceries and commute to work or school in the Netherlands, and vice versa. But the share of public transport in border traffic is much smaller than you might expect.

The approach

The European Union provided grants for a pilot project to investigate the development of cross-border, cost-based public transport services (account-based traveling, also known as ABT). Due to the large number of partners involved in the project, it was crucial to achieve effective coordination of the various work packages – a task which Rebel was happy to take on. We worked with a team that offered both project and program management experience and technical knowledge of account-based traveling. This enabled us to ensure a smooth collaboration as well as the feasibility of the technical solutions we devised.

The project comprised managing the development and certification of a contactless and generic secure token, defining the unique interface specifications of the relevant system components, ensuring interoperability, and developing a business model including all roles and responsibilities. Thanks to a strong joint effort, a fully functional ABT system was ultimately realized. Our partners on the German side of the border were the Aachener Verkehrsverbund and the Verband Deutscher Verkehrsunternehmen’s E-Ticket Service. In the Netherlands, our client was ACCEPT, and we worked together with Arriva and Translink.


We developed and implemented a functioning cross-border electronic travel system.