Saudi Arabia’s transportation company is a unique condition where the product, transportation via bus, and the service environment, the terminals, are a base offering in which the buses run and the buildings protect passengers during their stay, although it goes no further. There are no schedules, assistance is scarce, and the transaction system is barely operational. But an interesting fact we learned is that the transit system experiences its heaviest usage by persons on their pilgrimage to Mecca, and as a holy pilgrimage whatever happens during the journey are the wishes of the Prophet, and thus customers see hardships experienced as the wishes of the Prophet and do not complain. Our challenge as part of the NCR team, was to implement self-service ticketing hardware and rethink the in-station traveler journey. The transit system would soon be open to competition and SAPTCO needed to address the customer journey or risk becoming obsolete.
We developed a visionary new experience from door to bus with a focus on traveler self-sufficiency with a range of digital resources. Our team spent time on the ground analyzing the many challenges, but focusing on those challenges that were most influential in the travelers journey. During Ramadan the transit system is overwhelmed with passengers, so the new experience needed to be flexible to expand and accommodate large densities, while remaining effective and intimate during the other eleven months.