Easyway-Ticket also proves to be effective in the low-traffic season
In May 2011 the Easyway-Ticket has been introduced by the Interface project team. Therewith, a convenient and inexpensive option has been created to close the supply gap for pedestrians travelling between Rostock Central Station and Nykoeping Station.
In Rostock, passengers are taken by shuttle buses from the central station to the gangway of the Rostock-Gedser ferries. In Rostock city one can step into the shuttle bus at ‘Langen Straße'; vice versa this is the stop to leave the bus for passengers coming from Scandinavia. When arriving in Gedser (DK) passengers can make use of buses by the Movia Company waiting at every ferry-arrival and heading off to Nykoeping. It is worth mentioning that this shuttle service is the result of an exemplary public-private partnership between Germany, Denmark on the one hand and the company Scandlines on the other. After the arrival in Nykoeping, travelers can continue their journey as they please, for instance to Copenhagen, either by Movia buses or the Danish national railway
Conversely, the Easyway-Ticket also proves to be valuable for pedestrians coming from Scandinavia, as Dr. Andreas Schubert, manager of the Interreg South Baltic Interface-project, asserts. At the beginning of January 2012, he took on the role of a passenger and used the Easyway-Ticket himself in either direction."However, you have to be an insider, in order to continue your trip. In Nykoeping information on the ticket was provided at the train station as much as at the bus company Movia; in Copenhagen and Malmö, it was unheard-of," said Schubert. Nevertheless: In Nykoeping bus and train connections are synchronized.
Since the re-launch of the Easyway-Ticket booking system in December 2011, the ridership travelling between Southern Denmark and Copenhagen to Rostock has been increasing. Hence, it is aimed to promote Rostock trips with the Easyway-Ticket within the metropolitan region of Copenhagen / Malmö in 2012. Furthermore, it is also likely that due to the start of the new Scandlines ferry, the interest in trips between Rostock and Southern Denmark will grow, such as the passengers' preference for a convenient and affordable journey with the Easyway-Ticket instead of by car.
The introduction of the Easyway-Ticket is accompanied academically. During the interface workshop on 1 February 2012 for the evaluation of the passenger survey 2011, Prof. Dr. Martin Benkenstein from the Baltic Institute at the University of Rostock emphasized: "To establish such a product in the market, it needs staying power. The start-up phase will at least take 3 years." The evaluation of the passenger survey suggests that on the one hand, the Easyway´s customer satisfaction is as high as AIDA´s cruise offers in the caribic. On the other hand, the brand AIDA is established, whereas the brand and the product "Easyway-Ticket" is only known by a small segment of insiders. However, nearly a quarter of the travelers surveyed complained a lack of information regarding the Easyway-Ticket.
The participants of the workshop reflected an assumption different from the unanimous opinion: The product itself is good: however the availability of information about the product has to improve. It simply takes time until the knowledge about the product enters the public everyday life consciousness and till it is well established as an attractive and steady travel option.
Therefore, the Interface project team uses information flyers, the trilingual "Easyway-Ticket" website and image movies to improve the product´s position in the market. Moreover, it is increasingly relied upon word-of-mouth advertising (the recommendation of the product by satisfied users to friends, etc.) in accordance with the product placement analysis. Therefore, it is and remains important to offer the service without interruption; the customer must be able to rely on the fact that he/she has a steady connection to and from the Denmark-ferries at any time. Thanks to the web-based booking system, it is now possible to use - if required- buses or hailed share taxis during off-peak hours. Thus, scarce resources for the project testing phase of the shuttle bus can be used effectively without calling into question the ticket's economical value during the low-demand winter time.
For the beginning of the season, the first package offerings for tourists and a dynamic web-based information system will complement the Easyway-Ticket. When the track improvement between Rostock-Berlin is finished in 2013, it is advisable to launch advertising and information campaigns in Berlin and to co-operate with the international train information system.