Such a central door to the market parties makes it easier to add other parties or applications to the chain, also known as MaaS - Mobility As A Service. Nevertheless, there are still many obstacles that still need to be overcome in order to call the protocol mature. Tomp was perhaps just a little too much developed by techies. Important links to close chain transport are missing and this is now increasingly apparent now that everyone wants to embrace Tomp for implementation. The TOMP API (Transport Operator to Mobility Provider-Application Programming Interface) is a standardized and technical interface between MaaS service providers and carriers.

what is a link?

Compare a link in software between two parties but with the use of Google Translate. You send it in the left side and it comes out in another language on the right side. But as is often the case with Google Translate, what comes out on the right, it is better not to take it completely for truth and use or publish it inappropriately. And that is exactly what is lacking with many links. There is no standard, say a correct translation process, and the outcome after each translation is open to interpretation by the user. High time for agreements and a standard. Lately we have seen the dictionary for target group transport of the knowledge platform CROW emerge what should describe the traveller's characteristics. A good start, but we are far from there. 

a piece of history

Critical or not, it has to be written that the Tomp API did more in the taxi sector than anything that ever preceded it. What then went wrong in the past? Suppliers of software systems repeatedly devised their own links to make a client happy. Everyone had their own vision and, above all, did not want to build on what was already there. The idea was a strict plan to attract the market. There is still no question of an open standard directed by the sector itself. A new link emerges from every tender, with the result that we now have a pallet of software to be maintained. But what's worse, innovation is held back by all the limitations of the existing 'old' communication model between parties.

The sector association KNV, which, as an innovative turning point in its policy, wants to be a frontrunner in everything that uses MaaS as a connecting factor, has also been guilty in recent years of the spaghetti of links. Despite having its own innovation committee, where proposals have been regularly submitted over the last 10 years to tackle this problem, they did not get beyond what each 'support group' has done in recent years. Missed opportunity, a standard or protocol did not come up. All the more reason to press ahead and make TOMP suitable for the sector. 

traveler characteristics

However, the Tomp API is unfortunately not yet suitable for serving all facets of taxi transport. It still lacks an appointment system. Not on a technical level, on the contrary, hats off. But there is still a lot to be done in terms of passenger characteristics, budget agreements and boiler trips that involve a taxi. That does not mean that it is a missed opportunity, because the Tomp working group is doing everything it can to make it a success and mainly listens to signals from carriers and market parties.

It has been a long time before the advent of a universal link in the taxi sector. The need to link power stations has existed for 20 years, but every ICT company has invented its own wheel. The train is now in full swing with all kinds of different wheels. The costs for maintenance of all these systems are skyrocketing.

Pitane Mobility, software company Eindhoven

De tomp The working group must now consider what is really technically necessary to realize a booking and what mutual parties must arrange themselves. A budget product allocated to a traveler by a budget provider is a good example of this. All traveler characteristics that are recorded in the account of the traveler such as the type of budget product, authorization number, validity period and a reference to terms and conditions and travel conditions cannot be found within the Tomp API, while they are an essential part of the booking. But then other factors come into play, such as the privacy legislation, where many innovations have come to a head in recent years.

The Tomp working group is a public-private partnership between MaaS providers, Transport Operators, other mobility-related organizations and governments. The working group is convinced that the Dragonfly version of the API is now stable for a longer period of time. The data exchange via the Tomp includes all information related to planning, reservation, booking, payment and travel support.

Read also: TOMP must end spaghetti of connections

Pitane Mobility planning package also for home workers
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