Madrid Blockchain Public Transit App


Madrid has just announced a blockchain solution for public transit. This new initiative is part of the Empresa Municipal de Transportes de Madrid (EMT Madrid) system. The city is unveiling the new pilot, “Madrid in Motion,” to promote open innovation focused on mobility.

The current system is inefficient and not secure. Fortunately, blockchain provides a solution to both these problems. Out of over 300 proposals, Vottun’s blockchain solution was chosen for implementation. 

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Unified Payment System

Banco Santander and Vottun are developing a blockchain app to unify transit payment. Currently, the metro, buses, taxis, e-scooters, bikes, and car rentals all have different apps. Therefore, to use all transit options, users need to install and set up each app individually. Then, users will have to input their information into each app separately. Obviously, this current system is extremely inefficient. In addition, users have to input their financial data into many different apps. This lack of interoperability is not only inefficient but also leaves users’ financial information open to increased vulnerability. Fortunately, the new blockchain app will replace the array of old apps. Then, all of Madrid’s public transit will be accessible through one app. This app will be secured with blockchain, so users can be sure their data will remain safe. 

Data Gathering

This new unified system will allow the government to gather immense amounts of data. The information gathered will be centered on transit patterns. Then, the information will be analyzed to develop improvements to the transit system. For example, if the data unveiled an area of high congestion, additional transit options could then be implemented in that area. This change will allow transit officials to make quick data-driven decisions regarding public transit. Additionally, this data will help to increase the efficiency of resource management within the public transit system.

 App Features

The app will feature a facial recognition system that will be secured by blockchain. Users will be able to simply look at a camera before they use public transit. Then, the system will charge their unique account for the service they are using. This new app will render metro cards and tickets obsolete. Importantly, this change will reduce the waste associated with public transit. The use of blockchain to secure this public transit app is important. The app will hold immense amounts of personal data. This data is useful for government actions related to public transit, but must be kept safe from others. Blockchain offers the perfect solution, providing anonymized data to the government, and keeping private information safe from the public. 

As public transit innovation continues, the questions of security and efficiency become more important. Digitization creates security problems, and interoperability becomes essential. Gathering data in a secure and efficient way can greatly improve many technologies. Madrid’s new system will leverage blockchain to assuage these concerns and improve its public transit. 

Katie Rapley is a student at Tulane University studying Entrepreneurial Management and English. She is passionate about finding creative solutions to real problems through entrepreneurship and is especially excited about the applications of blockchain.

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