• BDO Digital supports De Lijn in
    Program Management for ReTiBo-
Case study:

BDO Digital supports De Lijn in Program Management for ReTiBo-project

15 October 2009

The Flemish transport company De Lijn transports more than 500 million travellers per year and is mostly occupied with:

  • Offering regular services and special regular services;
  • Offering passenger transport services with tram and bus within, from and to the Flemish Region;
  • Purchase and maintenance of rolling stock and the infrastructure needed for that;
  • Purchase of transport services from sub service providers
  • Development of transport products and transport related products considering this service provision.

De Lijn is a strong operational-focused organisation that strives to assure its services for its travellers on a daily basis. The ReTiBo-project is part of this.


BDO Digital agreed on a framework with De Lijn to hire external project resources and to carry out the ReTiBo project. BDO Digital was responsible for the program management support of the ReTiBo project and had to implement the following support work packages:

  • Requirement management, scope management, business support and implementation planning;
  • Management of ReTiBo segments (Service Management, quality control, Exploitation, Marketing & Sales, Installations on vehicles, Belgian Mobility Card interoperability);
  • Smart card/Management expertise (emphasis on policy aspects);
  • Project Office Management.

These work packages were implemented by BDO Digital Management Consultants, who are “Public Transport” experts considering Program and Project Management and policy technical advice. As a close project team, they worked together with the internal employees of De Lijn.

Besides the classical project follow-up, we guided our client in finetuning the project strategy and the project implementation within the organisation. Thanks to a combination of the understanding of the culture of De Lijn and a well-dosed spirit of change, BDO Digital could make the difference.

What’s in a name?

Bo stands for on-board computer. With this project, we aim to replace the current Prodata driver’s control, set up a communication network and provide a couple of supporting services that can be used by other projects as well.

ReTi is the abbreviation of ‘Registration of travellers and Ticketing’. De Lijn also strives to install new infrastructure for customer acquisition, sales, registration, ticketing, verification, data collection and management and revenue management.


BDO Digital split up the project in 3 big parts:

Replacement of current Prodata magnetic system

  • The current Prodata ticketing system, which is based on the use of magnetic cards, was industrially and functionally outdated, resulting in a lower degree of reliability.

ReTi  - Registration and Ticketing

  • A while ago, Ministers of Mobility and the Secretary of State of public companies signed a protocol of agreement to introduce an interoperable ticket. Such ticket looks like a smart card and aims to facilitate and encourage the traveller to make use of public transport. To achieve such reality, all smart cards of all public transport companies need to be technically functional and interconnected with one another. As a result, the traveller would only need to buy one ticket when he uses public transport in Belgium and needs to make use of several companies for a single journey.
  • In collaboration with the other public transport companies in Belgium, a few ideas have been brought up regarding the concept and the principles of a smart card. The technology, formed by the Calypso specifications, was chosen by those companies as the preferred technical standard. Moreover, the Belgian Mobility Card (BMC) association was created as a consulting body between the public transport companies.
  • So in the future, the ticketing system of the public transport companies will be transformed into a system using smart cards, card readers and on-boarding computers on all trains, trams, busses and metros.

Bo – on-boarding computer

  • The last two decennia, there has unmistakeably been an evolution in the way common transport is organised.
  • In the first place, the traveller wants to have all necessary information before beginning his journey in a way, place and at a given time that suits him best in order for him to move in a smooth, comfortable and safe way.
  • In the second place, the driver needs to focus more on driving his vehicle in the ever increasing traffic and therefore has to dispose of accurate information and needs to be relieved as much as possible from tasks that could be automated.
  • Lastly, the public transport company itself needs to dispose quickly of accurate information, both for following the progress of the exploitation and for reacting adequately when unforeseeable situations occur. Moreover, reliable data is needed for analysing and redirecting the services provided.

That is why De Lijn wishes to dispose of a future-oriented mobile management platform that allows them to both replace the outdated Prodata sytem and to serve as a ticketing and validation platform for smart cards (the ReTi project). Moreover, the platform will offer additional options such as providing travel information (next stop, expected time of arrival, …) improving safety aspects (e.g. transferring CCTV coverage), control over traffic lights, control of changes, etc.

Consequently, the role of the on-boarding computer will be situated mostly on three aspects, namely:

  • Storage and exchange of data (data files, log-ins, …);
  • Management of communication from, to and in the vehicle;
  • Supervising other systems and applications.


The results of both projects need to be seen as one consistent architecture and solution.