Secure access to public transport

July 2010 Access Control & Identity Management

Edge connects Arriva’s bus stations across the Netherlands.

Arriva is one of the largest private companies operating public transport in the Netherlands. It operates both bus and rail services across different cities. Arriva runs approximately 900 buses and employs 2500 people in the bus business and in recent years, has become one of the leading players in the European passenger transport market with companies in the UK, Germany, Sweden, Czech Republic, Poland, Spain and other countries across Europe.

Being at the forefront of its industry, Arriva required cutting-edge and innovative security technologies to be able to continually offer its staff and bus users a secure environment. Arriva was looking to control the access to all of its offices from one single location, and thus, decided to look into IP-based access control solutions that would enable the offices to be managed remotely.

Previously, Arriva was using a magnetic stripe access control system with Wiegand cards and some rudimentary keys to gain access to its offices. “Since we were growing rapidly, we decided to change to a more effective and secure solution that would better suit our needs. Additionally, we were searching for an access control solution with IP network technology that could be managed remotely by our IT experts from our headquarters in Heerenveen,” said Gerrald Voerknecht, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) manager for Arriva.

Arriva has 40 depots spread across the country, with most of the offices located within small bus stations with only one door per office. Arriva required a standalone solution based on IP technology with a flexible remote management solution to help reduce the cost of installation and support. HID’s Edge combined with Genetec’s Synergis met Arriva’s requirements and Voerknecht recalled, “When looking for an IP standalone solution, I was surprised to see that we could not find any company but HID Global that could provide this technology. I investigated HID Global’s product portfolio and selected Edge as the right product for our requirements.”

To find the best solution for Arriva, HID Global also worked closely with Genetec, experts in unified IP security solutions and a reliable HID partner in the Netherlands and worldwide. HID and Genetec, together with Chubb as the integrator in this project, advised and provided Arriva with their IP-based access control solution, Synergis, for strengthened security at the bus depots.

Edge – IP intelligence at Arriva’s doors

One of Arriva’s main concerns about introducing a new access control system was the potential high cost of installing so many units in numerous isolated locations. Using an IP-based solution allowed them to eliminate much of this cost, as no separate serial to network controllers are needed for each location. HID’s Edge solution also meant a real cost savings for Arriva by having network access with only a CAT-5 cable for communications and Power over Ethernet (PoE).

“Arriva is very security conscious and likes to keep up to date with security matters and trends,” commented Jean Philippe Deby, Genetec’s director channel management for EMEA. Arriva was closely involved with the choice of card and reader technology used for their new system.

“Since we heard about the security breach of MIFARE technology, we decided to implement HID Global’s SmartID readers with DESFire technology to work with the IP-based EdgePlus E400 solution,” said Voerknecht. “We required a system that could offer compatibility and flexibility for incorporating DESFire technology with IP-technology and hence found HID and Genetec to be ideal security partners for our requirements.

“I was also pleased to know that HID cards and keyfobs were compatible with our existing bus drivers’ login module. This module is an on-board IT system installed in each bus that gives access to the bus drivers to start up the vehicle. This integration is just an additional level of security that the new solution is offering us.”

To ensure successful installation HID teamed up with Genetec and Chubb to provide training and roll-out of HID’s Edge solution in Arriva’s offices. “Since earlier this year, the installations at three of Arriva’s offices have been completed, with further installs to be carried out through the end 2009. The project is planned to be fully completed at the end of 2010, when 80 additional EdgePlus controllers and SmartID S10 readers, as well as 2000 DESFire cards and keyfobs will be implemented,” added Deby.

The very first installation of HID’s access control solutions at Arriva’s offices was carried out at the company’s headquarters, where five readers were installed in the most-secure rooms such as the server room and the so-called “chip office” where the bus pass cards are created.

For more information contact HID Global SA, +27 (0)72 923 9426,,


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