Smart ticketing is on track to be introduced to Britain’s railways by the start of 2019.
This drive from the Department for Transport (DfT) is part of an £80 million investment by the government that will allow every passenger to have the choice of travelling without a paper ticket by the end of this year.
All rail franchises will benefit from smart ticketing too, with the system of mobile barcode ticketing expected through every franchise in Great Britain.
Smart ticketing brings with it a number of advantages for users of public transport, and subsequently, for transport operators to incorporate the systems themselves.
Convenience, speed, flexibility and ease of use are just a few reasons why smart ticketing is seen as the future of the rail industry.
Passengers can buy tickets in advance or online, giving flexibility to the user; by having smart ticketing, it negates the need to buy paper tickets at a train station, making it easier to board a train. This, in turn, will improve the punctuality and efficiency of the train journeys too.
And the fact the tickets are available on mobiles means that money is not required. This is a huge convenience for users.
The pilot for technology that will allow passengers to have smart cards hosted on their mobile phones is currently being developed, and the government is talking to train companies about the introduction of this.
It will result in mobile barcode tickets and mobile phone smart cards being accepted by all operators throughout England and Wales – as well as being operable across a range of franchises.
Chris Grayling, Transport Secretary, said: “Passengers across the country want smart ticketing and this government will deliver it.
“This significant investment will ensure that passengers across the network can use mobile phones, bar codes and smart cards across almost all of the network by the end of 2018.”