Smart ticketing is being rolled out within the rail industry, with passengers gaining more access than ever before.
The Rail Delivery Group (RDG) has revealed that new technology is making smart ticketing more accessible during the month of April, with upgrades completed at major stations and, by the end of the month, nine out of 10 tickets on sale will be available in smart ticket format.
Thanks to upgrades in major stations such as Waterloo, Gatwick Airport, Edinburgh Waverley and Glasgow Central, passengers have alternatives to the orange tickets unlike ever before; tickets can be bought easier and quickly online or via smartphones where the ticket will be stored on a handset; or via smartcard.
Further software makes this smart ticketing even more widespread, and indicates a wider trend where the type of technology to allow for these ticketing options are being sought.
Transport for the North has placed smart ticketing at the forefront of its Strategic Transport Plan, and a leading watchdog in the industry is also extremely supportive of the initiative that is enabling passengers to have access to options with every train operator in Britain.
There are a number of ways in which smart tickets are already benefiting passengers, including helping them save time by buying online, therefore skipping queues at ticket machines; last year, more than a fifth of journeys were done so with tickets bought online – a huge rise from 7% in 2013.
In addition, passengers can now go paperless, ending the risk of losing tickets; the whole process is environmentally friendly too.
Robert Nisbet, Regional Director at the RDG, commented: “Together, rail companies are going full steam ahead with smart ticketing, with passengers increasingly able to use their phones or smartcards thanks to station upgrades across the network.
“Of course, we want to go further, but realising the full benefits of new technology requires regulatory reform of the wider fares system.
“That’s why train companies are working with government to update the rules that underpin our rail fares.”