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Transport Focus support plans to increase smart ticketing system

Transport Focus, the leading watchdog for rail passengers and road users in the UK, has thrown its weight behind proposals to overhaul “outdated and outmoded” fares and ticketing system.

Part of a joint public consultation carried out alongside the Rail Delivery Group, Transport Focus believes the current system is not only outdated, but also confusing for passengers.

Technology will play a vital role in the ‘radical’ proposals put forward in the ‘Easier Fares For All’ consultation, which asked the public for their opinions about what they want to see from the up to date, easier fares and ticketing system.

Existing fares will need to be overhauled and one of the ways this can be done is by using pay-as-you-go smart ticketing – something that has been called for previously.

Almost all the train operators want smart or electronic ticketing to be considered that could see prices capped for passengers, ensuring real changes to the existing ticketing system.

And the Independent watchdog, Transport Focus, believe ticketing system changes are overdue.

Anthony Smith, Chief Executive at the organisation, said the “extensive passenger research tells us that Britain’s outdated and outmoded fares and ticketing system must be overhauled.”

Smart ticketing, he said, would make the rail system more attractive.

He added: “Vital changes to the fares system must be tested through pilot projects. These will provide reassurance and allow passengers to understand the impact of the changes.

“Many of the changes in the rail industry’s proposal are sensible and long overdue: single journey-based pricing will simplify and make the system easier to explain.

“Pay-as-you-go pricing and a ‘tap-in tap-out’ system could make rail more attractive by supporting a fares system that will better match the way that people want to work and travel more flexibly.”

The research and needs of the industry highlight the importance of the advancement of technology to ensure smart ticketing thrives.

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