Stagecoach has launched a partnership with mobile phone company Everything Everywhere that could see the rollout of NFC technology

 

Stagecoach has announced a new partnership with mobile phone company Everything Everywhere that could lead to the introduction of contactless m-ticketing across a number of the group’s bus and rail networks from next year.

The partnership follows the start of a trial on Stagecoach’s bus operations in Cambridgeshire with a small cross-section of bus users who are able to receive, store and then validate their bus tickets using their mobile phone handset. Everything Everywhere is providing each customer in the trial with a NFC-enabled handset on its Orange mobile phone brand that uses its ‘Quick Tap’ technology.

Those taking part in the trial have access to a smartphone application that coverts their phone, using the NFC technology, into a ITSO-compliant smartcard. This can then be used to buy tickets for bus travel that can be validated using the on-bus smartcard equipment.

“This is an exciting technical trial which we believe is the first of its kind in the UK and we are pleased to be working with Everything Everywhere to explore the use of this new technology,” said Stagecoach group finance director Martin Griffiths.

“Smart phones are playing an increasingly important role in helping people manage their busy lifestyles and are already used across many areas of life. We believe this technology can also make public transport easier and more convenient to use. Once this trial is complete, we will carry out a review of the findings and assess the potential to expand the scheme further.”

Gerry McQuade, chief marketing officer of Everything Everywhere, added: “As Britain’s biggest communication company, we’re proud to be working with Stagecoach to help bring public transport ticketing into the 21st century and start a trend towards a future where ultimately the traditional paper and card tickets of today will eventually become a thing of the past.”

 

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