Go Ahead Group has predicted that 2013 will be a breakthrough year in the roll out of new ticketing technologies in the passenger transport sector

Last week saw Go Ahead Group begin a trial of a new mobile ticketing solution on three of its bus routes in Brighton & Hove. The technology is just one of a range of industry-leading developments in the sphere of ticketing that the group will roll out this year.

Go Ahead will soon offer the first multi-modal smart ticketing scheme outside London, and the first smart tickets for rail travel to London from outside Transport for London’s Oyster card zone. The group’s IT director, Dave Lynch, told Passenger Transport that 2013 would be a “watershed” when years of talking turns into delivery of new ticket types.

Major developments will include linking current smartcard schemes run by Go Ahead’s Metrobus, Brighton & Hove Buses and Southern Railway companies, building on the current PlusBus smartcard offer. It will provide integrated travel on a single card for bus services in Brighton, mid-Sussex and around Gatwick airport, and rail services on the Bexhill-Brighton-Worthing, and Brighton-Gatwick routes.

Lynch said the scheme was in the “final stages of testing”, and that the launch date in the second half of this year would be finalised “soon”. As well as enabling smartcard tickets offered by the three companies to be held on one card, Go Ahead is planning to develop a multi-modal Travelcard ticket for its operations in Sussex.  The scheme will also cover car hire through City Car Club.

In other areas of the country, discussions are underway between bus operators and local authorities which are expected to lead to multi-operator smart ticketing in a number of towns during 2013. Lynch said a pilot in Southampton incorporating Go South Coast, FirstGroup and other companies is expected to be among the first and would begin this year. It is anticipated that Stagecoach’s South West Trains franchise will be included in late 2013 or 2014.

Elsewhere, Go Ahead is planning to involve the London Midland franchise, which currently offers smart ticketing on three local rail routes into Birmingham, in the expansion of Centro’s nascent multi-operator bus smartcard scheme. In addition, a contactless bankcard trial in Brighton will be launched potentially as soon as September.

 

Brighton trails m-ticketing

Brighton & Hove began a trial of a new mobile ticketing solution on three of its routes last week.

The mobile ticketing solution, which is powered by Corethree’s Core Engine integration platform, will offer mobile ticketing services for iPhone and Android devices to passengers making 48 million journeys every year. Bus passengers will be able to browse, select and then purchase bus tickets using their smartphone, with easy one-time registration of payment details and on-screen tickets that can be used within seconds of purchase. Pre-purchased mobile tickets are discounted to encourage use.

“Our society advances by extending the number of important jobs that we can perform without thinking of them. Our m-ticket app will be an extension of this inevitable and exciting tech!” said the company’s commercial manager Chris Kirk.

Brighton & Hove has targeted the city’s large population of students as early adopters of the new technology. The m-ticketing solution is being trialled on routes 23, 24 and 25, which all link the university with the city centre. Further routes will be added as take up of the services grows.

Corethree’s CEO, Ashley Murdoch said: “Mobile ticketing and live services information are becoming increasingly popular with UK transport operators as they realise the benefits of operational efficiencies and provide a more enhanced customer experience.

“Corethree are at the cutting edge of this technology and are proud to be supporting Brighton & Hove Buses. We will continue to provide product innovation and look forward to the next phase of enhancing these mobile services.”

 

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