A trial of touchless beacon-based m-ticketing technology has been judged to be such a success that it has been extended for a further three months

 

Over 1,200 trips have been made using the touchless technology on the space-themed Shuttle 662 route

 

The West Yorkshire Combined Authority and Transdev subsidiary The Keighley Bus Company have announced that they are to extend a trial of touchless ticketing on the Shuttle 662 bus route between Keighley and Bradford.

The initial trial of the touchless ticketing concept, which uses technology and back office systems supplied by Sheffield-based technology firm Becotix,  commenced in February on the bus route. Almost 250 people signed up for that initial stage of the trial and made around 1,200 journeys on the Shuttle 662 using their smartphone as a travel pass.

The success was such that the touchless trial has now been extended for a further three months, until the end of June.

The partners in the trial hope that the extension will allow more passengers to trial the technology and to gain a greater understanding of its benefits. In order to incentivise take-up, those signing up to use the service will receive 50% off the price of their journeys until the end of June.   

The scheme enables volunteers taking part in the trial to use their smartphone as a travel pass, through a special smartphone app. This app then interacts with beacon technology, which has been installed at nearly 200 bus stops along the route as well as on the buses themselves.

The app and beacons then communicate, registering the location of the user. This information is then tranferred to the system’s back office which calculates the length of route taken by the passenger and ‘caps’ fares at the best value price over the course of the day or week. The system also promises to speed up bus boarding times too as it requires no interaction with ticket machines on buses.

It’s a real pleasure for us at Transdev to be delivering this pioneering ticketing solution that will make life easier and cheaper for our customers, and speed buses up along their journey – complementing our great product on The Shuttle.

“We believe in effective partnership working and delivery of innovative customer solutions and I’m delighted that we are extending this successful programme,” said Alex Hornby, chief executive of Transdev Blazefield, parent company of The Keighley Bus Company.

“It’s a real pleasure for us at Transdev to be delivering this pioneering ticketing solution that will make life easier and cheaper for our customers, and speed buses up along their journey – complementing our great product on The Shuttle.

“We look forward to this trial being a success and encourage people to register and take part, as well as sharing their views with us.”

Cllr Keith Wakefield, West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s transport committee chair, heralded the success of the pilot’s first stage. “I am pleased the first stage of this joint touchless ticketing trial between the combined authority and Keighley Bus Company has been a success and that we are now able to extend it,” he said.

“It’s an opportunity for even more people to be involved in testing this cutting edge travel technology and save money on their journeys while they do so.”

 

This article appears inside the latest issue of Passenger Transport.

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