App offers account-based ticketing on a smartphone


Bus passengers in the East Midlands are pioneering public transport’s digital future with the launch of Trentbarton’s Mango app for smartphones.

The operator claims the new Mango app is the world’s most advanced ticketing app for buses. Trentbarton worked with technology provider ACT, a Fujitsu company, to create a simple to use app that gives customers account-based ticketing on a smartphone.

The new app will, in time, replace the plastic mango cards which were introduced in 2008. More than 100,000 mango cards are currently active and 678,142 have been issued during the past 12 years.

Passengers can download the mango app for free for their Apple or Android devices. The scan on, scan off app has an on-screen balance and online top-up.

After topping up with credit, either within the app or at a Trentbarton travel shop, customers then use the app each time they travel.

The app automatically generates a unique QR-style barcode to be scanned by the Ticketer terminal as they get on board and alight. Each night ACT’s Actora cloud-based system will calculate the amount to charge for the day’s journeys based on applicable fares and caps, using the precise points of boarding and alighting.

As well as a daily cap on charges there are also rolling weekly and 28-day caps, so customers can be confident there is a limit to what they spend, however frequently they travel with Trentbarton. There are also discounts for students and apprentices.

The mango app will also be rolled out across Trentbarton’s sister company Kinchbus. This is another huge step forward in the development of ABT multi-operator ticketing, setting the standard for others to follow.

Jeff Counsell, managing director of Trentbarton, said: “We’ve taken the best bits of the mango card and put them into the mango app plus added more to bring mango into the smartphone age.

“By being purely digital, the app gives us the scope to keep developing mango in the future by adding in more features and benefits for our customers. It’s simple to use but behind it is a complex system of fares, caps and tracking dynamic locations.”

Mark Fagan, head of ACT, said: “ACT’s intuitive mobile app makes it so simple for customers to sign up for ABT, and Trentbarton has applied its own mango branding, so it’s consistent at every customer touchpoint.

“Customers also benefit from using their phone to complete the whole ticketing process, with no need to interact with multi-user touchpoints, such as TVMs. We hope it will go some way in restoring confidence in using public transport.”

Existing mango customers can continue using their physical mango card for two months, during which they can migrate at any time onto the app, easily transferring any credit from the card to the app.

Counsell added: “Trentbarton has always been an innovator and brought new firsts to bus travel throughout our history. mango was already a ground-breaking fare cap payment method and the app will propel mango into the future.”

Get the latest news delivered to your inbox. CLICK HERE to subscribe to our e-newsletter.