The additional £30m for ticketing in the North is a welcome top up to an area that badly needs bringing into the 21st century.
Many of our ticketing systems are still based on principles and ideas that are 15+ years old. Yes, the delivery of contactless payments for travel in London was a big step. Did it really change anything though? Well, you can now travel with your bank card rather than an Oyster card. Fantastic – I have one less card in my wallet. So the big question is can and should we roll out “Oyster” type services across the rest of the country?
I’m a big fan of using Oyster and it seems very popular. People like not having to use cash, getting best value tickets, and in London they get very good fares on buses.
It seems like a good idea; however £30m is a drop in the ocean to replicate the current systems. What is needed is a different approach. A system that provides the functionality of Oyster, can sit alongside current systems and work with them. But it needs to be a lot more flexible and easier to deploy.
Smart device based ticketing is gaining traction, but most of the current offerings do little more than offer a cut down version of current tickets.
Becotix offers the chance to deliver “Oyster” type functionality but at a greatly reduced cost by utilising the traveller’s smart device and removing the bulk of infrastructure required for current systems.
While George Osborne’s £30m is welcome, we need to make sure we have a plan and a strategy going forward. Its a big challenge and we need to ensure we get our return on our current systems. We do need a step change and something that will compliment them and provide the ticketing service our customers expect.
If you’d like more information on the Becotix approach to touchless ticketing, please get in touch.
© Copyright 2018 Becotix Ltd