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Old 11th January 2017, 16:59   #1
AaronR
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Default Contactless/Mobile Tickets

This day and age, why does it seem so difficult for operators to use the above methods for payment? surely it cannot be that hard or expensive to set up? I see first are starting contactless in Bristol soon like its some revolutionary thing but seriously? its not like its new is it, retail have been using it for ages now! Surely this is a major key in attracting new customers to use buses! I for one is often put off from using buses due to not having change for instance!

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Old 12th January 2017, 12:20   #2
PeterC
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According to their website mobile ticketing is available.

I agree that contactless shouldn't be a big deal but I don't know what the availaibility of suitable equipment is. TfL have managed it so the knowledge of how to set up the back office side is present in the industry.
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Old 12th January 2017, 13:25   #3
higthomas
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Mobile tickets are fairly common place, at least amongst the larger operators. These are the ones with the changing word on the screen, not Apple pay etc. I think the problem with contactless is that is requires replacing all the ticket machines, which I imagine is not a cheap task.

They do though have contactless on the Stagecoach buses here in Oxford, which has been useful. Unlike TFL one simply buys a ticket as normal but pays by card. No standard fare, daily capping etc.

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Old 12th January 2017, 13:43   #4
AaronR
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Surely things like this are fundamental in bringing bus travel up to a modern standard? Just having the capability to pay for a single or return via contactless! That and wifi, should be seen as the norm nowadays, not the exception I think
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Old 12th January 2017, 14:02   #5
radamfi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by higthomas View Post
I think the problem with contactless is that is requires replacing all the ticket machines, which I imagine is not a cheap task
First did replace all the ticket machines for that reason and have been accepting contactless payment on all buses in England for over four years now.

http://www.firstgroupplc.com/news-an...011-ukbus.aspx

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FirstGroup, the UK’s largest bus and rail operator, today revealed it is to invest 27m in revolutionary new ticketing technology for its 5,000 strong bus fleet in England, outside London.

The company intends to be the first bus operator outside London to offer customers ‘touch in touch out’ contactless payment. The new ticket machines, designed to read contactless debit or credit cards, in addition to ITSO smartcards such as concessionary bus passes, will be introduced to buses from the autumn and will initially allow customers with an ITSO smartcard to touch in. Contactless bank cards will be accepted across England from late 2012.

First’s new ticketing system will act much like London’s Oyster Card; customers will simply ‘touch in’ and ‘touch out’ using their debit or credit card, taking less than a second, and avoiding the need to carry the correct change. The system will also allow FirstGroup to offer a range of tickets including capping the daily fare. But unlike Oyster customers won’t need to carry an additional card or worry about pre-payment or topping up. Customers using the contactless cards will simply see the cost of the fare deducted from their bank or credit card balance.
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Old 12th January 2017, 15:44   #6
Lrd
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Originally Posted by radamfi View Post
First did replace all the ticket machines for that reason and have been accepting contactless payment on all buses in England for over four years now.

http://www.firstgroupplc.com/news-an...011-ukbus.aspx
Lol, that did not happen. Well, they replaced the machines but the new 'Almex' machines struggled to read OAP/Disabled ITSO cards, taking about 10-20 seconds per card. No contactless payments.

There was a smart card but it was poorly set up and couldn't hold cash for PAYG.
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Old 12th January 2017, 15:55   #7
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Originally Posted by lewisrday View Post
Lol, that did not happen. Well, they replaced the machines but the new 'Almex' machines struggled to read OAP/Disabled ITSO cards, taking about 10-20 seconds per card. No contactless payments.

There was a smart card but it was poorly set up and couldn't hold cash for PAYG.
The machines have such a ridiculous design with such a small area where to present the card. Did they even intend to implement contactless payments when the press release came out? If a public authority had made such bold claims about a technology implementation that subsequently never happened then there would, quite rightly, be adverse publicity, but I appear to be the only person to remember this quite spectacular failure.
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Old 12th January 2017, 16:03   #8
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You could actually place the card anywhere on the side of the machine or even hold it about 2cm away and it would still read it but it is far to slow. And it doesn't help that First like to lock the driver in with a big screen around them which means the passengers have to squeeze the arm through a tiny opening to get to the machine.
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Old 12th January 2017, 16:16   #9
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My two issues with Mobile ticketing in Bristol and Bath with First are:
  1. You still have to buy specific tickets. It isn't PAYG like Oyster / Contactless cards in London. I wonder if this is a technical limitation or if they specifically don't want to allow it because it means people will pay more (either buying a day ticket "just incase" even if they end up not needing it, or not realising they need a day ticket to start with but ending up paying more through multiple singles).
  2. Even if you accept the above limitation, currently you can't even buy individual single tickets. To me that is the biggest joke as in Bristol they have increased the single paper ticket cost now, but you can only take advantage of the cheaper mobile ticket cost if you buy in bulk.
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Old 12th January 2017, 16:37   #10
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Removed (posted in wrong place)

Last edited by ethernet22; 12th January 2017 at 16:38. Reason: Oops wrong place
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Old 12th January 2017, 17:01   #11
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Our local bus operator does have smartcard capabilities, however the only benefit is that you do not need to carry change. The ticket machines do read the local bus passes, which is a plus.

They also charge for them to be given to you (4.50), and journeys are still the same price.

If they provided a discount on the journey price (50p off my 6.50 return?), and it was easy to top up (at the moment it's PayPal via their website or giving money to the bus driver) such as auto-top up via bank account, I'd use it. I do carry one around with me (I got one free to 'test') just in case I only have a 20 note on me, and I can load it up and use it for 3 days.
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Old 12th January 2017, 17:08   #12
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A trial is happening soon on a particular route in West Yorkshire which looks erm...interesting!

http://662pay.becotix.co.uk/

(Android only though for the trial)
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Old 12th January 2017, 17:52   #13
Stan Drews
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The major stumbling block with contactless payment on buses was the lack of a permanent direct connection with the card issuer.
When you use contactless to pay for something in a shop the terminal has a reliable direct connection with the banks systems that effectively authorises the transaction/payment.
On a bus this isn't possible, so the challenge has been finding an acceptable way around that issue with the banks etc.
It can be done, as the various trials around the country are showing, however it isn't just as simple as the smart-card transactions which take place with the ticket machine.
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Old 12th January 2017, 18:37   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stan Drews View Post
The major stumbling block with contactless payment on buses was the lack of a permanent direct connection with the card issuer.
When you use contactless to pay for something in a shop the terminal has a reliable direct connection with the banks systems that effectively authorises the transaction/payment.
There is no need for a direct connection with the card issuer when using contactless. TfL have accepted contactless payment for a number of years now and the card payment only happens overnight when the day's journeys have been collated and a single charge is taken.

When you use a contactless card on a London bus, the card details are transmitted over the mobile phone network to the processing system within a few minutes, but that doesn't trigger a payment straight away.
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Old 12th January 2017, 19:02   #15
GaryMcEwan
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Stagecoach have introduced contactless payments on services in Oxford, Oxford Tube and in the North East with more areas coming in the future.
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