Abellio launch "Multipass" smartphone ticketing on West Anglia

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by jopsuk, 13 Apr 2015.

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  1. jopsuk

    jopsuk Veteran Member

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  2. maniacmartin

    maniacmartin Established Member Senior Fares Advisor

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    Here is the text

     
  3. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Don't think I'd go for that. Blind fare calculation works for low value things like the Tube, not for long-distance rail where the ability to buy a product like a ticket is IMO a better option.
     
  4. jopsuk

    jopsuk Veteran Member

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    I've signed up to volunteer- I'd like to see how it works on a mid distance commuter line
     
  5. JaJaWa

    JaJaWa Established Member

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    The whole Smartcards / mTickets / Print@Home setup is a farce - someone like the DfT or ATOC needs to specify a "National Rail" system for them rather than having a different system for each TOC.
     
  6. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    I'm almost certain P@H is an ATOC standard. I'd imagine normal M-tickets are as well. TOCs are however allowed to try new things for a limited period, though to me this one seems like it will cause trouble (particularly as it seems it works out what journey you've done by way of GPS - is it going to pick up erroneously if you travel on a paper ticket or by another means from station to station?)
     
  7. DelayRepay

    DelayRepay Member

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    A concern for me would be finding myself in hot water if my phone runs out of power mid-journey. Not uncommon if I've forgotten to charge it overnight. I like their helpful advice that if this happens you should call their helpline... do they still have payphones on trains?!
     
  8. Be3G

    Be3G Established Member

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    Wow, something innovative from Greater Anglia! I think it's a very interesting idea indeed, but I hope the app developers know what they're doing because constant (accurate) GPS tracking is very costly in terms of battery life.

    I suppose another way this could work would be by Bluetooth LE beacons being installed in stations and on trains… which would be really innovate for a train company, and therefore probably rather unlikely, unfortunately.
     
  9. Stompehh

    Stompehh Member

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    I believe this is exactly how the multipass system works - if you read the terms it states that bluetooth must be switched on at all times when using the app.
     
  10. cool110

    cool110 Member

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    Looking into it that's exactly how it works. The terms and conditions state that Bluetooth must be enabled but don't mention anything about GPS
     
  11. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Thus running your battery down, at which point I'm sure they'd be Penalty Fare happy.

    Stupid idea, I'm afraid. Far better to have a product loaded onto a phone - if your battery then gets low you can turn the device off entirely between grips to ensure it lasts for the journey. They would be much better to implement contactless for PAYG if that is what they want to do.
     
  12. Be3G

    Be3G Established Member

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    Oh good spot! In that case this is very interesting indeed.

    Bluetooth beacons use a modern form of Bluetooth which actually uses very little power at all. I think they're a really very interesting technological development but they haven't taken off over here yet. Although I concede that owners of older phones with less power-efficient Bluetooth chips might find there's a battery penalty merely for leaving BT on all the time irrespective of connecting to beacons.
     
  13. jopsuk

    jopsuk Veteran Member

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    It's a fascinating enough idea that I'd really like to be able to try it- rather than forming an opinion by guesswork
     
  14. maniacmartin

    maniacmartin Established Member Senior Fares Advisor

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    I will not be volunteering for this.

    I don't have an Android, and certainly wouldn't want an app on it that probably requires loads of permissions and will run my battery flat. Will the Bluetooth work in a very busy station if lots of people have this app?

    A few things form the T&Cs stick out at me:

    1. In 5(1) 'we' means TEDIPAY(UK) Ltd, who are presumably acting as an agent to Abellio GA. This means that when it goes wrong, there will be more passing the buck between these entities. I would much prefer the customer dealt directly with AGA, who subcontract to this company
    2. The registered address of Tedipay (UK) Ltd according to Companies House is in Cheshire, but their website claims it is in Oxford
    3. In 5(12), the Railway Day is defined as runnign until 0230, not 0429 like most tickets allow, so you lose a few hours of validity.
    4. They insist on setting up a continuous card authority on your bank card, so any glitches will leave you out of pocket and overdrawn, with no -prepay topup option
     
    Last edited: 15 Apr 2015
  15. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    And the amounts concerned are much larger than TfL would be imposing.

    Wouldn't touch it with a barge pole, even more so if I didn't have a credit card - there is no way I would put an open-ended pre-authorisation of any kind[1] on a debit card. Though I do support mobile ticketing, I would rather it was a means of purchasing and using the existing type of walk-up ticket of my choice using my phone, be that with NFC or barcodes, like SBB do.

    [1] Other than a Direct Debit on the account, where there are guarantees. But I still wouldn't even do that for an unpredictable amount - DDs are great for fixed-amount subscriptions and stuff that doesn't change much like gas/electricity.
     
    Last edited: 15 Apr 2015
  16. strowger

    strowger Member

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  17. Clip

    Clip Established Member

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    Don't ATW have something similar? Anyone used that to gauge how well it works?
     
  18. Be3G

    Be3G Established Member

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    I'm not an Android user either; if I were I'd be considering giving it a go. My assumption though is that the use of Bluetooth will require very little power. The beacons that I expect it uses will probably not actually communicate any data with the phones aside from the beacons' locations and a few other bits of technical info.

    Think of it as being just like standing on the concourse of Liverpool Street and asking your phone to search for WiFi networks; you then get a list of any that aren't hidden with a relative signal strength. The app, I expect, will simply be doing the same sort of thing but with Bluetooth signals emitted from beacons instead; a well-implemented Bluetooth 4.0 chip uses very little power for this sort of thing.
     
  19. ATG

    ATG Member

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    That's exactly how MultiPass work :)
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    Battery life IS a challenge indeed. UK-wide rules in respect of m-ticket clearly stipulate: dead battery = no ticket. Tough, but that's how things are for now, unfortunately.

    MultiPass will soon be introducing innovative form factors (which will work with iOS too), hence dead battery will no longer be an issue.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    MM, MultiPass operates from Canary Wharf office (part of high-profile "UK tech" hub at Level39 - http://www.level39.co/members/companies/multipass)

    Card is charged AFTER you made your journey. Surely, there will be plenty of teething problems during the pilot (that's what pilots are for), but any charge disputes - if any - are promptly rectified. Card details are stored and the payments are processed by HSBC.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    It's not that MultiPass grabs your money and runs. Any dispute can be resolved and financial side of the matter rectified - easier than dealing with TfL, for example, when "incomplete" Oyster trips are charged incorrectly.
     
  20. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Er, how is it easier? The company still has your money while the dispute is occurring, and thus has the upper hand.
     
  21. ATG

    ATG Member

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    Broadly speaking, that's correct.
     
  22. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    You miss my point totally. If you notice your battery running low, you can with a regular M-ticket turn your phone off, and just turn it on briefly then back off only when required to show the ticket. You can't do that with Multipass.
     
  23. ATG

    ATG Member

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    With some banks, it takes me weeks to get a refund. With Amex - just one phone call.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    You are correct.
     
  24. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    *If*, and only if, the refund is considered acceptable.

    Never gamble with more money than you can afford to lose. I can afford to lose a couple of TfL maximum fares. I can't afford to lose an Anytime Return from Northampton to Euston, which is the equivalent of what I might end up erroneously charged here.

    You say trust them. I don't trust *any* business not to (a) make mistakes and (b) take ages to sort them out - that is unfortunately completely universal. I'm sorry, that's the way it is. Telling me to trust you won't make that any different.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    Another reason a product-based, buy-in-advance-of-travel m-ticket system is better for the mainline.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    Give me a mobile ticketing system on which I can, with no more than a couple of clicks, buy an Anytime or Off Peak Single or Return at the current paper ticket price, and use it with no more restrictions (battery life aside) than a paper ticket, like SBB's system, and I'll use it every time I travel.

    I won't even consider this proposal.
     
    Last edited: 16 Apr 2015
  25. maniacmartin

    maniacmartin Established Member Senior Fares Advisor

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    ATG, in the interests of transparency, are you affiliated with MultiPass?
     
  26. ATG

    ATG Member

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    What do you do if you buy a ticket and then your plans change?.. That's why Oyster is so popular - you don't need to think/plan in advance. App-based "paper ticket" is just a better mousetrap...
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    Yes, I work for the company that runs it, hence my views are "biased" (one could say - "informed" :))
     
    Last edited: 16 Apr 2015
  27. jkdd77

    jkdd77 Member

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    If payment is made overnight, what happens if a passenger wishes to buy an Off-Peak or Anytime Return and break their *return* journey repeatedly over multiple days within the validity of the ticket?
     
  28. ATG

    ATG Member

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    You don't "buy" tickets as such with MultiPass.

    With your example, you will be charged for a single journey on the day of your outbound travel. When you make "matching" inbound journey, the price of that return journey will be adjusted to reflect the charge already made in respect of the single ticket. Thus, the total adjusted charge after the completion of both legs will equal the cost of corresponding return.
     
  29. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    I go to a ticket office and excess the ticket to what I need it to be, or if that isn't an option buy an additional one. I can also refund any walk-up paper ticket less £10 (I don't do Advances, and in any case Advances are irrelevant to this concept), and if I do it at the point of origin most likely they will "non-issue" it for no additional charge.

    I don't think I have ever completely changed my plans while sitting on the train, so that's a non-issue.

    No, that isn't why Oyster is popular. Oyster is primarily popular because TfL make punitive charges for paying by any other method (except contactless). Simple as that. Capping is nice, but travelling around London is nothing like making a longer return journey.

    I had worked that out :)

    TBH I think it's a gimmick with many serious flaws and I suspect your trial will not meet with success.
     
    Last edited: 16 Apr 2015
  30. mattdickinson

    mattdickinson Member

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    However, the passenger will end up paying more if, for example they travel offpeak from Liverpool Street to Cambridge on Monday and then return offpeak from Cambridge to Liverpool Street on Tuesday. (£21.00 x 2= £42 rather than £32.10)


     
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