Contactless/Mobile Tickets

Discussion in 'Buses & Coaches' started by AaronR, 11 Jan 2017.

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  1. AaronR

    AaronR Member

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    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!
     
    Last edited: 11 Jan 2017
  2. PeterC

    PeterC Member

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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.
     
  3. higthomas

    higthomas Member

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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.
     
    Last edited: 12 Jan 2017
  4. AaronR

    AaronR Member

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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
     
  5. radamfi

    radamfi Established Member

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    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-and-media/latest-news/2011/03-09-2011-ukbus.aspx

     
  6. Lrd

    Lrd Established Member Jobs & Careers Assistant

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    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.
     
  7. radamfi

    radamfi Established Member

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    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.
     
  8. Lrd

    Lrd Established Member Jobs & Careers Assistant

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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.
     
  9. WelshBluebird

    WelshBluebird Established Member

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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.
     
  10. ethernet22

    ethernet22 Member

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    Removed (posted in wrong place)
     
    Last edited: 12 Jan 2017
  11. Scotty

    Scotty Member

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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.
     
  12. johntea

    johntea Member

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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)
     
  13. Stan Drews

    Stan Drews Member

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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.
     
  14. radamfi

    radamfi Established Member

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    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.
     
  15. GaryMcEwan

    GaryMcEwan Member

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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.
     
  16. radamfi

    radamfi Established Member

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    But contactless cards are only being accepted to buy paper tickets. A conversation with the driver is still required. So the only advantage is that change giving is eliminated. You should be able to touch in and touch out without needing any paper ticket or interaction with the driver.
     
  17. GaryMcEwan

    GaryMcEwan Member

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    Still need to speak to the driver if you want a weekly or multiple tickets. People should be grateful that Stagecoach are starting to implement it.
     
  18. Stan Drews

    Stan Drews Member

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    Well I can assure you that was the stumbling block/challenge with the provincial trial that I have been involved with for the last 12 months. Thankfully, the techy geeks found a way to make it work, and hopefully it will be rolled out to other services in the future.
     
  19. Hophead

    Hophead Member

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    No: other advantages are:
    • the passenger does not have to fumble around looking for change, which speeds up the transaction
    • the driver is less likely to run out of change (or decide to hand it all back in 5p coins)
    • a reduced risk of robbery as there's just less cash on the bus
    • quicker and, hopefully, more accurate cashing-up for the driver at the end of the shift
    • possibly(?) the occasional passenger is more inclined to tap the card and travel than exclaim "how much?" and storm off

    Probably others as well. You'd think the operators ought to be keen, wouldn't you?
     
    Last edited: 12 Jan 2017
  20. radamfi

    radamfi Established Member

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    No. They should be unimpressed that operators are still failing to take full advantage of modern technology. London buses have accepted smartcards for single fares since 2004 and contactless since 2012, with no driver interaction required.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    OK, but still slower than a proper contactless/smartcard implementation.
     
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