GWR Pay as you go (PAYG) scheme preparations

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JonathanH

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How is it simpler? Buy a return ticket, come back on any train (or any train after a certain time etc) on any day within a month.
vs, Buy a ticket and have specify what day you want to return for the other ticket. Lose massive amounts of the flexibility you had, and many of the rights you had as a passenger for a given ticket price.
The point about this, however, is that it is a change for local flows, ones where there generally aren't period returns in any case. It does seem likely that this fare structure will have to be implemented to advance both RDG and government policy for PAYG to essentially be how local travel works. If the single fare from Westbury to Ashchurch is set at the price of half the day return, people making a period return will see a reduction in fares.

For what it is worth, I don't like the way this is going because there are opportunities to use the flexibility that the current fare structures offer, particularly to travel to more than one place, but the reality is that the majority of the railway's passengers are simply interested in travelling point to point, and are seen to have really taken to PAYG-type structures in London without any real complaint.

I suspect we will see a range of these local area PAYG schemes without overlaps and then a different structure for longer distance travel.
 
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JonathanH

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Perhaps it's as well that Cheltenham isn't in the included area then.
Cheltenham is included - the boundary is Ashchurch for Tewkesbury.

It's also important the railcards are catered for properly, especially where there is a minimum fare involved.
The purpose of the minimum fare on a 16-25 railcard isn't really to provide discounts on commuting journeys so they may see it as fair game to increase fares for such users.

Let's not forget that railcard users get no discount on point-to-point Oyster fares in the evening peak in London (other than into Zone 1) and no one seems to grumble.
 
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JonathanH

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I presume that it is only GWR doing this (possibly in only part of their area), so - even if it is simpler - passengers will be left wondering where and whether they can use it. If it was throughout the country, it might well be a good idea.
This is effectively a trial for a local area change in the fare structure in an area not affected by local PTE-type arrangements. It is unlikely to be going wider but you can see from the direct award excerpt that I posted that Cornwall will follow.

I suspect this form of ticketing will be done in local areas and something else in between.
 

Hadders

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I would have thought the desire is to go to a PAYG model using contactless or a smartcard with PAYG credit like in London. This will work as it's a relatively small geographical area.

Doubt contactless/PAYG smartcard will be in place for day 1 but I suspect it will come at some point and if it does it will be a game changer.
 

Bletchleyite

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I would have thought the desire is to go to a PAYG model using contactless or a smartcard with PAYG credit like in London. This will work as it's a relatively small geographical area.

Doubt contactless/PAYG smartcard will be in place for day 1 but I suspect it will come at some point and if it does it will be a game changer.

Yes, that's probably the reason - doing returns with tap-in-and-out PAYG is just awkward.
 

JonathanH

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I would have thought the desire is to go to a PAYG model using contactless or a smartcard with PAYG credit like in London. This will work as it's a relatively small geographical area.

Doubt contactless/PAYG smartcard will be in place for day 1 but I suspect it will come at some point and if it does it will be a game changer.
Yes, as noted in the excerpt from the direct award in post #2, ITSO PAYG has to be in place by 31 January 2022.

Ideally, they would link it to the "Freedom Travelpass" in the Bristol area but I doubt that will happen.
https://www.gwr.com/plan-journey/jo...el-connections/combined-train-and-bus-tickets
Freedom Travelpass

Get unlimited travel on all trains and most buses in Bath & North East Somerset, Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire.

Available within four zones, you can buy a daily, weekly or monthly ticket for use any time, any day.
 

Sleepy

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Presumably the "Devon & Cornwall PAYG scheme" won't be able to deal with 1st class tickets either ?
 

WelshBluebird

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I guess I am probably a small minority who should benefit from this.
I live in Bristol and work in Keynsham. Because of train and bus timetables, the best way for me to commute is to travel to the office by train in the morning and return by bus in the evening. So because of that, returns don't really work for me. The Freedom Travelpass mentioned above should be a good option for me, but because you have to decide which zones you buy in advance, it is hard to then say decide to pop to Bath to see some friends after work without incurring additional cost.

I think for short local journeys like mine above, it makes absolute perfect sense to go down a PAYG route with singles (that are priced at half the cost of the existing returns) being the primary option. As in most of London with Oyster / Contactless PAYG. Where I think it falls down is where it also applies to larger areas (and it does look like it is being applied to a larger area - probably because of the geographically spread out nature of the Bristol commuting zone).
 

mattdickinson

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I guess I am probably a small minority who should benefit from this.
I live in Bristol and work in Keynsham. Because of train and bus timetables, the best way for me to commute is to travel to the office by train in the morning and return by bus in the evening. So because of that, returns don't really work for me. The Freedom Travelpass mentioned above should be a good option for me, but because you have to decide which zones you buy in advance, it is hard to then say decide to pop to Bath to see some friends after work without incurring additional cost.

I think for short local journeys like mine above, it makes absolute perfect sense to go down a PAYG route with singles (that are priced at half the cost of the existing returns) being the primary option. As in most of London with Oyster / Contactless PAYG. Where I think it falls down is where it also applies to larger areas (and it does look like it is being applied to a larger area - probably because of the geographically spread out nature of the Bristol commuting zone).
It looks like GWR will end up with five PAYG schemes on their network: The above two, TfL, Southern Keygo and NWM Swift Go.

It looks like GWR will end up with five PAYG schemes on their network: The above two, TfL, Southern Keygo and NWM Swift Go.
Possibly six, if there is interavailability with the South Wales Metro PAYG scheme.
 

JonathanH

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It looks like GWR will end up with five PAYG schemes on their network: The above two, TfL, Southern Keygo and NWM Swift Go.
There will probably be some coming together as the single leg pricing fare structure spreads in line with government / RDG policy.
 

plugwash

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The problem I see with merging/expanding PAYG schemes is determining what route a passenger took. Especially as there will apparently be an open interchange between Crossrail and Thameslink at Farringdon, so journeys via London will be possible without an OSI.
 

JonathanH

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The problem I see with merging/expanding PAYG schemes is determining what route a passenger took. Especially as there will apparently be an open interchange between Crossrail and Thameslink at Farringdon, so journeys via London will be possible without an OSI.
That doesn't really matter.

Route isn't that important - no one really cares if someone travels West Croydon - Norwood Junction - Farringdon - Mile End - Stratford instead of West Croydon - Canada Water - Stratford.

Pink readers are used to offer cheaper fares where it is seen as advantageous to do so.

The Bristol PAYG scheme (if that is what the single leg pricing scheme becomes) doesn't include point to point flows with alternative routes at this stage.
 

Hadders

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I don’t believe Crossrail will charge premium fares so it’ll just integrate into the existing TfL PAYG system.
 

Hadders

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Admittedly I've not used a machine for serveral years as to me last resort with booking office first choice and a website trailing a long way behind in second. Hence I was totally unaware any ticket machine could now sell a ticket starting at another station which is a major issue with split fares. This is where if known or uncertain if the booking office would be open I have resorted to a website the evening before so just got to collect tickets from machine trusting I will find it working.

Whether machine or website so much ssssllllloooowwwweeeerrrr than booking office staff.
I think the intention in an urban area will be to move to PAYG using contactless or pre-paid smartcards (like Oyster). There is little point in moving to single leg pricing in an urban area with paper tickets.
 

Bletchleyite

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Sometime if near one at a quiet time I'll have to have a play to see how this works in case needed.

I suspect if there's a national move to all local fares being priced as singles (which is likely, as tap-in tap-out contactless is definitely the way to go with such fares as it is so convenient), there'll also be a software update that eases the process of buying two of them as a paper ticket (e.g. if buying for the whole family so contactless isn't an option) rather than the present, slightly clunky "put one in the basket then add the other" you get at non-planner-based TVMs.
 

david1212

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I suspect if there's a national move to all local fares being priced as singles (which is likely, as tap-in tap-out contactless is definitely the way to go with such fares as it is so convenient), there'll also be a software update that eases the process of buying two of them as a paper ticket (e.g. if buying for the whole family so contactless isn't an option) rather than the present, slightly clunky "put one in the basket then add the other" you get at non-planner-based TVMs.

Long term I agree but first has to come a national fares review and restructuring then a national system. As already discussed ITSO works at the point of use but can not hold enough tickets nor is universal from Thurso to Lands End on train, bus, tram. Hence many years away.

I'm interested in TVM's as configured now in case no option but to use one ( i.e booking office closed or a long queue compared to that for TVM(s) ) and not take ages so risk missing train and significantly delaying others too.
 

JonathanH

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Keeping off-peak day returns rather defeats the point of single leg pricing if the intended move is to PAYG in due course (and PAYG by January 2022 is what is in the direct award).[1]

It *might* make sense to keep off-peak day returns for an interim period until they could perhaps be replaced by capping on the PAYG structure. Then you could price the off-peak single at more than half of the off-peak day return.

We must be close to the date when new fares are on the ticket booking websites.

[1] Indeed if the London PAYG model were to be followed as a template, paper tickets would be limited to the anytime fare and off-peak tickets would only be available on the PAYG medium.
 

Bletchleyite

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Keeping off-peak day returns rather defeats the point of single leg pricing if the intended move is to PAYG in due course (and PAYG by January 2022 is what is in the direct award)

Why? It's really easy to implement in the software "if at the end of the railway day that card has been used to purchase two singles in opposite directions between the same pair of stations, then charge a return". Pretty much all PAYG systems work by debiting cards in a batch at the end of the day to allow for that kind of thing. It's no different to London capping, indeed a load simpler.

It's period returns that are really complex to cap as you have to keep track of stuff for a full month.

I suppose you could replace them with some sort of zonal day travelcard, but I don't see why you'd have to. It's just period tickets that complicate it.
 

JonathanH

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Why? It's really easy to implement in the software "if at the end of the railway day that card has been used to purchase two singles in opposite directions between the same pair of stations, then charge a return". Pretty much all PAYG systems work by debiting cards in a batch at the end of the day to allow for that kind of thing. It's no different to London capping, indeed a load simpler.
Probably semantics but that is exactly what I was suggesting - you don't need to call it an 'off-peak day return', it is just a point to point return fare cap which allows the single fare to be more than half of the current off-peak day return (and might get round the evening peak issue).

It's period returns that are really complex to cap as you have to keep track of stuff for a full month.
Yes, but for those, it is possible to just charge two single fares.
 

Bletchleyite

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Probably semantics but that is exactly what I was suggesting - you don't need to call it an 'off-peak day return', it is just a point to point return fare cap which allows the single fare to be more than half of the current off-peak day return.

Potato, potato, tomato, tomato :D

But yes, you could call it that. Though you probably want to offer it on paper, too, for those (e.g. younger kids) who can't use contactless. London gets round that by way of kids being totally free.

Yes, but for those, it is possible to just charge two single fares.

Indeed.
 

daodao

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Am I right in presuming that this is a prelude to removing TVMs and more booking offices and that once the PAYG scheme is fully up and running in a particular area, the only way to "purchase" a ticket at unmanned stations will be to touch in using a smart card preloaded with sufficient "electronic" money to purchase the ticket, or to buy a ticket electronically on a smart phone and remember to validate it before boarding the train? How easy will it be to obtain a smart card, as unlike some European countries, it seems that there will be many different local versions? What happens if one travels beyond the area covered by the PAYG scheme? Will one need to rebook at the station where one changes, as well as remembering to touch out at this change point?

When I was last in London, the only way to use the buses appeared to be to obtain an Oyster smart card, only available at a manned LU station (of which there are now very few), and pre-load it with sufficient cash to cover the bus journeys one was intending to make. At least the price of a bus journey was clear as it was a fixed flat rate. Before departure from London, I again had to go to a LU ticket office to recover the deposit on the Oyster card.

It all seems to me very user unfriendly.
 

Bletchleyite

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What happens if one travels beyond the area covered by the PAYG scheme? Will one need to rebook at the station where one changes?

You buy a paper ticket. So no, it won't remove purchase of tickets by other means, just like there are still TVMs at Tube stations.

When I was last in London, the only way to use the buses appeared to be to obtain an Oyster smart card, only available at a manned LU station (of which there are now very few)

The large TVMs at Tube stations sell them, don't they? Or from an Oyster Ticket Stop at a newsagent.

It all seems to me very user unfriendly.

If you use contactless it's very user friendly - no buying tickets, just tap your card.

Indeed. They are now there. It seems to me that it amounts to nothing more than a cut of a few pence in single fares which cost more than half of the equivalent period return. That's uhm, it.

But is a key enabler for a contactless scheme. And I guess by binning off period returns it stops people using them multiple times.
 

daodao

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If you use contactless it's very user friendly - no buying tickets, just tap your card.
Unlike contactless debit cards, do not PAYG cards need to be pre-loaded with cash? In order to use a PAYG system without running into problems, does one not need to be able to ascertain the balance on the card, and the cost of the intended journey, before using this method of payment?
 

Hadders

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Am I right in presuming that this is a prelude to removing TVMs and more booking offices and that once the PAYG scheme is fully up and running in a particular area, the only way to "purchase" a ticket at unmanned stations will be to touch in using a smart card preloaded with sufficient "electronic" money to purchase the ticket, or to buy a ticket electronically on a smart phone and remember to validate it before boarding the train? How easy will it be to obtain a smart card, as unlike some European countries, it seems that there will be many different local versions? What happens if one travels beyond the area covered by the PAYG scheme? Will one need to rebook at the station where one changes, as well as remembering to touch out at this change point?

When I was last in London, the only way to use the buses appeared to be to obtain an Oyster smart card, only available at a manned LU station (of which there are now very few), and pre-load it with sufficient cash to cover the bus journeys one was intending to make. At least the price of a bus journey was clear as it was a fixed flat rate. Before departure from London, I again had to go to a LU ticket office to recover the deposit on the Oyster card.

It all seems to me very user unfriendly.
If they do it properly you won't need a smartcard. A contactles bankcard will be used. I don't know when you were last in London but the majority pay their bus, tube and rail fares using contactless. The only reason for an adult to use an Oyster card nowadays is if you have a railcard discount or a season ticket loaded.
 

daodao

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If they do it properly you won't need a smartcard. A contactles bankcard will be used. I don't know when you were last in London but the majority pay their bus, tube and rail fares using contactless. The only reason for an adult to use an Oyster card nowadays is if you have a railcard discount or a season ticket loaded.
Thanks for your reply, but it still doesn't facilitate knowing the cost of one's journey at the time of touching in. In addition, how does a ticket inspector know that one has paid if one uses a bank card rather than a dedicated smart card, without being able to call up one's bank account via a card reader, and presumably access all one's other transactions on that account?
 

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Thanks for your reply, but it still doesn't facilitate knowing the cost of one's journey at the time of touching in. In addition, how does a ticket inspector know that one has paid if one uses a bank card rather than a dedicated smart card, without being able to call up one's bank account via a card reader, and presumably access all one's other transactions on that account?
They don't know at the time, they just scan to check your card is valid. Then if it is later determined that you didn't touch in beforehand you're charged a maximum fare.
 

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They don't know at the time, they just scan to check your card is valid. Then if it is later determined that you didn't touch in beforehand you're charged a maximum fare.
Does the card need to be pre-registered with the transport provider to be valid?

I presume that the maximum fare for a regional/national card is likely to be quite hefty, unlike that in a metropolitan area, e.g. that covered by TfL.
 

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Does the card need to be pre-registered with the transport provider to be valid?
No. Any card which is capable of being touched in is by definition considered valid. The main reasons for a card not to be would be if a card has been blacklisted by a bank as stolen, or has been left for some time with an unpaid bill previously. Or of course if it is physically defective, expired, or not a contactless card.
 

robbeech

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They don't know at the time, they just scan to check your card is valid. Then if it is later determined that you didn't touch in beforehand you're charged a maximum fare.
This could go some way to reducing fare evasion too.
 

plugwash

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Use of contactless bank cards for PAYG may work for the london metro area, but I see a few problems with trying to expand it to the wider rail network.

1. Given that you can't deal with irregularities in real time and your only way to deal with them is to bill people a "maximum fare" as part of the journey reconciliation process, how much do you bill them? TFLs "maximum fares" seem to range up to about £25 which puts them in the "minor annoyance" category for most people. To cover long distance journeys the maximum fare would have to be much higher, say £250 but such a penalty would be disproportionate for local commuter journeys.
2. Will the banks accept use of contactles payments for transactions that could run into hundreds of pounds? I understand that transit transactions are a different category from regular contactless transactions but still I would expect there is a limit to what the banks will accept.
3. What do you do about multiple routes? Pink readers and OSIs work for the London commuter system but I don't see them scaling well to a larger more polycentric network where most interchanges are open.

I guess you could have islands of contactless PAYG around each city, but the problem I see with that is the commuter belts of british cities overlap.
 
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