LNER eTVM Proof of Concept

Wallsendmag

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Hi Everyone, we're running a Proof of Concept with a new style eTVM in Newcastle, either myself or @Haywain or another member of our team will be on hand every Wednesday and Thursday for the next couple of months. We've repurposed one of or Kadfire info boards together with a SilverRail booking engine to offer something different. You pln the journey on the board, scan the barcode when you are happy with the journey and then pay (Apple Pay/Google Pay) and have your tickets delivered on your phone. Feel free to come up and have a try if you're in the area.
 

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plugwash

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It's unclear to me what the point of this is compared to just buying the tickets on the phone.
 

Tazi Hupefi

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I'm confused. If I have a mobile phone, set up with Apple Pay, why wouldn't I just buy the ticket on my phone, instead of messing around with this, and still having to get my phone for payment and to display a ticket?

Surely the only advantage of such a system is if it accepted cash, you'd be able to buy an e-ticket and show it on your phone. The new East Midlands Railway e-ticket vending machines are far better!
 

_toommm_

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Is it presumably just for LNER destinations, or can it be used for any journey that’s currently able to be fulfilled by e-ticket?

Looks interesting regardless, but it might me worth some signage so people don’t think it’s an info point on how to get to KGX or EDB. I know it says buy tickets at the top but people don’t read as I’m sure you’re aware :D
 

Wallsendmag

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It sells tickets for any destination that is available with an eTicket. The question about why wouldn’t you just buy it on your phone was one that we asked too but it appears not everyone would. We have a nice new shirt electronic board from the suppliers so people don’t get confused. It’s only in operation when the project team are on site. Living closest I’m around when available though the week but Wednesday and Thursday are the core hours.
 

Skymonster

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Who’s going to turn up at the station and buy a walk-on ticket for immediate travel on LNER given the ridiculous mandatory reservations requirement?
 

DanNCL

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I will give this a go when I next pass through Newcastle station, seems like an interesting idea. Would I be right in thinking that part of the idea behind this is to allow people who don't have the relevent apps to still be able to make use of e-tickets?
 

ainsworth74

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Huh interesting! I don't think I'm going to be passing through but and interesting idea at least and worth playing with.
 

Haywain

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Who’s going to turn up at the station and buy a walk-on ticket for immediate travel on LNER given the ridiculous mandatory reservations requirement?
With the ability to make reservations as late as 5 minutes before departure lots of people are doing that. But we also sell tickets for travel with other operators on routes the we do and do not serve.
 

Deerfold

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It has all the worst features of the newer Northern machines - it's so big it advertises to everyone behind me exactly what I'm doing which isn't always what I want to happen. Why do screens need to be so big?
 

Wallsendmag

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It has all the worst features of the newer Northern machines - it's so big it advertises to everyone behind me exactly what I'm doing which isn't always what I want to happen. Why do screens need to be so big?
Basically they don‘t but this is repurposing something we already have and when it’s not selling tickets it goes back to being an info board.
 

maniacmartin

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I won't be around Newcastle any time soon to try it, but I am curious as to how it works. What happens when you scan the TVM barcode on your phone? Is it a URL that opens a web page where the Apple/Google Pay transaction takes place, with the web page then delivering the tickets as PDF/Apple Wallet etc downloads?

This is quite a cool idea, but I too am wondering what problem it's actually trying to solve, when it could just have a standard credit card reader and a print the eTicket barcode on a standard receipt printer.

As for buying tickets though phones, this could be a lot more streamlined if TOCs accepted Apple Pay/Google Pay through their websites and didn't require you to enter your name, address and credit card details which is quite fiddly on a phone
 

Wallsendmag

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I won't be around Newcastle any time soon to try it, but I am curious as to how it works. What happens when you scan the TVM barcode on your phone? Is it a URL that opens a web page where the Apple/Google Pay transaction takes place, with the web page then delivering the tickets as PDF/Apple Wallet etc downloads?
yes exactly but not PDFs
This is quite a cool idea, but I too am wondering what problem it's actually trying to solve, when it could just have a standard credit card reader and a print the eTicket barcode on a standard receipt printer.
Why do we need paper? No printer means less moving parts sleeker design , this could be put on a much smaller device .
 

py_megapixel

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Is the QR code (assuming that's the type of barcode in use, being the most widely supported by mobile phones) is it just a hyperlink to a PDF? Or do you have to have a specific app installed already?

Also if these boards are versatile enough to be used as a TVM, could it be used in the future as a mechanism to allow people to make reservations for existing tickets? To many people that would probably be of more use than buying a ticket from scratch, if LNER does go down the permanent mandatory reservations route.

Why do we need paper? No printer means less moving parts sleeker design
I would agree with that. I'm assuming full-blown TVMs which print CCST (or at least thermal roll) aren't going away anytime soon anyway - there are after all some people who don't like to use a mobile phone.

this could be put on a much smaller device .
Such as, for example, a mobile phone app? ;)
 

Wallsendmag

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Is the QR code (assuming that's the type of barcode in use, being the most widely supported by mobile phones) is it just a hyperlink to a PDF? Or do you have to have a specific app installed already?
No it’s a link to a payment page, after payment you download the pk pass etc into the wallet on your phone
Also if these boards are versatile enough to be used as a TVM, could it be used in the future as a mechanism to allow people to make reservations for existing tickets? To many people that would probably be of more use than buying a ticket from scratch, if LNER does go down the permanent mandatory reservations route.
Not something we’ve looked into, this started pre COVID and obviously got pushed back due to lockdown
 

py_megapixel

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No it’s a link to a payment page, after payment you download the pk pass etc into the wallet on your phone
Ah. Does that work for Android users - I thought the wallet was just an Apple thing?

PDF does seem like it would be a bit more universal, and PDF e-tickets are already a reasonably established idea. (Plus - out of interest - how do you claim DR compensation on a wallet ticket, given you can't upload the PDF if there isn't one?). Though I guess customers might prefer the convenience of having it in the same place as other tickets.

Also once the customer has scanned the code and reached the payment page, does the machine make itself ready for the next customer immediately, or does it wait for payment to be completed and the ticket downloaded? I can think of advantages and disadvantages to both approaches.
 

maniacmartin

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I fear that what will happen is people will get to the point where they have to scan their phone to pay, and then just walk off to find a TVM that can print a ticket. It is what I would do.

Surely everyone who wants to use their phone to buy tickets already is. This eTVM just comes across as penny pinching to me, and an intercity TOC where journeys are likely to be longer is the least likely journey I'd want to rely on a phone battery for.
 

Cdd89

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I can actually see this being useful in nudging people who are familiar with TVMs (but nervous about mobile ticketing) toward e-tickets. I must agree that it’s hard to see the use case for a user comfortable with working with rail ticketing apps.
 

Wallsendmag

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Ah. Does that work for Android users - I thought the wallet was just an Apple thing?

PDF does seem like it would be a bit more universal, and PDF e-tickets are already a reasonably established idea. (Plus - out of interest - how do you claim DR compensation on a wallet ticket, given you can't upload the PDF if there isn't one?). Though I guess customers might prefer the convenience of having it in the same place as other tickets.

Also once the customer has scanned the code and reached the payment page, does the machine make itself ready for the next customer immediately, or does it wait for payment to be completed and the ticket downloaded? I can think of advantages and disadvantages to both approaches.
Works for Apple and Android , about 15 seconds after the barcode is scanned the machine returns to the front screen. It can be used before that by the press of a button

I fear that what will happen is people will get to the point where they have to scan their phone to pay, and then just walk off to find a TVM that can print a ticket. It is what I would do.

Surely everyone who wants to use their phone to buy tickets already is. This eTVM just comes across as penny pinching to me, and an intercity TOC where journeys are likely to be longer is the least likely journey I'd want to rely on a phone battery for.
Early indications are that plenty of people who have a Smartphone and a payment set up still use normal TVMs.
 

Bletchleyite

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Works for Apple and Android , about 15 seconds after the barcode is scanned the machine returns to the front screen. It can be used before that by the press of a button


Early indications are that plenty of people who have a Smartphone and a payment set up still use normal TVMs.

Yes, I do too. When I want a paper ticket.
 

Haywain

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Surely everyone who wants to use their phone to buy tickets already is. This eTVM just comes across as penny pinching to me, and an intercity TOC where journeys are likely to be longer is the least likely journey I'd want to rely on a phone battery for.
Not sure why trying something different is penny pinching but, I’ll say again, we sell tickets for all sorts of journeys, routes and TOCs.
 

IanXC

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Early indications are that plenty of people who have a Smartphone and a payment set up still use normal TVMs.

I certainly would continue to use a normal TVM, either for purchase or collection of prebooked tickets, purely because there are so many issues still with other formats of ticket in terms of obtaining all your contractual rights. Lets say I get an e-ticket and have the misfortune to require an excess from an LNER travel centre.... Until those issues are reliably resolved I'm not changing format.
 

lkpridgeon

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Early indications are that plenty of people who have a Smartphone and a payment set up still use normal TVMs.
And I would consider that quite normal. From my perspective I don't want to run the risk of being caught out due to my phone running out of battery (as has happened on numerous occasions when the plug sockets aren't working!).

The solution here looks like it's looking for a problem to solve... Just cut back the checkout process on the website/app for guest purchases by allowing for Google/Apple/Amazon pay at an earlier stage to get the same speed benefits (the only thing I can think of that this may help with). Then have a qr code at the station linking directly to the booking page.

And for those after a physical ticket the solution is simply to print them on standard till roll at the tvm instead of custom stock (as has already been suggested).
 

Darandio

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Not sure why trying something different is penny pinching but, I’ll say again, we sell tickets for all sorts of journeys, routes and TOCs.

So does your website, app and many other vendors. It still doesn't convince me that this new concept has any point.
 

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