New Ticket Design Launched

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by Solent&Wessex, 7 Mar 2014.

  1. Solent&Wessex

    Solent&Wessex Established Member

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    The much heralded new ticket design finally goes public in March.

    Details below:

    Introduction
    Some of you may be aware that work has been taking place to update design of the ordinary rail ticket to allow information to be shown in a more customer-friendly way. The new design will be rolled out initially to TVMs during 2014, with other ticket issuing systems to follow.

    What is happening from 10 March 2014?
    TVMs at two locations on the Northern network will be issuing tickets in this new format as part of the test process prior to full roll-out. These machines will be selling valid tickets to customers.

    What do these tickets look like?
    The attached sheet illustrates examples of tickets in the new format. Unlike the current design, completely different layouts will be used for ‘walk-up’ tickets and ‘advance’ tickets. In the case of ’advance’, these will now include the reservations information on the ticket itself. Where the booked journey involves more than 2 legs, the reservations will be printed on a separate coupon (in an updated layout).
    The machines on test will issue the new style designs in the case of passengers buying their ticket from these machines, and in due course will also do so where passengers are collecting tickets bought online.


    There is no information as regards where these test locations are.

    New confirmed ticket designs attached.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. ainsworth74

    ainsworth74 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Hmm I quite like it but I'd like to see some more examples (railcard discounts and different ticket types for example).
     
  3. Solent&Wessex

    Solent&Wessex Established Member

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    They have not been supplied in the ATOC brief, those were the only two examples.
     
  4. swt_passenger

    swt_passenger Veteran Member

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    Ah, so it actually 'goes public' only for some Northern passengers using two specific 'trial' TVMs, but only for walk up tickets initially.

    I was thinking you meant 'launched' as in a national roll out...
     
  5. Solent&Wessex

    Solent&Wessex Established Member

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    Well the rest will follow, although no doubt at ATOCs regular snail like pace.
     
  6. Peter Mugridge

    Peter Mugridge Established Member

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    The example shown for the 1st advance is a railcard one.
     
  7. Haywain

    Haywain Established Member

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    Although both of them show discounts.
     
  8. swt_passenger

    swt_passenger Veteran Member

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    I won't rush out specially then. :D

    I'm actually looking forward to the new crop of disputes. "It said on the ticket in plain English that it was only valid on a particular service on a particular date. I was so confused by this I travelled on a different day and time..."
     
  9. bb21

    bb21 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I wonder what happens when you have walk-on fares with reservations. Will there need to be a separate coupon? So yet another design?

    I am sure onboard staff will appreciate the various designs in the tickets. :roll:

    What has happened to consistency?
     
  10. maniacmartin

    maniacmartin Established Member Senior Fares Advisor

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    This makes it much more difficult to use a different non-reservable connecting train on an AP
     
  11. ainsworth74

    ainsworth74 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    But the design is radically different to the walk-up ticket it would be nice to see an example of that.
     
  12. 91103eastcoast

    91103eastcoast Member

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    This is something I'm intrigued by too. I wonder if times will be shown, even if the service is not reservable.
     
  13. swt_passenger

    swt_passenger Veteran Member

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    Surely the second example is of a walk up ticket? You just need to visualise it without the purple stuff explaining what the different sections mean...
     
  14. DeeGee

    DeeGee Member

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    I'd be interested to see how that would be represented on the new ticket.

    That and a counted places reservation.
     
  15. ainsworth74

    ainsworth74 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I think I've failed miserably to explain what I was after. I am curious to see a walk up ticket with a railcard discount which, as far as I can tell, has not been shown yet.
     
  16. bb21

    bb21 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    ... and what is the point of the circle/rhombus?

    Surely it would make more sense to just spell it out at the top where these shapes are: 16-25 Railcard, Senior Railcard, Under-16, etc.

    And with all administrative information congregated along the bottom in the tiniest font, they better make sure that all print-heads are in proper working order.

    And with no mention of ticket numbers, how is someone with additional reservation coupons going to know which ticket it belongs to?

    I can go on and on.
     
  17. PermitToTravel

    PermitToTravel Established Member

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    The circle and rhombus are to make gripping easier, as there is a set of simple indicators at the top instructing the guard/RPI to take a closer look at the details. I wonder if there's another sign for "start date in the future"
     
  18. transmanche

    transmanche Established Member

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    I'm guessing it's just a fast way to indicate (to a ticket examiner) that a discount applies - the theory being that eyes/brain can process a black circle faster than the word 'Child'. And similarly, a black diamond would prompt them to look for/ask for the passenger's railcard.

    It may one of those things that seems counter-intuitive, bit actually works better in the real world?
     
  19. bb21

    bb21 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I am not convinced that a shape is faster to process than one short word displayed prominently.
     
  20. hairyhandedfool

    hairyhandedfool Established Member

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    Comparing how prominently child/railcard discounts are currently (bigger font, child in reverse print) and how they are not on those new designs, I'd wager the blob of black is to help guards see, at a glance, that there is a discount applied, more than actually identify it, the shape might help over time of course, as they get to know that circle is 'under 16' and rhombus is Railcard.

    I personally think half of the 'office use' stuff will be illegible on most tickets.
     
  21. Haywain

    Haywain Established Member

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    We already have a good bit of information in that space on some tickets, such as reference number, customer name, selling office, NRS reference, date and time of issue. In my experience they are usually legible.
     
  22. button_boxer

    button_boxer Established Member

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    Yes, but the new design appears to have the font in that section at least 30% smaller than I've seen it on any current design tickets.
     
  23. TEW

    TEW Established Member

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    Some TVMs (S&B ones I believe) print tickets which are harder enough to read as it is. Surely they can't print font that small legibly?
     
  24. bb21

    bb21 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    That's exactly my point. The prominent wording for discount status could simply be moved to the place where the shapes are (with minor alterations from the current format). Codified means can help with complex text, but it is not going to be faster to process than a short word (which for many people are processed as a shape anyway).

    Why are all the details hidden in a mass of text? It just makes it more difficult for everyone. At the moment guards can inspect Railcards and discounted tickets with a short glance if presented at the same time. Why complicate that? A glance at a rhombus and a Senior Railcard presented at the same time is hardly going to tell anyone whether the Railcard is the correct one. It will also make it more difficult for passengers to spot a ticket issued with the wrong type of discount.
     
  25. mikeg

    mikeg Member

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    Am I the only one who likes this new design?

    Though I echo the concerns over small font, I like the fact the reservations are now on the main ticket for advances (though what happens when you have say 5 reservations I don't know). I also like the fact that off peak tickets now have a way to get the restrictions, which is much clearer than 'see restrctns'. This has long been a gripe of mine, although some Fastticket machines print the restriction code it's not clear enough to most passengers.

    I also like the presence of more characters in the route. Presumably the 'any permitted' states 'any permitted route' rather than just 'any permitted', which has long been a problem as some passengers seem to get confused and think that any old route is permitted. Why just last month someone came into Thirsk ticket office rather hacked off that they couldn't double back via York on an Edinburgh to Northallerton SVR and their point was it says any route is permitted and they wondered why they had been charged extra on the train!
     
    Last edited: 7 Mar 2014
  26. bb21

    bb21 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    They will be issued on separate coupons. The ticket itself can only contain reservation details for two trains.

    I may be of a minority here but I immensely dislike this new design. I feel that the insistence on having reservation details on the ticket itself causes many unintended problems. We are constrained by the physical size of the ticketing stock, so there should be a realistic expectation as to how much information could be crammed onto one coupon.

    The other thing I absolutely hate is inconsistency, which is demonstrated in this case by having separate designs for different fares. Why? Just why?

    Only time will tell how good this new design is but at the moment, my opinion is that it is a massive step backwards. The current design is not perfect, but there is no need for wholesale changes. A few minor tweaks can improve things massively.
     
  27. maniacmartin

    maniacmartin Established Member Senior Fares Advisor

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    Most non-enthusiasts seem to find the separate reservation coupons annoying and confusing though (or claim to be confused when they're on the wrong train), especially if they booked APs for a return trip for multiple passengers in one booking. This will help remove that confusion, so I am in favour. It's a shame you can only fit 2 legs on the ticket though :(.

    I agree - it is confusing
     
  28. Harpers Tate

    Harpers Tate Member

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    Different designs might tend to obviate repetition blindness in staff.
    And I must say - having only recently criticised the cryptic codes (Y-P, SNR etc) as being meaningless to Joe Public, the very unambiguous "With a X----X Railcard" is very wecome as is the other "plain English" content.
     
  29. transmanche

    transmanche Established Member

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    I believe that Irish Rail have done this for a while, but I haven't seen an example myself. Does anyone know what they look like in practice (as opposed to mock-ups).

    At least having the reservation(s) on the ticket will reduce the chance of coupons getting left in the TVM or coupons getting lost (whether accidentally or "accidentally").
     
  30. bb21

    bb21 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    If there were a uniform approach to ticket design, then it will be far less confusing - so again it comes back to the issue of consistency. The real problem we have at the moment is that a passenger who is unfamiliar with the system never knows where he stands, eg. people who end up with double-digit coupons for one journey, and there really is no need for it. All reservations for a journey should be able to fit on one coupon (possibly separate ones to attach to cycles when required but that is only in a small minority of cases), so the solution is quite simple really. The new system is not resolving the issue of passengers not really knowing where they stand. They might have one coupon with an Advance ticket, but may have more than one. With Advance fares reservations are issued on the ticket itself, with walk-on fares they are not.

    If all walk-on fares with reservations come in two coupons per person, and all Advance fares with reservations come in two coupons (and only two coupons in the overwhelming majority of cases) per person, you massively reduce the problems we are facing at the moment, once the general public becomes familiar with it. The general public can adapt, but only if it is a simple system to understand. The current system is not simple, but neither is this one being proposed.

    You will never be able to resolve the problem of people not reading their tickets. You will never be able to resolve the problem of people not waiting till all tickets are printed before collecting them. And you will never be able to eliminate problems associated with whether different people in the same booking should have their reservations issued together.

    In an ideal world, we will have the ticket details printed on the front, and reservation details printed at the back, or even just bigger ticket stock, so everything fits on one coupon. But we don't live in an ideal world. I am not saying that including reservation details on the ticket itself is a bad thing, but in the grand scheme of things at the moment, I feel that the over-emphasis on trying to get everything on one coupon comes to the detriment of a lot of other things, especially with this proposed design.
     

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