New Ticket Design Launched

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

  1. Indigo2

    Indigo2 Established Member

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    Can anybody post a link to a photo or more information about the Parkeon ticket machines at the locations that northernman listed? I'm not an expert on ticket machines, but I thought up to now that the only rail ticket machine made by Parkeon was the Todler, which doesn't have a great reputation on here!
     
  2. Starmill

    Starmill Established Member

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    Here's the one at (I'm guessing, it doesn't say!) Glossop borrowed from table38 of this forum.

    [​IMG]

    There are also smaller ones, which do not take cash. These are, I think, more prevalent:

    [​IMG]

    This one is at Northwich, photo courtesy of MCRUA

    I believe Edinburgh Trams have also purchased these?

    And here's a picture of the shockingly poor screen which flashes when (if you manage!) to press it as taken by the Chairman of the Mid-Cheshire line rail users association, showing one of the many, many, many places (or ticket types) which are either not listed or will not vend from them:

    [​IMG]

    We have one at my local station - and I almost never use it.
     
    Last edited: 10 Mar 2014
  3. rownd

    rownd Member

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  4. Starmill

    Starmill Established Member

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    It's not the small text that is the problem, it's the reverse text:

    The top ticket is distinctively printed by a Parkeon machine. Note the spool they've come from and the fact that they are not cleanly cut off between them. They are also very curly which can cause barrier issues. The bottom one was a FastTicket machine I can't remember who made them now.
     

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    Last edited: 10 Mar 2014
  5. rownd

    rownd Member

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    Aye, I'll admit that that's a bit hit and miss at times!

    FastTicket was Shere, wasn't it?
     
  6. Hassocks5489

    Hassocks5489 Member

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    Yes. They also did the SMART Terminal ticket office system (used by Southern, Virgin, FCC ex-Thameslink stations and, oddly, Southend Airport station).
     
  7. Indigo2

    Indigo2 Established Member

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    Thanks for the pictures; very interesting. I've seen pictures of that user interface before; if I remember correctly that is the one that allowed anyone to buy West Yorkshire OAP concession rate fares. It strikes me that Parkeon have been adhering very consistently to the raw ATOC fares data, using the exact station names and ticket type names in that data (obvious by them being in all capitals).

    I presume for the new ticket print format there must be an entirely separate source of data, because station names, route restrictions etc. are all shown in lower case. I'm curious as to where Parkeon are getting that from and in what format it's distributed!
     
  8. Hassocks5489

    Hassocks5489 Member

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    The ticket stock used by Parkeon can be a bit troublesome. The same stock (RSP 9399) is used in Scheidt & Bachmann machines. Both can suffer from printing misalignment and imprecise cutting off of the little "lugs" that join them together (as you point out). Unlike the stock (RSP 9599) used in Shere FAST and many other systems, they are on a big long roll, and the curliness can be really pronounced sometimes :|

    Having said that, so far I haven't seen any really bad printing problems on Parkeon tickets that have come into my collection (certainly compared to S&B!), except for the reverse-printed date issue. That does really need to be sorted out.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    So am I; I did wonder whether there has been a huge (manual?) job to transcribe every location name and route name (presumably by using NLC and route code) from its familiar abbreviated form to this new full all-lower-case format. I hope not :o (although it could make for some interesting errors!)

    I was doing some research about the APTIS system in the National Archives recently and came across a file called "Standard Location Coding - General Policy"; it had some stuff about authorised versions of location names, i.e. the authorised full version and all permitted abbreviations. Maybe some similar file still exists and each location name can simply be converted into its "full" format at the proverbial touch of a button.
     
  9. Starmill

    Starmill Established Member

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    Are we still expecting only tickets purchased at these TVMs to be in new style on Weds? I know that's what the original brief said but lots seems to have changed since!
     
  10. hairyhandedfool

    hairyhandedfool Established Member

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    Northern sent out a brief to staff yesterday afternoon, the date mentioned on it was 13th March (Thursday).
     
  11. thedbdiboy

    thedbdiboy Member

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    You presume correctly; the project is part of a far larger set of initiatives designed to overhaul the way fares data is compiled and distributed. The new database has actually existed for some time, but the process of getting individual Ticket Issuing Systems to utilise it is a huge task; Parkeon are the first to be able to do so with their TVMs.

    Eventually all ticket data will be supplied in this way but for now the focus is on the national non-season ticket types. It involves the use of an interface table compiled centrally and supplied as an .xml feed. The tables are configurable within the limits of each field (which are much more generous than those allowed in the legacy fares system), so changes, corrections and updates can be made and distributed in a few days to all devices capable of using the new data.
     
  12. Starmill

    Starmill Established Member

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    So, is today the day or...?
     
  13. transmanche

    transmanche Established Member

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    Well I can confirm that at lunchtime today, the TVM at Prudhoe was issuing Off-Peak Day Returns in the 'old' format.
     
  14. Starmill

    Starmill Established Member

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    Ditto Burley Park, as of now. The truly impress thing though is that every waiting passenger Leeds-bound has bought a ticket from it!
     
  15. crispy1978

    crispy1978 Established Member

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    I've not read the entire thread - but I do like the idea of the ticket and seat reservation being on the same 'ticket'. I've got a ticket for a journey I'm making to Barnsley this weekend, and have 13 tickets for my wife and I to get there and back - seems rather excessive! I remember one journey my wife and I made, and we had 27 tickets! I needed a separate bag just to carry the tickets!!
     
  16. 34D

    34D Established Member

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    Ian,

    I'm sure your people will do this anyway, but please could you send samples of the new Plusbus design to WYPTE for them to go on a circular to the bus operators. Potentially something needs to go out nationally (via Journey Solutions) to all bus companies too.

    Is there any chance of using this opportunity to allow Train & Bus dayrovers to finally be printed on orange stock (and therefore circulating old and new designs at the same time as plusbus above)?
     
  17. Starmill

    Starmill Established Member

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    Still no news?


    I was actually really dissapointed that the TVM at Burley Park gave me the warning which (rightly) appears when you try to buy a more expensive ticket type at a time when a cheaper one is valid when I had asked for an Off Peak Day Return to Denby Dale. It asked if I wanted a concession return! Somebody not paying attention could easily have just accepted this, the message is far from clear, and not realised what had happened until it was too late! I thought this problem had been solved. Screenshot attached.
     

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  18. Solent&Wessex

    Solent&Wessex Established Member

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    Those WYPTE Concession tickets are a real pain on SSTMs there are literally hundreds of people incorrectly using them either by accident or on purpose. I cannot work a train through West Yorkshire without having at least a couple per trip using them incorrectly. They should either be in the Railcard section or they should be asked to purchase CHILD.
     
  19. CockneySparrow

    CockneySparrow Established Member

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    The only thing here is if the industry is pushing for Stagecoach Smart Cards and we have been using the current system for years, why waste time and money on this project

    Suppose its the nuts society we live in
     
  20. Crossover

    Crossover Established Member

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    I posted (can't remember where!) about finding the same issue at Todmorden in November whilst waiting for a train and having a play on these (as I'd been advised) cr*p TVM's in the meantime - stupid idea!
     
  21. northernman

    northernman Member

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    Hi '34D', yes I will do that, thanks.

    @ Crossover:

    In terms of the Concession single and return its a dilemma:

    1. Do we move CNS and CNR to further into the process so its less obvious, however people who buy that fare then complain that the TVM does not offer the best fare for them if it is not easy to find;

    2. Leave CNS/CNR where they are and people will accidentally or deliberately buy it and it causes issues on train;

    I would be interested to hear forum members views. Don't take this the wrong way, but instead of saying its a 'stupid idea', lets hear some constructive comments on how the machine could be programmed better :D

    Thanks

    Ian
     
  22. aleph_0

    aleph_0 Member

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    I think the problem is in the fact the message says that a cheaper ticket available for their journey, a user might reasonably take this as implying that they are allowed to use the cheaper ticket (much in the same way that if the message said SNR RCD OFF-PEAK RETURN is cheaper, a normal user wouldn't decrypt the acronym, concession is ambiguous, too).

    The machine should not suggest the concession return as a cheaper alternative to a selected ticket, and should prompt to confirm agreement with the restrictions if selected. Prompting with a cheaper alternative not applicable to most people is silly.
     
  23. Crossover

    Crossover Established Member

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    No, that's fine - a perfectly valid comment that I'm willing to take up :)

    I think this is the crux of the problem - you're an adult, select the appropriate ticket, then get told the concession single is cheaper - of course, this is true, but that doesn't mean it is the correct ticket.

    I can't remember what other options are available on that ticket screen or if Concession in part of it. I seem to recall the TPE ones at Dewsbury feature the Concession tickets on the screen alongside the adult and child ones (and railcard discounted ones if a railcard has been selected) without further queries coming up after a ticket being selected, which seems to be less likely to cause issues.

    I don't often use Northern TVM's as all my local stations are TPE or have no facilities at all, so the finding at Todmorden could be among the first times I have ever done anything on a Parkeon.
     
  24. Indigo2

    Indigo2 Established Member

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    I think the crux of the problem is that the concession fares are shown in the fares database as normal adult fares, with absolutely nothing (apart from the name) to indicate they are not available to any adult. Presumably there was a reason why they are implemented like this - what is it? Maybe that should be the starting point to the discussion.

    At the very least I think that the detailed restriction text should indicate that who is entitled to purchase these fares and what documentation they need to have on them to validate their entitlement. West Midlands PTE seem to be very good at this sort of thing and some special fares priced by them have very detailed restriction text indeed, e.g. this one.

    Some TVMs show the short 50-character validity descriptions from the fares database on the screen if an "Information" button or similar is pressed - this 50-character text should contain a warning about who can use the fares. Currently it says simply "VALID BY ANY TRAIN AFTER 0929 MON-FRI." - see here. This is not very helpful and could be easily changed.

    A better solution would be for the concession fares to be, as kwvr45 suggested, only accessible as railcard/discounted fares. Is there a certain card that people entitled to these fares have? Could that be added as a railcard? Then it would be selected first, then the fare would appear. The holders of these cards could be provided with information on how to purchase the fares from the machines, and the non-entitled general public would not need to know.

    One problem I can think of there is that some TVMs don't allow for the fact that certain fares only "exist" once a railcard has been selected; they assume that all railcard-discounted fares also have a public version, and expect you to select a public-priced fare first and then add the railcard later to reduce the price. I'm not sure if the Parkeon TVMs work like this but if they do, surely with the work they're doing on the new ticket types, it wouldn't be too much to ask for them to change it so that any railcard is selected as the very first step.
     
  25. Starmill

    Starmill Established Member

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    Manchester does some concessions like that - not ENTCS passes (as I assume these W Yorks concession fares are????) because they confer free travel, but 'MCT' is a scholar's discount which is added just like a railcard for GM fares. The catch? These are not available from TVMs at all. Are Child CDRs or CDS (SDS where not available) all the same price as corresponding CNRs and CNSs? If so perhaps this is an option to be looked at - but Children can purchase Anytime tickets whereas people entitled to Concession tickets can not - or rather they could, but at the full rate! Furthermore I suspect if these are ENTCS (or whatever) holders, some will be offended by the large, reverse text "CHILD" printed on their tickets!

    I've been over this a few times in my head and I do not see an easy way forward I'm afraid Ian. Perhaps modification of the message that pops up (but I bet it cannot be edited to show one thing when the cheapest valid ticket is a Concession and when it's not) doesn't say "there is a cheaper ticket available" and something more like "Are you entitled to a concession ticket?

    However, two more things occur to me. The first is that the warning is indispensable because it stops people from buying Anytime tickets when Off-Peak tickets would be valid, and that is easy to do and the person has not a chance in hell of a refund form any of the staff around here if the make that mistake. The second thing to say is that although I appreciate people want to be able to access their Concession fare easily enough - it is still right there in the list of ticket types for them to choose, isn't it? And is it any more difficult without this inappropriate warning, for a person requiring a Concession fare to get that than, say, a railcard holder? I'm genuinely not sure. What are the complaints from people who need these fares that they are difficult to find on the machine? How sure are you that this isn't simply difficulty using the machines (slow, flashing, unresponsive screen which is also dim, all caps hard to read, strange font etc.)? Manchester (evidently!) get by not allowing loads of ticket types from their TVMs, Parkeon and otherwise. I appreciate you're doing the best with the resources given to you, Ian, but could it not come down to the fact that you have been given too few resources to solve this problem, given the bottom-end nature of the TVMs Northern have purchased? Not trying to poke (hope that doesn't read as if I am though), genuinely interested.

    How is this avoided in Strathclyde? They too use individual ticket types don't they? Personally I think this really clutters up the database (like when TOCs run promotions by creating new ticket types such as "WEB ONLY CDR" or something, and should be avoided where possible!
     
    Last edited: 16 Mar 2014
  26. hassaanhc

    hassaanhc Established Member

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    Both things happened today, well not to me but another passenger who I had to help. They were struggling to find a railcard discount on a SWT machine, this was at Hounslow and they needed a single to Farncombe with YP discount. They asked me if I knew how to do it and I did so I helped them (they were only given a 7-day ticket first, then they were looking in travelcards).

    Then there needs to be more info about various routings. In the earlier case there were 4 different routing options given, with hardly any description about them: SWT Only; Not via London; Any Permitted and something else. I tried "SWT Only" first, pressed the information button next to it but that didn't give any more information, it turned out to be a return only so I tried "Not via London" which did give a single. It was probably one of these options that give the option of a weekly ticket only. I also asked where he was changing and he said Clapham Junction so the "Not via London" ticket was ok as far as I'm aware (not sure if any engineering works caused changes or not though), but someone not in the know wouldn't be sure about which option to choose. This is one of the issues our good old friend Which? has with ticket machines :P
     
  27. TEW

    TEW Established Member

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    The SWT machines at Guildford, and I presume across their network, get around that problem in a different way. They won't display the option of an Anytime Day ticket if there is an Off-Peak Day ticket available and free from restriction on the return portion.
     
  28. Jones

    Jones Member

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    I will admit I haven't read the 6 pages, but a question pop's to mind......

    Are we as a nation so dumbed down to the point that people can't read the current ticket?

    if so, we've bigger problems that a rail ticket.
     
  29. transmanche

    transmanche Established Member

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    Not when they contain many abbreviations which are meaningless to the ordinary person; such as "XC ONLY" or "VWC & CONNECTNS"
     
  30. ModernRailways

    ModernRailways Established Member

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    I personally think a lot of the abbreviations are fine. The main thing on a ticket for a passenger should be where they can go to and from, the date/time valid (Advance would have specific time, Off-peak would display times valid, Anytime would have 0445-0444(?)), Class of travel, and finally what route they can take. The problem with putting the route on, is how do you put it? You can't put 'XC ONLY' as that may confuse people, but then putting too much information on either wouldn't fit, or would be too much for a passenger to take in. Maybe it should say something like 'XC ONLY, See staff for info.' It's fitting this info on for the general passenger who won't know.

    Other information such as price, Railcard discounts can be abbreviated as the passenger is unlikely to care.
     

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