Out with credit-card sized stock and in with mobile ticketing - is it too early?

birchesgreen

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Thank you. So more space and weight (12ozs) to carry and I note it takes 10 hours min to recharge. (It ain't going to be left plugged in overnight in this household) So I'd probably end up with both the phone and the battery pack flat knowing me. An orange and white piece of card seems more convenient. :D
I carry one in my "rail bag", to be honest mine isn't that heavy. The charge lasts for months as well.
 
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Wallsendmag

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I have bought tickets from ticket offices before that were printed in CCST style that included an Aztec code but the code wouldn’t work on the barriers, I had to insert the ticket, why is that?

If we could get bar code scanners added to all barriers and Aztec codes added to all tickets whether they are retailers online or offline, it would be a lot more standardised.
That'll be our type 11 barcode which carried very little info( normal Smart barcodes are currently type 6) and was intended to only be scanned by Avantix onboard. We are phasing these out, our Travel Centre TIS doesn't use them and our TVMs will not print them come the Autumn.
 

Llanigraham

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E tickets do not require a smart phone. They can be printed at home, sent to a smart card, or potentially printed at ticket machines, paypoints in shops, and sent by text, depending on exactly what system is implemented.
So if I am away on holiday and therefore don't have a printer, or a smart card, or my phone, how do I manage?
And yes I have been away (in the caravan) and not had my phone!
 

Re 4/4

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E-ticket merely means that the fundamental security of the system (i.e. preventing multiple use of a ticket) isn't through physical means (stopping people from having more than one physical copy of a ticket, like with traditional paper tickets), but instead through electronic means (through the barcode and database system).
That actually makes sense, thanks!

I'm not sure how e-tickets are implemented, but I'd imagine they include a digital signature so you could check if one is valid or made up just by loading the certificate to verify them into all the guards' and others' phones or whatever they use to check them - even if there's no database connection at the time (for example you're in an area without signal).

Of course I don't have a problem with that kind of e-ticket as long as I can still turn up at a station and get one from a machine or a staff member.
 

alistairlees

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That actually makes sense, thanks!

I'm not sure how e-tickets are implemented, but I'd imagine they include a digital signature so you could check if one is valid or made up just by loading the certificate to verify them into all the guards' and others' phones or whatever they use to check them - even if there's no database connection at the time (for example you're in an area without signal).

Of course I don't have a problem with that kind of e-ticket as long as I can still turn up at a station and get one from a machine or a staff member.
As @Wallsendmag has pointed out, that is not what an eTicket is. If I get the opportunity later I will write a summary. If it’s sufficiently good enough then the mods may wish to make it a sticky reference post to help others.
 

Mainline421

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E-ticket merely means that the fundamental security of the system (i.e. preventing multiple use of a ticket) isn't through physical means (stopping people from having more than one physical copy of a ticket, like with traditional paper tickets), but instead through electronic means (through the barcode and database system).
The mag strip contains digital information including a unique identifier to prevent reuse and some sort of record of barriers passed through, so by that definition CCSTs are e-tickets.
 

ForTheLoveOf

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The mag strip contains digital information including a unique identifier to prevent reuse and some sort of record of barriers passed through, so by that definition CCSTs are e-tickets.
However true E-Tickets can be reproduced and reprinted an unlimited number of times. The unique database identified ensures that the same ticket can't be used by multiple people.
 

Belperpete

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The mag strip contains digital information including a unique identifier to prevent reuse and some sort of record of barriers passed through, so by that definition CCSTs are e-tickets.
Do CCSTs save a record of all the barriers passed through? In which case, goodness knows how many such records must be saved with some of my tickets, as I wander around New Street trying to find an open toilet.
 

ForTheLoveOf

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Do CCSTs save a record of all the barriers passed through? In which case, goodness knows how many such records must be saved with some of my tickets, as I wander around New Street trying to find an open toilet.
They record the last barrier passed through. Making them a lot less useful than E-Tickets in identifying fraud and misuse.
 

MikeWh

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I think it's more the "refuseniks" who are an echo chamber.
My whole argument is about the retention of walk-up tickets at the station, not necessarily for me but for those who can't buy any other way. Calling them 'refuseniks' is just a blatant insult, - maybe you haven't dealt with any of those 'inconvenient' people.
I'm tended to agree here. My mum has a basic smartphone which she sometimes uses to send texts. The quality/readability of the messages has deteriorated as her fine control of her fingers is worsenning. There is no way she'd be able to use it to purchase tickets, and I'd be afraid she'd end up being reported for prosecution if she was unable to call up the ticket on the journey.
 

Sleepy

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Way too soon - London Underground still can't accept e - tickets for cross London journeys and unlikely to change soon. Many older people will be reluctant to change from paper on demand tickets too.
 

Mainline421

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Who told you that?
Actually good point they might not be unique. I guess I've always assumed the ticket number was encoded and that's how un-readable railcards were re-printed and why barriers don't open if you leave and re-enter a station in quick succession, but that's probably just based on the last used on the ticket and what was on the photocard.
 

ForTheLoveOf

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Actually good point they might not be unique. I guess I've always assumed the ticket number was encoded and that's how un-readable railcards were re-printed and why barriers don't open if you leave and re-enter a station in quick succession, but that's probably just based on the last used on the ticket and what was on the photocard.
In terms of preventing passback, that is based on the timestamp encoded on the magstripe of when the ticket last passed through a barrier.
 

Belperpete

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Way too soon - London Underground still can't accept e - tickets for cross London journeys and unlikely to change soon. Many older people will be reluctant to change from paper on demand tickets too.
What are the prospects of LU and LO ever introducing e-ticket readers? TOCs were made to accept e-tickets through the franchising process, but this does not apply to LT services. It is unreasonable to expect LU to pay for them, as the problem is not of their making, and why should Londoners pay for something needed mainly by visitors to the city. It really needs the government to put its hands in its pockets, but is this ever going to happen?
 

Bletchleyite

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What are the prospects of LU and LO ever introducing e-ticket readers? TOCs were made to accept e-tickets through the franchising process, but this does not apply to LT services. It is unreasonable to expect LU to pay for them, as the problem is not of their making, and why should Londoners pay for something needed mainly by visitors to the city. It really needs the government to put its hands in its pockets, but is this ever going to happen?
It might be as easy for them just to drop the through ticketing and have people use contactless etc as needed. A "route London" ticket would then still exist but would only cover the rail parts as it does in other cities with split stations.
 

Belperpete

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It might be as easy for them just to drop the through ticketing and have people use contactless etc as needed. A "route London" ticket would then still exist but would only cover the rail parts as it does in other cities with split stations.
It might be easy to implement, but for some people (such as yours truly) it would involve a significant fare increase. And it would be a decidedly retrograde step from the current situation, where the inexperienced traveller can simply buy one ticket for their whole journey without having to worry about buying another ticket once they get to London. But unfortunately that is the way we seem to be going, with people increasingly carrying a fistful of tickets just for one journey.
 

mattdickinson

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It might be as easy for them just to drop the through ticketing and have people use contactless etc as needed. A "route London" ticket would then still exist but would only cover the rail parts as it does in other cities with split stations.
I think that if acceptance of eTickets on TfL is to happen, the TOCs will have to finance the fitting of scanners to at least some gates at tube stations with National Rail intedchanges.
 

35B

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No, they're technology refuseniks. The number of "silver surfers" proves as much, and mobile phones are much easier to use and more intuitive than Windows PCs, in particular Apple ones.

If their preference for old-fashioned methods of conducting business cost money, as maintaining TVMs and staffing ticket offices does, it's quite reasonable that they should contribute to the additional cost of the provision of those methods. And if the Government decides that the railway should do some job creation, there are far more useful roles than hiding someone behind a piece of glass churning out bits of paper.
My father has demonstrated his inability to use mobile devices over some time, phones and tablets. His is not a question of being a refusenik, but of a simple technological blind spot for what those devices require. He is also degree educated and without any mental or physical disability.

His inability to use devices is not in “protected characteristic“ territory, but is something that needs to be acknowledged by providers. Patronising him and those like him is arrogant nonsense.
 

35B

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The snappy retort to that is, for the same reason we don't charge customers in wheelchairs extra for taking up more space, and for the cost of the portable ramps at stations.

The more polite way of putting it is that my late grandmother had to move from her own flat to a care home partly because some of the services she needed were becoming less and less accessible as they went "digital". Age isn't a disability, but it is a protected characteristic under the Equality act - yes I know the legal protection that provides is quite limited, but from a moral perspective, discriminating against people who didn't have smartphones when they were young and would find it a challenge to learn now seems wrong. It was not a question of whether she was happy to go digital, she wasn't able to.


Another example why I personally am not going to use m-tickets or anything phone related for tickets any time soon: did you know that if your employer uses Microsoft Exchange as their e-mail service, and you install their app to read your work e-mail, then you're giving them the ability to lock and wipe your phone remotely? Meant for if you report it lost or stolen, of course. That's just one of dozens of things that could go wrong, but would ultimately leave me liable if I'm not able to present a valid ticket to an authorised official on demand.

Over here in Bristol, First bus introduced m-tickets supposedly to make boarding faster compared to fiddling with cash. You can still buy a paper ticket with cash, but it costs 50p more for a single or £1 more for a day ticket. They didn't make tickets cheaper when they introduced this, even though it makes boarding more efficient and saves on paper - the m-ticket is the same price as before, paper is now 50p extra (even though it's till roll with a QR code, not magstripe). Presumably the m-ticket also gets them lots of resellable customer data. The thing is, you can also buy with your contactless card, which solves the cash problem - but that still gets you the higher tariff, you have to use the stupid m-ticket system or a smartcard that can only be loaded at the central bus station if you don't want to pay extra. So I don't trust the industry that a move to e-tickets won't be used to increase prices and gather all kinds of extra data without most people noticing.
My employer uses Exchange for email, and they do not have the right to wipe my phone. The app and data is containerised, and they are restricted to being able to delete that data.
 

philthetube

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My father has demonstrated his inability to use mobile devices over some time, phones and tablets. His is not a question of being a refusenik, but of a simple technological blind spot for what those devices require. He is also degree educated and without any mental or physical disability.

His inability to use devices is not in “protected characteristic“ territory, but is something that needs to be acknowledged by providers. Patronising him and those like him is arrogant nonsense.
He should meet my mother, the description fits her perfectly.

I am sure there are loads like them.
 

WelshBluebird

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Another example why I personally am not going to use m-tickets or anything phone related for tickets any time soon: did you know that if your employer uses Microsoft Exchange as their e-mail service, and you install their app to read your work e-mail, then you're giving them the ability to lock and wipe your phone remotely? Meant for if you report it lost or stolen, of course. That's just one of dozens of things that could go wrong, but would ultimately leave me liable if I'm not able to present a valid ticket to an authorised official on demand.
  1. If your work expects you to read work emails on the go / outside of work ours then they should provide you with a work device to do so. There should be no need to install a work app on your personal phone.
  2. It doesn't give them those rights in all cases, just if it is set up in that way and for certain devices I believe. I think Samsung have it done right where you can set up a separate secure area of your phone where you can install work apps if you do want to and they are then limited to the confines of that secure area and cannot touch your personal stuff that sits outside it.

Over here in Bristol, First bus introduced m-tickets supposedly to make boarding faster compared to fiddling with cash. You can still buy a paper ticket with cash, but it costs 50p more for a single or £1 more for a day ticket. They didn't make tickets cheaper when they introduced this, even though it makes boarding more efficient and saves on paper - the m-ticket is the same price as before, paper is now 50p extra (even though it's till roll with a QR code, not magstripe). Presumably the m-ticket also gets them lots of resellable customer data. The thing is, you can also buy with your contactless card, which solves the cash problem - but that still gets you the higher tariff, you have to use the stupid m-ticket system or a smartcard that can only be loaded at the central bus station if you don't want to pay extra. So I don't trust the industry that a move to e-tickets won't be used to increase prices and gather all kinds of extra data without most people noticing.
I've not had any issues at all with the m-tickets since they changed app from the old m-tickets app to the new First Bus app (granted the older app was an issue as it crashed a fair bit and was slow, but the new app works great in my experience).
Indeed until I moved just before COVID I had signed up for a monthly direct debit ticket for the Bristol + Bath zone that was significantly cheaper than the paper ticket alternative and much more convenient when it came to renewals etc.

In terms of the actual prices of tickets - I think you probably would have found ticket prices would have gone up even if m-tickets weren't introduced, so at least now there is an option to get a cheaper ticket whereas without m-tickets there wouldn't be that option.

Regarding personal data, it is a good question and one I've not really thought of before.
You don't need to give them much personal data though (name, email, phone) and the required permissions of the app are minimal (you don't even had to give it location access).
But it still a good point and I may well end up doing some reading / asking questions to First about it myself!

Btw if you don't like m-tickets then you can get the travelwest travelcard and load tickets onto that, but I am not sure about pricing for that![/QUOTE]
 

DavidB

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Yes, I work in IT, and I do indeed do that kind of stuff (though primarily for IT Service Management purposes rather than checking tickets). So yes, I do understand the effects of it in the private sector, primarily.

You know my view on the Unions rejecting new technology, and I won't repost it here.

That a member of staff could accidentally invalidate a ticket entirely without following a process that was very obviously for that purpose is nothing short of appalling UI design, I'll add. You should never be able to accidentally press the nuclear button, as it were, on any IT system. It should always be obvious that that sort of action is being taken.
I agree. This is actually one area where it would be sensible for all the TOCs to work together and develop a single app, which could then be customised with their branding and possibly also add-on modules (e.g. around catering, etc). There really is no logic in reinventing the wheel. Of course this does happen already to an extent - there are several apps which are used by multiple TOCs with their branding, but all of them which I've used have their drawbacks.
 

Wallsendmag

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I agree. This is actually one area where it would be sensible for all the TOCs to work together and develop a single app, which could then be customised with their branding and possibly also add-on modules (e.g. around catering, etc). There really is no logic in reinventing the wheel. Of course this does happen already to an extent - there are several apps which are used by multiple TOCs with their branding, but all of them which I've used have their drawbacks.
The only problem is that TOCs are very different, one size doesn't fit all. Southeastern and LNER are like chalk and cheese.
 

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