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Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by thenorthern, 2 Oct 2017.
The railway has already stated its intention to explore single leg pricing so don’t write it off.
How would moving to mobile phones as the main ticketing mechanism work for visually impaired passengers who use screen readers that do not work effectively with many apps?
Then you build the app to work with screen readers?
For what it’s worth I just tried VoiceOver on the Virgin e-ticket I bought in January. In Apple Wallet it works perfectly well and is accessible by default.
Of course, a big concern is that mobile ticketing will be done on the cheap, will be unreliable, will have poor accessibility etc. It does not have to be like this.
Also - struggle to see how this is worse for visually impaired people than multiple indistinguishable printed coupons, TVMs with no induction loop support etc.
The concern is more in terms of people (like my wife) who find screen readers that read direct from apps and websites difficult to use and so use screenscrpaer programs such as Synapptic. Programs such as these take the text from a site and place it in more accessible form within the screen reader. However they can only work with apps that have been designed to be compatible. Moreover, the very fact that they lift the text mean that any ticket wpuld likely to be presented as lines of text rather than the format that staff would be expecting. It is possible to store image files such as pdfs. However, that would require the pasenger to move from whatever they were using their phone for at that point and open another part of the operating system, which can take several minutes.
I would hope that any new ticketing system will be sufficiently open that someone could come and build their own app, rather than having to try and work with an existing one in a haphazard way.
Everything from reading out clearly, to offering extra large text, to even managing tickets in such a way that it will be easier to find/read/present them.
Ha! You're optimistic!!
Perhaps, but when it comes to buying tickets on the web to collect, there are plenty of choices.
So all we're asking for is the next step, to replace the need to post out a ticket, or collect from a TVM. Doesn't sound like much does it?
I quite agree! I just don't having anything like the faith required to believe that it will pan out that way!
I've just been travelling around Berlin and got trains to and from the Polish border. Other than at the airport, I saw hardly anyone buying tickets and there is no shortage of machines. People in the Reisezentrums seem to be just asking for information.
Well the new systems GTR appear to be introducing (Android based) can hook up to ordinary ticket printers, and various scanners. I am not sure if the device itself may have NFC to read cards.
So, in theory, the equipment should be ready for new features if there's a will.
I believe ticket offices will soon get contactless payment card acceptance and readers for The Key, hopefully in preparation for offering point-to-point tickets (not just seasons) and KeyGo.
The cogs are turning, slowly!
The major barrier to "true" paperless as I see it, it not technology, or public feeling. In our modern, privatised railway, the biggest hurdle will be agreeing to a universal standard product. We've seen even with ITSO, there is considerable difference between products.
Perhaps ATOC could propose a "National Railcard" smartcard, perhaps with incentives for adoption, ranging from multi-use discounts (5 in 7, weekend reduction for Mon to Fri use) to promotional fixed fares and even, as with the old SWT Day's Out scheme, free entry for attractions and events.
This card could be available for a deposit from any manned station, negating the need for advance purchase and allowing ad-hoc use. NFC tech would mean contactless barriers and easier checks on trains.
Using this alongside traditional, non incentivised paper fares for a period, allowing people to get used to a universal railcard (which the current railcards could be purchased as addons to registered cards) could be done in one franchise area as a trial, with support from government (subsidy, etc.) and allow any kinks to be ironed out before a national roll out.
AFAIK most modern TVMs already have a contactless reader, and software can be added to allow cards to be read, automatically applying railcard discounts and possibly even reducing fraud on those sales.
ITSO's fine for short journeys with simple restrictions but how do you display your reservations and restrictions for longer journeys? There isn't a one size fits all solutions.
I don't think anyone seriously thinks ITSO is suitable for long distance walk on fares with reservations. Most of our neighbouring countries now use mobile app/print at home rather than smartcards for such journeys with traditional tickets from machines or from the guard still available. Although Thalys have had "The Card" which doubles up as a loyalty card, but even they are now advertising their own app.
As far as I am concerned ITSO is dead technology, and a classic example of “skating to where the puck is now, rather than to where it’s going to be when you’re done.”
A friend regularly travels with his partner to Glyndebourne, and has found that when he buys return tickets it offers to dispatch them as Key cards. This is not ideal for single journeys - especially not when batches of tickets get ordered in one go, since it’s impossible to tell what’s on each card without actually going to a TVM.
In the past I’ve described ITSO adoption as TOC’s being brought kicking and screaming into 2006. It’s true, and the TOCs’ hamfisted implementations don’t help.
Mobile and print-at-home is not a panacea, of course, but I see no reason at all why I shouldn’t be able to buy a season ticket on my phone, download it into the passbook feature and use it immediately. No queueing, no rush to get it done before the train leaves. Double bonus: no need to use a photo booth and carry a separate photocard - since there’s a camera already in the phone.
Why are so many TOCs so reluctant to move with the times? Look how many were still clinging onto APTIS until they were pretty much forced to retire it? I read recently that development of the Tribute ticketing software started under British Rail but most operators were happy to stick with APTIS for as long as they could.
Now we've got situations like VTEC launching a new site and app supporting print at home and mTickets rather than the much more versatile eTickets used by VTWC and others.
Did anyone see that short article in the Railway Magazine saying the railways want to get rid of "outdated" paper tickets and have it all on smartphones ? I wondered if it was a wind up...... It then went on to say a system will remain in place to cover those who have a problem with that, or words to that effect.
There is still a sizeable percentage of people who don`t have, or, in fact, don`t want, a smart phone, so I`d love to know how this is all going to work. And anyway, if they`re saying, or implying, they`ll continue to issue paper tickets to those who want / need them, why is this policy any different to that at the moment ?
I sincerely hope that those of us who don`t want a smart phone aren`t discriminated against in some back door manner by this new policy. Railways are a public service, subsidised by the taxpayer, including me......
There are already some discounts and ticket types that are only available though m-tickets aren't there?
Turn that argument around: The world has moved on and many people are very keen to have everything on their "device". Why should they be held back by dinosaurs ?
Now, while that is facetious it is surely obvious that the railways will have to offer tickets in a variety of styles to support users with different needs. However the world being what it is the number of paper ticket users is going to fall as younger people, more happy with digital technology, replace the more mature analogue users.
BTW - buying a smart phone wont lead to the end of days and all of the bad stuff in the bible. It will open up a whole new world of avenues of complaint
Being a Dinosaur, not only do I not have a smart phone, but I`m also no longer smart enough to use one
If you can play the guitar you can play a fruit or robot based device ;- )
Hahaha, you`ve not heard me play guitar
People who don't want to use smartcards have been discriminated against by TfL for years, the increasing gap in prices and availability of paper travelcards vs oyster and now the pushing of contactless in preference to both.
No doubt this is part of a push to make price differential and the increasing availability of fares only available through non-paper means acceptable.
Saving money by removing everything ticket related is attractive idea to the short term foolish which I'm sure is an 'attractive' motivator.
It isn't really comparable though is it? A smart card that costs at most a £5 deposit, that cannot run out of battery and can even be set up to auto top up so you can just pretty much use it and forget about it. Versus a smart phone that costs a fair whack, that can quickly run out of battery, that you still have to buy "tickets" for etc etc.
I have many arguements with GTR about the key.
I am a passenger that uses Carnets - I don't want them on paper tickets.
Carnets are the most fraudenly used ticket on the network - because it is easy.
Put the Carnets on the key and I don't have loads of tickets and Fraud is much more difficult as tapping in validates the journey - you can't use it twice.
GTR never give an answer to why this can't be done. But it always amazes me that they could make customers happy and resolve fraud - they are not interested in doing either (although this is GTR and customer focus is not a priority for them)
So I would argue GTR doesn't want rid of paper tickets as they are not using the technology they already have...
Given the very low costs of MIFARE-type cards these days - I am beginning to wonder if using them in place of paper tickets with a 10p or so deposit on them might work out relatively well.
and what about barriers which only accept paper (card) tickets?
Just to clarify, now that I`ve got the RWM to hand. Apparently the "Government`s strategic vision is a thorough overhaul of the 'archaic" ticket system (I agree with that but nothing to do with paper tickets......) suggesting the current paper tickets should be largely consigned to history by the end of 2018" But, "according to the DfT suitable provision will be retained for users for whom smart technology is not suitable".
I have nothing against the introduction of smart ticketing for those who want to use it, provided that those who don`t use it are not discriminated against, either in terms of price or (as with short term seat reservations) access to a seat. I`d have thought that was unarguable, it always was so anyway.
As long as getting an e-ticket isn't regarded as 'the first opportunity to pay' so that passengers who haven't got one before boarding a train at a station with no ticket machine get hit with a penalty fare.
I for one am much happier with a paper ticket in my wallet than hoping that the hardware and software are all doing their bit to demonstrate that I have a valid e-ticket. Plus I don't own a Smartphone!
I've never felt the need to have a smart phone. At least the battery on my my dumb phone lasts 3 days. So I'm afraid it's paper tickets still.