Plusbus e-tickets?

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by themeone, 1 Dec 2019.

  1. themeone

    themeone Member

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    Given then most buses now seem to have readers for QR codes / smartcards etc, are there any plans to issue Plusbus tickets as e-tickets?
     
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  3. tom73

    tom73 Member

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    Problem with that is that not all operators in a town or city have compatible readers. For example, Metro in West Yorkshire have a specially priced Weekender ticket valid for all services (Arriva, First, Yorkshire Tiger). If you purchase the ticket on a First bus, it cannot be read on an Arriva bus despite being valid and vice versa. Metro say it is not possible to produce a ticket that can be successfully read by all operators' readers.
    PlusBus is a National Rail ticketing product administered by Journey Solutions Partnership which is a not-for-profit group of Britain’s five leading bus and train operating companies.
    http://www.journeysolutions.com/plusbus
     
  4. Skimpot flyer

    Skimpot flyer Member

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    Paper versions of PlusBus tickets are best, I think.
    Welwyn Garden City is served by Arriva, Uno and CentreBus, and whilst the first two accept Contactless (and their own m-tickets), CentreBus only accept a thing called cash. I’ve no idea what that is :)
     
    Last edited: 1 Dec 2019
  5. Starmill

    Starmill Events Co-ordinator

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    Ticketer bus ticket machines don't read Aztec codes which some plusbus tickets that are currently issued have on them. They also don't seem to be able to produce tickets with Aztec codes. I would be surprised of they could be made to.

    The railway industry would therefore have to issue Plusbus tickets with QR codes, if they can do that.
     
  6. setdown

    setdown Member

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    To the bus companies though, what difference does it make to accept a plusbus issued on orange train ticket stock, compared to an e ticket on paper or phone? It’s not like they’re currently being validated by machine on-bus, it’s down to the bus driver to deem the ticket acceptable.
     
  7. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    It would be rather easy to falsify the e-ticket if it wasn't possible to read the barcode to verify it.
     
  8. Wallsendmag

    Wallsendmag Established Member

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    Exactly
     
  9. setdown

    setdown Member

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    Not that I'm advocating it of course, but as it stands now, it would be pretty simple to forge a plus bus issued on orange rail stock, at least to the extent needed to fool the untrained (compared to rail revenue staff) eye of a bus driver. So, there wouldn't be much more of a risk in e-tickets.
     
  10. Wallsendmag

    Wallsendmag Established Member

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    Where just hitting print twice makes it an awful lot easier ???
     
  11. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Quite. Buy one, get as many as you like free!
     
  12. Starmill

    Starmill Events Co-ordinator

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    I was astounded that the Ride Cornwall I bought on a Go Ahead bus in summer in 2018 scanned correctly on a First ticket machine. Both companies were using the Ticketer machine. Of course, the code was not compatible with the scanners on railway ticket gates, so it was inspected visually. There are quite a few cases nationally where bus ticket machines sell tickets valid on trains.
     
  13. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Isn't Ticketer a cloud/SaaS (Software as a Service) company, so all the tickets probably go into one online database for all companies?
     
  14. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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    [off topic]Do CentreBus still have interpreters on their buses? I kid you not, I boarded a bus once and asked a question and another member of staff sitting behind the driver answered me because the driver spoke no English at all. The bus was also about a million years old and in need of maintenance, so I avoid them these days.[/off topic]

    I am disappointed that Herts County Council hasn't forced all operators to have modern ticketing equipment and the ability to process contactless payment cards. Then you could set up a barcode/QR code that is accepted by all operators, and even allow plusbus to be stored on a phone and users just tap the phone to travel. [Edit, seems I missed a post suggesting this is already happening with Ticketer machines].

    Allowing people to buy online then enables someone to buy a train ticket with plusbus and use the bus to start their journey, before getting to the train station where they currently need to be to get the plusbus….
     
    Last edited: 1 Dec 2019
  15. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    I think that would require the Government to give up on the dinosaur that is ITSO and embrace the barcode...
     
  16. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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    Surely both can coexist? I'd rather touch a card reader than have to display a code and line it up with a scanner/camera. But both have their use cases.
     
  17. transmanche

    transmanche Established Member

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    I'm not sure why you feel ITSO is a dinosaur.

    West Midlands Metro can now issue 'ITSO on mobile' tickets. Much like some retailers let you download an e-ticket into Google Pay, 'ITSO on mobile' works with Google Pay, so you just tap your phone on the card reader (as you might do for a contactless purchase) with the phone emulating an ITSO card. IMHO, that's much less faffing around than opening an app and trying to get a barcode to scan.

    See this press release from November 2018:
     
  18. TUC

    TUC Established Member

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    Yet again, the public transport industry for some reason finds it impossible to all use use a mutual,y compatible system like QR codes that are widely used in many other places.
     
  19. TUC

    TUC Established Member

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    Why? It means you have to go the inconvenience of going to a station to print them rather than using th straight from home.
     
  20. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Because storing stuff locally that has to be maintained is so 2005. A reference to a record in a database - a true e-ticket - is the way to go. We're very close to 100% mobile coverage for verification.

    That doesn't mean I oppose using "dumb cards" (simple RFID that just tells the reader a reference number), barcodes, NFC, whatever. The strength of true e-ticketing is that you can use ANY reference to it and it still works. If done properly, if you lose one you can simply use another.
     
  21. themeone

    themeone Member

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    Yes that's exactly why I was asking. I nearly always use the Plusbus to get to the station where I'm starting my rail journey, so having it all on paper tickets means I have to remember to visit the station to collect the tickets beforehand, which isn't very convenient.

    I've also noticed that as soon as you add Plusbus, your whole booking becomes paper ticket only.
     
    Last edited: 3 Dec 2019
  22. Haywain

    Haywain Established Member

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    Because the booking will always default to a method of fufilment that is available for all the tickets being purchased.
     
  23. transmanche

    transmanche Established Member

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    I don't the passenger really cares about the technical stuff. What they care about is usability.

    Over the years; I've tried paper tickets, print at home, m-tickets, e-tickets, Oyster, contactless, contactless mobile with Google Pay, Pop, Pop PAYG, Glasgow Subway paper ITSO and a few others. For anything other than PAYG, I found the simplest method to use was the e-ticket delivered via Google Pay. (The only slightly annoying part is if you have both e-ticket and railcard on your phone.)

    'ITSO on mobile' will even make that simpler, as you would only need to show the phone if you need to validate a railcard - and then simply touch the phone on the reader to validate the tickets. No need to launch an app or even unlock the phone. Much easier.
     

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