The future of railcards post-Covid

Gathursty

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Will there still be a place for railcards given low ridership since Coronavirus and the lack of revenue (ignoring the Government propping the TOC's up)? Will all railcards continue? Will there be another one made such as the recent 26-30?
 
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Ianno87

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Will there still be a place for railcards given low ridership since Coronavirus and the lack of revenue (ignoring the Government propping the TOC's up)? Will all railcards continue? Will there be another one made such as the recent 26-30?
Railcards will be needed more than ever along with fare promotions to kick start the return of leisure demand.

On some routes at the moment, there's never been a better to snap up bargain Advances only 2 or 3 weeks before travel!
 

yorksrob

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I'm all for the veteran's getting a railcard (should have happenned years ago) but when are ordinary passengers going to get rewarded for using the railway. The ones the industry has taken for granted for years, but who they are going to rely on to get them out of the mire.
 

Fokx

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I’d say there will definitely be a need for railcards, if anything the UK will see more leisure travel wether that be short trips or day trippers due to the pandemic restrictions and people less tempted to travel abroad due to isolating and holidays potentially being cancelled
 

TheSel

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I'm not sure you can say there'll be a need for railcards - but certainly there will be demand.

Now, whether something such as the Railcard scheme(s) is the right approach to encourage traffic is another matter. It could well be argued that the various Railcards presently available disadvantage certain groups - middle aged, single, able-bodied persons without families, for example.

Perhaps a universal railcard, based and priced on the premise that anyone who considers they make sufficient use of the rail network would wish to purchase one in order to save overall, according to their expected pattern of travel over the life of the Railcard, would be a fairer approach?

But then the original question seeks an answer in a post-Covid world. One thing we have learned is that the future is not as predictable as we once thought it was.
 

yorkie

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Got a source?
@Haywain counts as a source for things like this as far as I'm concerned!

There is also a thread here:
 

Gathursty

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@Haywain counts as a source for things like this as far as I'm concerned!

There is also a thread here:
That's a step in the right direction for our veterans.
 

Bensonby

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Can we have a "I don't qualify for a railcard" railcard? :D
That’s actually a really good point,with the need to increase the demand for leisure travel maybe there should be a National “leisure railcard” -along the same lines as the Network Railcard.
 

Haywain

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That’s actually a really good point,with the need to increase the demand for leisure travel maybe there should be a National “leisure railcard” -along the same lines as the Network Railcard.
The real need at the moment is to grow business and commuting travel. There doesn’t seem to be the same level of difficulty with leisure travel.
 

Mcr Warrior

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The real need at the moment is to grow business and commuting travel. There doesn’t seem to be the same level of difficulty with leisure travel.
Has there been any recent analysis (pre and post COVID-19) of railway revenue sources (business/commuting, leisure, other)?
 

XAM2175

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Perhaps a universal railcard, based and priced on the premise that anyone who considers they make sufficient use of the rail network would wish to purchase one in order to save overall, according to their expected pattern of travel over the life of the Railcard, would be a fairer approach?
This is the approach used in Germany and Switzerland, and yes it does seem to be more fair, more rewarding of frequent use, and also easier to administer. DB, for example, offer BahnCards that give 25 or 50% discount on flexible fares (as well as some saver fares), and also the BahnCard 100 which allows unlimited 100% discount on the entire DB network, unlimited free travel on services in the areas of 109 local transport associations, discounts on flexible tickets on international journeys, etc etc, and when being used on 100% discount services it acts as a ticket in and of itself.

Considering that the single-payment price for a BahnCard 100 is €3878 (£3495) for second class or €6560 (£5911) for first it's not at all unattractive compared to many season tickets here, let alone an Annual All-Line Rover with PlusBus :D
 

35B

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The only way to get people back travelling longer term is to lower all fares.

Railcards are for people to travel multiple times, people need to be encouraged back to use the railway again the first time after lockdown.
I'm not sure whether I'll travel is that affected by price - there are plenty of other factors affecting whether I'll choose to travel at all before you get to the mode.
 

LAX54

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That’s actually a really good point,with the need to increase the demand for leisure travel maybe there should be a National “leisure railcard” -along the same lines as the Network Railcard.
Then maybe there can be a Rail Card for Rail Staff too, who also pay full fare ! :)
 

kristiang85

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The amount of rail cards on the market is reflective of the complexities of the ticketing system itself. It is mad when you see all the options.

I would just simplify it and offer something along the lines of:
- A concessionary railcard (so includes seniors, veterans, disabled, 18-25, etc) all under one umbrella, with the same discount of 33%. Most seem to be the same price and discount anyway.
- A regular user railcard, similar to get German system would be great (25% for £200 a year, 50% for £400 a year, with big discounts available to annual season ticket holders). You could also offer a special price on two of these for people who travel together to replace the Two Together (which is a great initiative).
 

Ianno87

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The amount of rail cards on the market is reflective of the complexities of the ticketing system itself. It is mad when you see all the options.

I would just simplify it and offer something along the lines of:
- A concessionary railcard (so includes seniors, veterans, disabled, 18-25, etc) all under one umbrella, with the same discount of 33%. Most seem to be the same price and discount anyway.
- A regular user railcard, similar to get German system would be great (25% for £200 a year, 50% for £400 a year, with big discounts available to annual season ticket holders). You could also offer a special price on two of these for people who travel together to replace the Two Together (which is a great initiative).
I'd add a third category - the "Group" railcard, i.e. merging Family and TwoTogether.
 

MikeWh

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A concessionary railcard (so includes seniors, veterans, disabled, 18-25, etc) all under one umbrella, with the same discount of 33%. Most seem to be the same price and discount anyway.
Price and discount may be the same, but times of use vary significantly. In general terms, disabled get discounts 24/7, 18-25 get them for longer journeys in the morning peak while seniors can't use them in the morning peak.
 

Dr Day

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There is an argument that with a regular user railcard, season tickets as separate products could be abolished. It wouldn't be easy to get the railcard price levels and discount right to ensure a perfect world of revenue neutrality for the TOCs and cost neutrality for passengers, but a fair principle to reward loyalty to 'the railway' with benefits across the network as whole rather than the point to point trip of a season ticket.

Covid will have moved thinking along a bit faster in that general direction, but it was heading that way anyway.
 

BigCj34

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5 Apr 2016
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704
The amount of rail cards on the market is reflective of the complexities of the ticketing system itself. It is mad when you see all the options.

I would just simplify it and offer something along the lines of:
- A concessionary railcard (so includes seniors, veterans, disabled, 18-25, etc) all under one umbrella, with the same discount of 33%. Most seem to be the same price and discount anyway.
- A regular user railcard, similar to get German system would be great (25% for £200 a year, 50% for £400 a year, with big discounts available to annual season ticket holders). You could also offer a special price on two of these for people who travel together to replace the Two Together (which is a great initiative).
What I would be interested to know if how Germany afford the Bahncard 100. How much subsidy does their railway get against GB (pre-Covid)? Also is commuting from towns 60 miles away not as common there?
 

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