Why can't ALL tickets be mobile and/or Print at Home?

nedchester

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Following a debate on social media about Merseyrail not accepting mobile tickets (a gripe of mine in itself) I was wondering why ALL tickets can't be offered in terms of print at home or mobile tickets as an option to the normal card tickets.

I that I mean everything, including season tickets, rovers, rangers as well as the normal off-peak, advance etc type tickets.

The railway seems behind the curve on this especially in Covid times. Bus companies seem happy to accept mobile technology so why not the railways?
 
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Kilopylae

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I know that the reason why Maltese cross tickets and outboundary Travelcards cannot be issued as eTickets is because TfL refuses to replace the London Underground barriers with ones that can scan Aztec barcodes.
 

Wallsendmag

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I know that the reason why Maltese cross tickets and outboundary Travelcards cannot be issued as eTickets is because TfL refuses to replace the London Underground barriers with ones that can scan Aztec barcodes.
This, the other negative voice that’s affects us is ScotRail but they seem to be coming round to modern ticketing slowly.
 

AM9

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If the railway (as a whole) wanted a smoother transtion to e-tickets, it could develop printing the Aztec code on standard CC ticket stock which would enable mag stripe readers to be progressively replaced by optical scanners.
The thread title is misleading as there are very good reasons why 'all tickets' cannot be mobile or print at home. Maybe it should be worded that 'all tickets be available as mobile or pih'.
 

matt_world2004

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TfL do not want mobile tickets used on the network because it increases the gateline interaction time . Indeed this was the original reason contactless was rejected as it impleaded passenger flow
 

Jurg

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In my area WMT are very 'hit and miss' with e-tickets. Some of their fares are available as e-tickets, while others can only be collected from a ticket machine. To make matters worse the system won't let me collect from the machine at my local station for some reason. There seems no rhyme or reason to any of it.
 

miami

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TfL do not want mobile tickets used on the network because it increases the gateline interaction time . Indeed this was the original reason contactless was rejected as it impleaded passenger flow

Surely almost all users of tfl gatelines are on contactless or oyster? Is the overhead of maintaining magstripe readers at every underground station, with associated failure rates, really higher than putting in optical scanners at the few main stations and having gateline staff just waving through on unusual routes (maybe with a portable scanner to check the ticket is valid)?
 

XAM2175

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If the railway (as a whole) wanted a smoother transtion to e-tickets, it could develop printing the Aztec code on standard CC ticket stock which would enable mag stripe readers to be progressively replaced by optical scanners.
This has been bypassed by the introduction of paper-roll tickets (which you may have seen referred to here as "bog roll") - it's even cheaper as it can use ordinary thermal printers like those used by supermarkets.

Surely almost all users of tfl gatelines are on contactless or oyster? Is the overhead of maintaining magstripe readers at every underground station, with associated failure rates, really higher than putting in optical scanners at the few main stations and having gateline staff just waving through on unusual routes (maybe with a portable scanner to check the ticket is valid)?
You're probably correct, and there's no doubt that LU will definitely be wanting to ditch the cost of maintaining mag-stripe equipment - indeed, I don't think there's any transport ticketing organisation anywhere in the world that isn't planning to do away with mag-stripe ticketing if they haven't already. I expect however that LU don't want to spend the money right now, given that they still need to accept mag-stripe tickets and their barriers already support contactless cards. The least-cost option for them, as far as I can see, is to sit tight until the barriers need replacement or until somebody at the ATOC/RDG/RSP end offers to chip in.
 

matt_world2004

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Surely almost all users of tfl gatelines are on contactless or oyster? Is the overhead of maintaining magstripe readers at every underground station, with associated failure rates, really higher than putting in optical scanners at the few main stations and having gateline staff just waving through on unusual routes (maybe with a portable scanner to check the ticket is valid)?
It's not the overhead it's the fact that the processing time for etickets is longer
 

yorkie

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Following a debate on social media about Merseyrail not accepting mobile tickets (a gripe of mine in itself) I was wondering why ALL tickets can't be offered in terms of print at home or mobile tickets as an option to the normal card tickets....
I personally think (almost) all tickets should be proper e-tickets, not the old style m-tickets which are tied to an app, or the even older [email protected] tickets which had to be physically printed onto paper.

Companies that stand in the way of this include:
  • Scotrail
  • Merseyrail
  • TfW
  • TfL

Relevant recent threads include:
 

miami

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I expect however that LU don't want to spend the money right now, given that they still need to accept mag-stripe tickets and their barriers already support contactless cards. The least-cost option for them, as far as I can see, is to sit tight until the barriers need replacement or until somebody at the ATOC/RDG/RSP end offers to chip in.

If the codes were printed on the credit card tickets then they could get rid of magtripes completely.

It's not the overhead it's the fact that the processing time for etickets is longer

Are there any figures for the number of gate activations from
1) Maltese cross paper tickets
2) Non maltese cross paper tickets
3) Contactless tickets
 

island

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Are there any figures for the number of gate activations from
1) Maltese cross paper tickets
2) Non maltese cross paper tickets
3) Contactless tickets
You could probably FOI them from LUL.
 

XAM2175

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From the costs that I’ve seen for TfL Gateline Barcode conversion it won’t be RDG (all three institutions you mentioned are RDG) it’ll have to be DfT.
Cheers, I couldn't remember the one I wanted so I hedged my bet.

If the codes were printed on the credit card tickets then they could get rid of magtripes completely.
No, because the mag-striping is still needed to enable journeys for which barcoded tickets aren't currently accepted. Once e-tickets are accepted for all journeys (or another compromise is found) there'll be no need for cardstock tickets at all.

I accept that temporarily applying barcodes to cardstock tickets would perhaps be useful as part of a phased withdrawal of mag-stripe equipment, but it would require at the very least software upgrades for all the systems that currently issue on cardstock. I also recall reading in an earlier thread that it's not actually possible with current equipment to print an e-ticket style barcode on CCST, but I can't remember the reason that was given.
 

miami

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No, because the mag-striping is still needed to enable journeys for which barcoded tickets aren't currently accepted. Once e-tickets are accepted for all journeys (or another compromise is found) there'll be no need for cardstock tickets at all.

How many of those journeys need to activate London underground barriers?

How do those barriers cope with e-tickets now? For instance if I were to get an e-ticket from Birmingham-London and decided to break my journey at Queens Park, how do I get through the barrier? Or are E-Tickets inferior tickets with fewer rights than normal tickets?

There are often cases that tickets don't work barriers, edge cases can always be managed by the person manning the barriers, it's only when it reaches large numbers that it's a problem.
 

XAM2175

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How many of those journeys need to activate London underground barriers?
I don't know. I do know, however, that you also need to count the number of journeys that include travel on operators such as Merseyrail, Scotrail, and TfW who do not currently accept e-tickets.

How do those barriers cope with e-tickets now? For instance if I were to get an e-ticket from Birmingham-London and decided to break my journey at Queens Park, how do I get through the barrier? Or are E-Tickets inferior tickets with fewer rights than normal tickets?

There are often cases that tickets don't work barriers, edge cases can always be managed by the person manning the barriers, it's only when it reaches large numbers that it's a problem.
The ticket is subject to the same conditions regardless of its format. To reduce the possibility of problems, you won't be offered the choice of receiving an e-ticket for a journey that involves travel with a non-accepting operator. If you choose to travel in a way that is permitted by your ticket but that takes you through a non-accepting operator's station it will be an edge case to be managed by the barrier attendant.
 

nedchester

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I personally think (almost) all tickets should be proper e-tickets, not the old style m-tickets which are tied to an app, or the even older [email protected] tickets which had to be physically printed onto paper.

Companies that stand in the way of this include:
  • Scotrail
  • Merseyrail
  • TfW
  • TfL

Relevant recent threads include:
I 'think' TfL and Scotrail are moving in the right direction but TfL and Merseyrail seem stuck in the past.

I'm think that currently there is a place for traditional paper tickets but listening to my own children they want to be able to use modern methods of ticketing. Living with an unmanned Merseyrail station as my local departure point both them and myself find it frustrating not be to able to use mobile ticketing nor even the facility to pick up advance tickets.

I just think also there is not real reason why other tickets such as rovers and rangers can't be offered in mobile form.
 

Snow1964

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How many of those journeys need to activate London underground barriers?

How do those barriers cope with e-tickets now? For instance if I were to get an e-ticket from Birmingham-London and decided to break my journey at Queens Park, how do I get through the barrier? Or are E-Tickets inferior tickets with fewer rights than normal tickets?

There are often cases that tickets don't work barriers, edge cases can always be managed by the person manning the barriers, it's only when it reaches large numbers that it's a problem.

The problem is that when someone needs to seek a person, then they assume (basic psychology) that system isn’t reliable, and for next journey they will automatically aim for person rather than a gate. There is also a risk person behind also assumeS gate reader is faulty and abandons using the gate.

I am sure I have read somewhere (but it might be some other sort of self scan checkout or gate, rather than a rail station one) that every unreadable ticket results in 4-12 extra manual gate uses as it takes time to rebuild trust that next ticket will definitely work in a gate.
 

yorkie

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Or are E-Tickets inferior tickets with fewer rights than normal tickets?
A ticket is an instance of a specific fare being issued to a customer.

The medium on which the ticket held does not in any way reduce any rights afforded by the fare in question.

"what matters is the message, not the medium" (Roger Ford, Modern Railways, c2005)
 

miami

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I'm think that currently there is a place for traditional paper tickets

I tend to prefer a paper ticket whenever I'm doing anything complex with a ticket (like breaking a journey or similar) to reduces the potential conflicts with staff.

Do e-tickets have restriction codes clearly printed on? The upgrade from a small "JL" in the corner than supervisors (let alone gate staff and train guards didn't recognise) to "see nre.co.uk/JL" was at least helpful once with one virgin guard that had no idea different tickets had different restrictions beyond "off peak".

Glad to hear that an e-ticket is valid for alighting at Stonebridge Park (unlike for example m-tickets which imply they are not valid for overnight break of journey)
 

Hadders

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London Underground will need to upgrade more than just the ticket gates at interchange stations as there's the issue of outboundary travelcards to deal with. It would not be acceptable to withdraw then and say buy a return to the London terminal and then use contactless as that would represent a huge increase in fares for many.

I'm sure it could be possible for outboundary travelcards to be issued on smartcards though which could be read by the barriers on London Underground.
 

Wallsendmag

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London Underground will need to upgrade more than just the ticket gates at interchange stations as there's the issue of outboundary travelcards to deal with. It would not be acceptable to withdraw then and say buy a return to the London terminal and then use contactless as that would represent a huge increase in fares for many.

I'm sure it could be possible for outboundary travelcards to be issued on smartcards though which could be read by the barriers on London Underground.
ITSO is fine for outboundary Travelcards and they are already available from LNER Stations
 

JonathanH

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It would not be acceptable to withdraw then and say buy a return to the London terminal and then use contactless as that would represent a huge increase in fares for many.
How is it different from any other 'huge increase' that follows withdrawal or amendment to a product? Isn't fare regulation only applicable to anytime day returns and season fares in the South East.

Extension of PAYG may well see the One-day Travelcard being replaced by a cap in any case. Then the only issue will be from stations outside the PAYG area, whatever that becomes.

I'm not advocating this, just wanting to understand the level of protection that actually applies to the one-day travelcard, particularly with the stated intention for an extension of the PAYG area. PAYG caps have typically been set at a higher price that the outboundary travelcards to date.
 

Hadders

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I beg to differ. ;)
Interesting! So can I take an ITSO card to an LNER ticket office and load a Gold Card discounted one-day travelcard? Can this be done at TVMs or only in person?

How is it different from any other 'huge increase' that follows withdrawal or amendment to a product? Isn't fare regulation only applicable to anytime day returns and season fares in the South East.

Extension of PAYG may well see the One-day Travelcard being replaced by a cap in any case. Then the only issue will be from stations outside the PAYG area, whatever that becomes.

I'm not advocating this, just wanting to understand the level of protection that actually applies to the one-day travelcard, particularly with the stated intention for an extension of the PAYG area. PAYG caps have typically been set at a higher price that the outboundary travelcards to date.
I don't know the level of protection that applies to travelcards, especially the off-peak version. I'm generally in favour of an extension to the PAYG area however there is a real danger of a huge fares increase if it results in the abolition of super off peak fares (currently only peak and off peak fares available on PAYG). Then there's the issue of railcard discounts not being available with contactless.
 

lkpridgeon

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Interesting! So can I take an ITSO card to an LNER ticket office and load a Gold Card discounted one-day travelcard? Can this be done at TVMs or only in person?
You should be able to from a TVM from what I understand (at least with SWR you can as I did so just today with an under 25 Railcard discount applied)
 

infobleep

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I appreciate why organisations like TfL might not want to accept e-tickets at this time but what about companies such as Govia Thameslink Railway, Southeastern and Great Western Railway? Have they still got lots of ticket barriers that need to be upgraded?

I accept they may accept e-tickets ln some flows but it's not all. For example Guildford to Oxford when not travelling via London.
 

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