ORR continues its investigation of ticket vending machines with new market study
The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) has today launched a market study into the supply of ticket vending machines and automatic ticket gates in a bid to enhance the value of the technology for rail companies and passengers.
In 2016/17 ticket sales through ticket vending machines totalled a value of £2 billion – which equates to 20.2 per cent of total passenger revenue. Automatic ticket gates, however, are mainly fitted to prevent fare evasion, which is estimated by train operating companies to cost the industry more than £200 million per year – a saving worth investing in.
Vending technology progression hindrances
This latest study follows previous ORR work investigating the wider markets for ticketing equipment and systems. During the course of this work, ORR identified concerns that high concentration and a lack of effective competition may be causing higher prices, reductions in quality, and stifling innovation of ticket vending machines and automatic ticket gates.
As a result of these highlighted industry concerns, the market study will focus on the following three key themes:
- Concentration and market shares in the ticket vending machine and automatic ticket gate markets
- Outcomes for customers, both the immediate customers of these products such as Transport for London, train operators, Network Rail, as well as passengers
- Understanding the reasons why the market works as it does.
Commenting on the motivation behind this new study, Juliet Lazarus, ORR Director of Legal and Competition, said: “ORR is committed to protecting the interests of rail users. This study will thoroughly review the market to learn whether or not it is providing the best service for those who rely on it.
“We want to hear from individuals and companies about their experiences and we will not hesitate to take appropriate action should the study show that it is necessary.”