In the UK, more rail passengers than ever before can go paperless

Posted: 10 April 2019 | | No comments yet

With smart ticket options now available with every train operator in Britain, the rail industry is working to progress its proposed reforms to the fares system.

scan ticketing gates

Train companies have confirmed new technology will be deployed to make smart tickets more widely available across the network.

Following recent upgrades, passengers travelling from all major stations across Britain including Waterloo, Brighton, Gatwick Airport, Edinburgh Waverley and Glasgow Central are now able to go paperless, buying smart tickets quickly and easily online or via their smartphones.

After further installation of readers at stations around the country and software updates, it is expected for nine in 10 tickets to be available as smart tickets.

With smart ticket options now available with every train operator in Britain, the rail industry is working with government to progress its proposed reforms to the fares system which would allow passengers to make the most of the benefits.

The increased availability of smart tickets is already benefitting passengers by:

  • Saving time as they can buy online from anywhere and can skip queues at ticket machines, with 22 per cent of journeys in 2018 made on tickets bought online, up from seven per cent in 2013
  • Allowing them to go paperless, ending the days of lost tickets with passes stored securely on a phone or a card, which is also forest friendly with the equivalent of almost 1,200km or the distance from London to Edinburgh and back in traditional orange paper tickets saved in the first two months of this year alone
  • Connecting information about their journey to a personal account, enabling ‘one click compensation’ as already available on some operators, so it’s simple and easy for customers to claim compensation as train companies and Network Rail work together to improve punctuality.

To offer smart ticketing at almost all National Rail stations across Great Britain included upgrading and installing gates and ticket readers at 890 stations to recognise smart tickets and speed up queues for buying tickets.

Robert Nisbet, Regional Director at the Rail Delivery Group, said: “Together, rail companies are going full steam ahead with smart ticketing, with passengers increasingly able to use their phones or smartcards thanks to station upgrades across the network. Of course, we want to go further, but realising the full benefits of new ticketing technology requires regulatory reform of the wider fares system. That’s why train companies are working with government to update the rules that underpin our rail fares.”

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