Passengers welcome the simplicity and savings the extension of smart ticketing could bring

08 July 2013

Rail passengers have a clear appetite for smart ticketing, particularly if it means tickets are easier and cheaper to buy. However, they were keen to understand how it would work in practice.

These are the findings of research carried out by the independent watchdog, Passenger Focus. Smart ticketing – what passengers want is the first in series of reports exploring passengers’ needs and attitudes to smart ticketing. Existing and pilot smart ticketing schemes will also be looked at as part of the programme.

Anthony Smith, Passenger Focus chief executive, said:  “Passengers believe that smart tickets would make travelling easier and cheaper. But they will need to be well designed and implemented, learning from the success of London’s Oyster smartcard system.
“It’s crucial that passengers are properly informed and educated prior to the widespread launch of smart ticketing systems.”

Any smart ticketing scheme would be expected to provide:

  • value for money – some kind of cost saving, either via cheaper fares or new cost-effective tickets and products
  • convenience – need to be a convenient option that is easy to use
  • simplicity – especially for those unfamiliar with smart technology/ticketing
  • security – passengers need to be confident that their money and personal data is secure
  • flexibility – want to be able to choose and purchase new products and tickets that offered flexible travel options 
  • tailoring – need to provide passengers with the ability to choose how they manage their account such as online, through an app or by text message
  • leading edge – smart ticketing will be a big leap forward from what is essentially 19th –century way of doing things, so it is important that this is used as an opportunity to lead the way in ticketing technology rather than replicate existing systems.

Click the link below to download the full report:
Smart ticketing – what passengers want

– Ends

Notes to editors

  1. Smart ticketing – what passengers want, was carried out by Passenger Focus on behalf of the Department for Transport (DfT).
  2. Passenger Focus is the official, independent consumer organisation representing the interests of rail users nationally and bus, coach and tram users across England outside London. We want to make a difference for rail, bus, coach and tram passengers.
    We’ll do this by:
    – providing authoritative advice for industry based on sound research
    – securing improvements to services – both big and small-scale improvements
    – helping passengers with advice and information
    – campaigning for change
    – acting on rail passenger complaints.
  3. For further information please contact:
    Dervish Mertcan
    Communications Officer
    Tel: 0300 123 0847 / 07918 626 045
    or e-mail: 
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