Working in partnership with London TravelWatch

Transport User Voice – February 2017 – Smart ticketing on buses: what do passengers want?

30 January 2017

Smart ticketing is once again a hot topic in the transport world.

We have already seen how smart ticketing can make public transport more convenient. It can offer greater flexibility and a better choice of products for passengers. But what do bus passengers really want?

We have produced new research into what passengers think about smart ticketing in Brighton. This is part of our smarter travel series of work, aimed at making sure that passengers are at the heart of the development of new technology.

The Key smartcard has been available on Go-Ahead’s buses in Brighton for several years now, but other smaller operators did not until recently have smart capabilities. We reviewed a pilot of smart ticketing on two smaller bus companies, talking to both passengers and drivers.

What were the findings in Brighton?

While it might sound simple, the advantage of being able to choose whichever bus arrives first, regardless of operator, is the stand-out benefit for the passengers.

Bus users we spoke to in our research now feel they have more choice, flexibility, freedom and better value for money as a result of the smartcard.

Drivers and operators involved in the project are also seeing the advantages of moving to smart. Benefits include less cash handling and better information on passenger numbers across their smart-enabled routes.

What might be the biggest change? Most passengers expect they will use these operators more as a result of the change. Could smart technology get more people using buses?

Click here to read the report.

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