Author Topic: New Ticketing Technology  (Read 2568 times)

Offline passenger933

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New Ticketing Technology
« on: September 08, 2011, 01:22:55 PM »
From FN's website yesterday :-

New bus ticketing technology coming soon!
Wednesday 07 September 2011
New bus ticketing technology coming soon!

FIRST IN NORTHAMPTON ANNOUNCES £199,800 INVESTMENT IN
GROUNDBREAKING BUS TICKET TECHNOLOGY

First in Northampton has revealed it is to invest £199,800 in revolutionary new ticketing technology for its 37 buses in the region.

The investment forms part of FirstGroups £27m commitment to provide new ticketing technology to its 5,000 buses in England.

FirstGroup intends to be the first bus operator outside London to offer customers �touch in touch out contactless payment. The new ticket machines, designed to read contactless debit or credit cards, in addition to ITSO smartcards such as concessionary bus passes, will be introduced to First buses from the autumn and will initially allow customers with an ITSO smartcard to touch in. Contactless bank cards will be accepted from late 2012.

Firsts new ticketing system will act much like Londons Oyster Card; customers will simply �touch in and �touch out using their debit or credit card, taking less than a second, and avoiding the need to carry the correct change. The system will also allow First to offer a range of tickets including capping the daily fare. But unlike Oyster customers wont need to carry an additional card or worry about pre-payment or topping up. Customers using the contactless cards will simply see the cost of the fare deducted from their bank or credit card balance.

With the continuing rapid advancement of mobile phone technology, First has also ensured that its new system has the capability to accept payment via mobile phone.

Todays announcement follows FirstGroups recent new bus order, a £160m investment in nearly 1,000 buses from manufacturers in Ballymena and Falkirk - one of the largest orders the industry has ever seen, which will benefit all its operating companies.

Nigel Barrett, Regional Managing Director of First in the South East and Midlands, said: "Considerable investment in our buses continues. This is a groundbreaking announcement for the bus industry and good news for our customers.

"The public transport industry will increasingly rely on new technology such as contactless bank cards and mobile phones to both retain and attract customers. Its an exciting prospect and Im delighted that First is at the forefront and setting new standards in the bus industry.

"This announcement further demonstrates our commitment to grow the company. Key to our growth strategy is convincing more people that the bus is an easy, convenient and cost effective travel option.

"We strongly believe that simplifying bus travel and introducing a maximum capped daily fare will strongly support our passenger growth plans. In particular, we think it will encourage car users to make the modal shift to bus especially given the continuing high costs of fuel.'

ENDS

For further information, please contact Niall Dowds, FirstGroup PR Manager, on 07860 936671 or email niall.dowds@firstgroup.com

ITSO Smartcards
Integrated Transport Smartcard Organisation (ITSO) is a non-profit sharing membership organisation. It facilitates and supports the development of interoperable smart ticketing schemes. The Department for Transports Concessionary Bus Travel Scheme uses ITSO smart cards, for example.

What a pity that they cannot invest any money in new vehicles, although there is mention that all it's operating companies will benefit from the £160m new vehicle order. I suspect that merely means Northampton will get some cast-offs from other First subsidaries !

Another thought - the new ticket machine will be worth more than the bus in a lot of cases !

Offline jwy

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Re: New Ticketing Technology
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2011, 05:24:41 PM »
A difference between this and London's Oyster Cards is that, in London, it is not necessary to touch out when leaving the bus.  Having to do so risks slowing boarding and alighting and therefore extending journey times.

Offline AN68

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Re: New Ticketing Technology
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2011, 08:15:22 PM »
What a waste of money the new Almex Optima machines. that were introduced in April 2010, turned out be then.

Offline Suzy Scott

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Re: New Ticketing Technology
« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2011, 12:56:38 PM »
What a waste of money the new Almex Optima machines. that were introduced in April 2010, turned out be then.

AFAIK the Almex Optima machines (now standard in FirstGroup) will be used for this task.

FirstGroup Announces £27m Investment in Groundbreaking Bus Ticket Technology
Saturday 3 September 2011

FirstGroup, the UK’s largest bus and rail operator, today revealed it is to invest £27m in revolutionary new ticketing technology for its 5,000 strong bus fleet in England, outside London.

The company intends to be the first bus operator outside London to offer customers ‘touch in touch out’ contactless payment.  The new ticket machines, designed to read contactless debit or credit cards, in addition to ITSO smartcards such as concessionary bus passes, will be introduced to buses from the autumn and will initially allow customers with an ITSO smartcard to touch in.  Contactless bank cards will be accepted across England from late 2012.

First’s new ticketing system will act much like London’s Oyster Card; customers will simply ‘touch in’ and ‘touch out’ using their debit or credit card, taking less than a second, and avoiding the need to carry the correct change.  The system will also allow FirstGroup to offer a range of tickets including capping the daily fare.  But unlike Oyster customers won’t need to carry an additional card or worry about pre-payment or topping up.  Customers using the contactless cards will simply see the cost of the fare deducted from their bank or credit card balance.

With the continuing rapid advancement of mobile phone technology, FirstGroup has also ensured that its new system has the capability to accept payment via mobile phone.

The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport, Norman Baker MP, welcomed the news: “I want to see smart ticketing rolled out across public transport in England as quickly as possible and this announcement from FirstGroup is a positive step towards achieving that.”  The news will be also welcomed by Local Authorities as a key part of their plans to roll out smart ticketing.

Today’s announcement follows FirstGroup’s recent new bus order, a £160m investment in nearly 1,000 buses from manufacturers in Ballymena and Falkirk - one of the largest orders the industry has ever seen.

Giles Fearnley, Managing Director of FirstGroup’s UK Bus division, said: “Considerable investment in our buses continues.  This is a groundbreaking announcement for the bus industry and good news for our customers.

“The public transport industry will increasingly rely on new technology such as contactless bank cards and mobile phones to both retain and attract customers.  It’s an exciting prospect and I’m delighted that FirstGroup is at the forefront and setting new standards in the bus industry.

“This announcement further demonstrates our commitment to grow the company.  Key to our growth strategy is convincing more people that the bus is an easy, convenient and cost effective travel option.

“We strongly believe that simplifying bus travel and introducing a maximum capped daily fare will strongly support our passenger growth plans.  In particular, we think it will encourage car users to make the modal shift to bus especially given the continuing high costs of fuel.”

First will invest £27million in total on its new ticketing system.  The £18m contract to supply ticket machines has been won by Swindon-based Almex, part of Hoeft & Wessel Group.

Peter Aylward, General Manager of Almex, said: “This is a substantial commitment by FirstGroup and Almex is proud to have been confirmed as a strategic partner. Once again FirstGroup has demonstrated its willingness to embrace technological advancement by selecting the new Optima BL with integrated dual-reader (ITSO/EMV); the first of its kind in Europe. Almex has a strong heritage of technical innovation but we have always aimed at applying appropriate technology to deliver real value to FirstGroup’s customers; our new system is no exception to this.

“A project on this scale allows us to strengthen our UK team and further confirms our leading position in the UK market.”

The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport, Norman Baker MP, added: "I welcome First using smart technology to improve the customer experience of bus travel. This announcement means that ITSO tickets, such as the 10m concessionary bus passes in circulation, will be read smartly on First’s buses. It also means that passengers will have more choice in how they pay for travel on First buses. I will be personally taking a keen interest in how this makes bus travel more attractive. I also know that First will co-operate in the development and use of smart multi-operator products, to deliver seamless, better value public transport.”

FirstGroup’s UK Bus division carries approximately 2.5 million customers a day in more than 40 major towns and cities.  The new ticketing technology will be implemented to all of First’s services in England, including Manchester, Bolton, Oldham, Wigan, Stoke, Northampton, Leeds, York, Halifax, Huddersfield, Bradford, Leicester, Portsmouth, Southampton, Plymouth, Bristol, Ipswich, Norwich, Slough and Bracknell.
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Offline Dennis Lloyd

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Re: New Ticketing Technology
« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2011, 11:17:00 AM »
Passenger 933

Agreed !!

In the very unlikely event that Northampton gets any of the new buses now ordered, they would most likely be transferred elsewhere (most likely Leicester again) as were all but two of the last delivery of new vehicles in 2005 said to show "First's commitment to Northampton".

What a laugh that turned out to be whilst we still have a wreck like 38098 in every day service !!!


Offline passenger933

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Re: New Ticketing Technology
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2011, 05:56:03 PM »
What a laugh that turned out to be whilst we still have a wreck like 38098 in every day service !!!



Last weekend was the annual heritage bus event in Northampton (mainly ex-NCT Daimlers for those members who are not local).  Visitors to the town could have seen this bus in service and been forgiven for thinking that it was taking part in this event !!!  ;D