We recently met with Bus & Coach Buyer to chat about our upcoming innovations and the future of contactless. You can read the feature below.
Contactless fare collection is well and truly here in our industry, but where do things develop from here as boundaries between technology and ticketing blur?
Chief among Ticketer’s developments in recent months is its work on EMV contactless ticketing. Andreea Reardon, Chief Product and Technology Officer at Ticketer, said: “While EMV ticketing becomes more widespread, there’s still a lot of individual use cases we are looking at dealing with. There is still a lot to be done around pay-as-you-go. There is still more work to do on longer and more complex routes with this, where we need to support different fare structures. We’re working with more customers to roll out Tap On / Tap Off to support pay-as-you-go and more complex fares.”
Ticketer’s Tap Off Readers should provide rich data from contactless transitions for better fleet management, providing additional insight on where people are getting on and off the bus, allowing operators to optimise networks. Ticketer says TORs should lead to 70% quicker boarding times.
Ticketer is also currently looking at the possibilities of addressing the pre-purchase ticketing model, such as with higher fares for monthly or weekly periods, through contactless payment. Andreea said: “We’re still in early stages but we’ve seen some positive interest from the industry to take that forward.”
The company is looking at ways it can deal with multi-operator and multi-modal ticketing across the UK. It is also working around the concept of what Andreea describes as the connected bus concept. At the centre of this is its Smart Gateway.
Richard Blackburn-Hughes, Head of Commercial, said: “Operators want to work with the best in class of different technologies, but that creates the complexity of working with various stakeholders and multiple portals. There’s data in lots of different places. Our connected bus strategy and Smart Gateway product is to try and help bring consolidation where it makes sense. You can still work with partners you choose but you’ve got simple integrations with the ticketing technology to mean less hardware onboard and it’s easier to maintain. You also get the benefit of data from different providers in one place.”
Richard added: “We have a QR code API that allows operators to issue Ticketer-read tickets through digital channels or maybe integration with mass platforms.”
An update to the Ticketer ETMs is expected toward the end of this year, which will see the computer part of the machine replaced with an Android-based tablet. Andreea said: “This will give us extra power and processing and will future proof it.”
Ticketer will continue to support existing ticket machines and continue to deploy all available updates to its customers’ ETMs.