For the latest edition of our ‘Onboard with…’ series, we caught up with Richard Blackburn-Hughes, Group Business Development Director, and talked about the importance of developing partnerships within our industry.
Richard joined Ticketer Group at the end of last year, to help shape up our partnership programmes and find new and innovative opportunities to market.
1. Richard, please tell us a little bit about yourself and your role within Ticketer Group?
I joined Ticketer Group last year to lead on strategic partnerships and mergers, and acquisitions across the group. I started my career working as a strategy consultant before moving to a prominent music rights management organisation to lead their strategy team. I read geography at university and am a bit of a public transport nut, so it’s really exciting to be working for such an innovative company in the public transport sector.
2. What do partnerships mean for Ticketer Group in your experience so far, and what value do they bring?
We want to grow the number of public transport journeys by helping operators and transport authorities offer efficient, reliable public transport services with amazing passenger experiences.
By partnering with others in the market, we can offer even more value and open new opportunities to operators and local authorities. We can enable seamless intermodal travel, open up new channels for ticket sales, and deliver new functionality complimentary to our core offering.
Our partners benefit from both our scale in the UK and Nordics and our longstanding understanding and knowledge of the industry. We are also providing an open technology platform that is easy to integrate with.
3. What have you been up to since joining Ticketer Group?
My time roughly divides between exploring and assessing new partnership opportunities, negotiating agreements and helping ensure our partnerships succeed through implementation. Last year we announced partnerships with Demand Responsive Transport (DRT) providers Via and Padam Mobility, and so far this year we have added Palisis and Bled System to our portfolio. We continue to have a strong pipeline of opportunities that we are pursuing.
I’m also responsible for mergers and acquisitions for the group, and we have high ambitions to expand through acquisition where it supports our strategy. I spend time identifying and assessing opportunities, leading discussions with owners and management teams, alongside developing business cases for viable pursuits.
4. Are there any exciting projects are on the horizon that you can tell us about?
The first implementations of our integrated ticketing with DRT are happening over the next few months. It will be exciting to see the offer come to fruition and deliver its intended improvements in intermodality and passenger experience.
I’m also looking forward to seeing the first coach and bus tickets sold through online travel agents as a result of our partnership with Palisis.
5. And finally, if you could take a long bus journey with anyone famous, who would it be and why?
For me, bus journeys are best when you are excitedly anticipating your destination and having the opportunity to reflect, enjoy the view from the window and people-watch. So, I would choose Bob Mortimer, a fantastic comedian, to help bring laughter along for the journey.