Ipswich Buses was one of the very first operators to start using Ticketer’s electronic ticket machines. After four years Ipswich remains delighted with the system and the two companies continue to work closely together to develop new ways to use the technology.
Malcolm Robson, Managing Director for Ipswich Buses, explains why they have such a good working relationship: “We are as happy as ever with Ticketer. They are great people to deal with and they have an excellent product. We have found them to be extremely responsive to any changes we want to make and they don’t charge any extra for it, which is unique in the ticketing industry.”
Ipswich initially chose Ticketer, then at an early stage of its growth, because of its customer service proposition and clear, and fixed, cost structure. The ETMs are ITSO compliant and provide tracking and output to Real Time Passenger Information systems – meaning Ipswich qualifies for the highest rate of enhanced BSOG and could pay for the new ticket machines out of additional BSOG grants within three years.
Ticketer successfully designed and implemented a system that enabled an ITSO commercial card scheme for Ipswich, covering period pass, carnet and stored value cards – rolling out the ETMs and card scheme all within 7 weeks of order.
The East Anglian operator was also one of the first to use the Ticketer hand-held ETM, which was used to great effect during the busy 2014 Christmas period for queue busting. It will continue to be used to board passengers more quickly at other busy times, such as football matches and music events.
Ipswich drivers found the new ticket machines to be very easy to use, as Malcolm explains: “We gave the units to our driver reps and asked them to configure it to meet their needs. Which was easy to achieve. Training was simple and carried out both on site and via the web. And four years on the ETMs still look very smart and modern on the vehicles.”
Not only was the Ticketer team very responsive to changes that Ipswich wanted to make, but the ETM itself was also extremely flexible, as Malcolm explains: “Previously, when we wanted to make any changes to tickets we had to wait for all the vehicles to come into the depot and change each machine manually. Now we make one central change on the web based portal, and the machines are updated instantly over standard mobile networks while the buses are out on their routes.”
Ipswich Buses are now working closely with Ticketer to introduce the latest schedule adherence function – which provides on-bus alerts to prevent drivers from departing from a stop too early, as well as normal office based views and reports. They are also looking closely at introducing the EMV ‘wave and pay’ functionality that Ticketer is developing.