Account Based Ticketing (ABT) is seen to be the next step in passenger ticketing. Two key features of an ABT scheme are post-pay ticketing and capping. By charging the passenger for the trips they have made and not the trips they think they will make and then potentially capping the fare paid, ABT offers new levels of flexible ticketing, for both the operator and passenger, with a financial incentive for passengers to adopt.
For single zonal fares, this is easy to deliver as you just need to collect the tap on entry, which has been possible for a number of years now. But where graduated fare charts are in use (i.e. across most of the UK), it is not only necessary to know where the passenger has boarded, but also where they have alighted. Tapping on entry is not enough on its own.
Knowing that ABT cannot be realistically delivered in the UK in the absence of this, Ticketer have introduced Tap On / Tap Off (TOTO). By enabling this technology, operators are now able to provide daily capped fares, across services and zones to passengers. Boarding times are reduced as driver interaction is minimal, and operators can now get access to more data about their passengers traveling habits than they have ever had before.
Passengers simply need to tap their payment card on the reader when boarding to tap-in, and again when exiting the bus to tap-out. The tap-out transaction can either be made on the ETM, or on the secondary pole-mounted Tap Off Reader, introduced by Ticketer to improve passenger flow by allowing passengers to tap out remotely from the cab-mounted ETM. The external reader can be used for both tap-on and tap-off transactions, so avoiding any need for driver interaction, making boarding and disembarking much more efficient.