Partnership formed to launch UK's first Government-standard commercial mobile contactless ticketing trial
Transport operator Stagecoach Group and mobile communications company, Everything Everywhere, have announced plans to transform the way consumers use tickets to travel on public transport using near field communications (NFC).
The two companies have unveiled the UK's first Government-standard commercial deployment of mobile contactless transport ticketing, which could lead to a nationwide roll out across select bus and rail services in 2013.
The trial, already underway on the Stagecoach bus network in Cambridgeshire, enables a small cross section of bus users to receive, store and validate their bus tickets using their mobile phone. Everything Everywhere is providing each customer in the trial with a Quick Tap-enabled mobile handset on its Orange mobile brand.
Quick Tap is the umbrella name used for Orange's NFC services, and the handsets used will feature the technology as well as a specially designed app, making them compatible with the local bus network's smartcard readers. This will allow users to travel on Stagecoach buses across Cambridgeshire including the Cambridge Park & Ride and Guided Busway services.
The trial uses the Department of Transport's preferred Integrated Transport Smartcard Organisation smart ticketing technology, and will monitor the levels of customer convenience the Quick Tap service provides, as well as for operational and technical efficiencies. The trial also contributes to the Government's vision to deliver, along with transport operators and public sector bodies, the infrastructure to enable most public transport journeys to be undertaken using smart ticketing by December 2014.
Gerry McQuade, CMO, Everything Everywhere, said: 'We've already started a new movement in the way we make payments and receive retail rewards on the high street, so this really is the next step; providing customers with additional simplicity and convenience to help improve their public transport experience.'
Stagecoach Group finance director, Martin Griffiths, said: 'This is an exciting technical trial which we believe is the first of its kind in the UK and we are pleased to be working with Everything Everywhere to explore the use of this new technology. Smartphones are playing an increasingly important role in helping people manage their busy lifestyles and are already used across many areas of life. We believe this technology can also make public transport easier and more convenient to use. Once this trial is complete, we will carry out a review of the findings and assess the potential to expand the scheme further for our passengers.'
The security of customers details in the new Quick Tap transport ticketing service will be of paramount importance, both companies claimed. The solution has been developed and rigorously tested to ensure customers' ticket details and personal data will be protected and secure.