Rail (UK)

Tech­nol­ogy in place to ex­pe­dite ticket re­forms

- Business · United Kingdom Department for Transport · Department for Transport · United Kingdom · Go-Ahead Group · Chris Heaton-Harris

In­tro­duc­ing ticket re­forms through im­proved tech­nol­ogy could take as lit­tle as two months, ac­cord­ing to Go-Ahead Group Chief

Strat­egy and Cus­tomer Of­fi­cer Katy Tay­lor.

“We could launch live to cus­tomers fairly soon,” she told the Com­mons Trans­port Select Com­mit­tee on Novem­ber 18.

“It is for the Depart­ment for Trans­port to agree to the types of tick­ets and ap­prove the ex­pen­di­ture to do that. As soon as we get the go-ahead, we are keen to move for­ward with it.”

Abel­lio Group Manag­ing Direc­tor Do­minic Booth told

MPs: “The need to mod­ernise and trans­form fares is more cru­cial than ever. None of us can ab­so­lutely fore­cast the fu­ture or just how much a re­turn to of­fice­based work­ing there might be.

“It is go­ing to call for a test and learn-type ap­proach. As we see new be­hav­iours emerg­ing and start to un­der­stand them, we need the agility to test and try new prod­ucts to see where the take-up is. We may need to move to dy­namic pric­ing, such that on your first jour­neys you pay a cer­tain price, but as you travel more of­ten you start to get a dis­count on price.”

First Rail MD Steve Mont­gomery said: “We have to make sure that we em­brace dig­i­tal­i­sa­tion. We some­times get caught up as an in­dus­try with try­ing to deal with 100% of ev­ery­body - that there has to be a so­lu­tion for all.

“We need to make sure that we pick up the max­i­mum num­ber of cus­tomers un­der dig­i­tal­i­sa­tion, with spe­cial mea­sures for the small num­ber who do not have that ac­cess.”

Tay­lor added: “Far fewer peo­ple use pa­per tick­ets - up to 70% of peo­ple use dig­i­tal. We have a lot of tech­nol­ogy out there al­ready.”

Rail Min­is­ter Chris Heaton-Har­ris told the TSC there was no fixed date as to when fares would be fully re­formed in the UK.

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