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September 17, 2013

UK to trial flexible ticketing in 2014

The UK government is planning to carry out a flexible ticketing trial in a bid to improve the rail travel experience for commuters in the country.

By admin-demo

Smart Tickets

The UK government is planning to carry out a flexible ticketing trial in a bid to improve the rail travel experience for commuters in the country.

As part of the plan, the Department for Transport (DfT) will launch a competition in 2014 to select a train operator to operate a pilot on a busy commuter route into London in order to assess the benefits of flexible ticketing.

Flexible ticketing is intended cut the money spent on fares and spread demand across the network by encouraging passengers to take less busy services.

The department will decide the final details of how the test will run with the successful bidder.

The trial could include discounted tickets for commuters travelling in the slightly quieter periods at either end of the rush hour, called the ‘shoulder peak’, as well as the introduction of flexible season tickets for travellers who work part-time.

"Flexible ticketing is intended cut the money spent on fares and spread demand across the network by encouraging passengers to take less busy services."

Rail Minister Norman Baker stressed the importance of harnessing technology and adopting a more flexible approach to ticketing.

"Our vision is for a ticketing system that gives passengers what they need, when they need it, but which over time costs less not more," Baker said.

"This will allow us to focus our resources on improving train services and ending the era of above inflation fare rises."

The DfT has earmarked £45m for the introduction of smart ticketing across the south east of England as part of the south east flexible ticketing programme.

Once the programme begins, the department will start discussions with a London commuter operator to identify a suitable route and products for the pilot.


Image: Flexible ticketing is intended to reduce the money spent on fares and spread demand more evenly across the network. Photo courtesy of the Department for Transport.

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