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Stagecoach to Trial Mobile Ticketing

Stagecoach Group BusStagecoach Group has teamed up with Everything Everywhere, the biggest communications firm in the UK, to transform how consumers use tickets to journey on public transport. The two companies have announced the first government-standard commercial deployment of mobile contactless transport ticketing in the country. This could lead to a roll out across the nation on the group’s bus and rail services next year.

Stagecoach has already launched a trial of the system on its bus network in Cambridgeshire. It allows a small cross section of bus users to obtain, store and validate their bus tickets with their mobile phones. Everything Everywhere is providing every consumer in the pilot with a Quick Tap mobile handset on its Orange mobile brand. This feature is the umbrella name for the Near-Field Communications (NFC) services used by Orange. The handsets will also feature a specially designed app to make them compatible with the smartcard readers used by the local bus network. This will enable users to travel on Stagecoach buses across Cambridgeshire, including Guided Busway and Cambridge Park & Ride services.

The security of customers’ details in the new Quick Tap transport ticket service will be of top importance – like with contactless mobile payments. The solution has been developed and harshly tested to ensure the personal data and ticket details of customers will be secure and protected.

The pilot uses Integrated Transport Smartcard Organisation (ITSO) technology, which is preferred by the Department for Transport (DfT). It will monitor the levels of consumer convenience provided by the Quick Tap service, as well as detect technical and operational efficiencies. The trial also contributes the vision of the government, transport operators and public sector bodies to deliver the transport infrastructure to allow most public transport journeys to be made using smart ticketing by the end of 2014.

Stagecoach Group finance director Martin Griffiths says this is a thrilling technical trial that they believe is the first of its kind in Britain. They are pleased to work with Everything Everywhere to explore the use of the new technology. Smartphones have an increasingly important role in helping consumers manage their busy lifestyles and are used in many areas of life already. Once the pilot is complete, they will conduct a review of their findings and evaluate the potential of expanding the scheme to more passengers, he added.

Everything Everywhere chief marketing officer Gerry McQueade says they have started a new movement in how they make payments and receive retail rewards on the high street already. This really is the next step to provide customers with more convenience and simplicity to help improve their experience on public transport. As the biggest communications company in Britain, they are proud to work with Stagecoach Group to help bring public transport ticketing into the next century and begin a trend towards a future where the traditional paper tickets of today will ultimately become a thing of the past, he added.

Stagecoach is one of the biggest bus and coach operators in the UK, with a fleet of 7,700 buses that carry about 2.5 million passengers every day. It’s network of buses, coach, rail and trams services stretches from southwest England to the Highlands and Islands of Scotland, and the group employs about 35,000 people. Everything Everywhere operates the T-Mobile and Orange brands in the UK. It has a combined customer base of nearly 28 million and over 720 retail stores throughout the country.

 

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