We came across a great article today entitled Bill and Ted’s mobile NFC Transit Ticketing Adventure.
David Worthington, the author, has painted an interesting scenario of the future of transit ticketing and how passengers can genuinely benefit from NFC technology.
15% of all android devices such as phones and tablets are produced with NFC built in and the numbers are increasing rapidly. There has been much discussion on the rollout of NFC mobile devices, and there were many who were disappointed, although not surprised that Apple’s iphone 5 was launched without NFC functionality. Many people believe that we are 4 or 5 years away from widespread use of NFC technology, our belief is that transport is a key sector that will be an early adopter.
The UK has invested heavily in interoperable smart ticketing for a number of years, however infrastructure to support the rollout of smart ticketing is expensive. Buses throughout England, Scotland and Wales have been largely upgraded to accept ITSO-based smart cards but ticketing on our railways has remained largely unchanged since Victorian times. Support for smart ticketing in all new rail franchise agreements is government mandated, but is it feasible or wise to expect that every station have infrastructure put in place to roll out smart ticketing across the rail network of Britain?
HS2 is conservatively expected to cost circa £17 billion, for this we are to reduce the travel time between Birmingham and London by 22 minutes, but really the journey begins when you want to buy your ticket and not when you step aboard the train. We have a growing ‘smart’ generation of passengers who use technology every day and an opportunity to engage with them, simplify their ticketing choices and deliver their tickets instantly to NFC devices or smart cards.
I don’t want to queue at a fast ticket machine or wait in line at a station desk to pick up my tickets, when I get to the station I want to walk past the line of people queuing and just get straight onto my train, which represents a time saving wherever I travel on the rail network.
David’s scenario for Bill and Ted’s adventure is possible now; Ecebs unique remote ticket download solution makes it possible for train operating companies to roll out low cost portable ITSO solutions, speeding up passenger journeys from the moment they decide to purchase their ticket.