Lydia Willgress of the Telegraph says paper train tickets could be retired over the next 8 years, with government officials considering various plans that would see customers using smartphones and contactless cards to expedite travel.
“Smartcards, which customers would top up online, could also become a priority as bosses attempt to cut queues at stations and save money,” she explains.
“Supporters [say] the familiar orange paper tickets, which have been around for nearly 150 years, need to be replaced as they are not durable and have small font, which can smudge easily. The electronic tickets would help ease queuing outside ticket booths at already-overcrowded stations and should make it easier for customers to find the cheapest fare.”
Indeed, according to Claire Perry, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport, a modern, 21st century rail system would “provide better journeys for all.”
“The industry is already having great success with smartcards and mobile ticketing, but we would never support any option that wasn’t suitable for all passengers,” she adds. “Operators should ensure they offer their customers a choice and provide clear help and information about the range of options available.”
As Willgress notes, the above-mentioned report illustrates a gradual shift towards a paperless society in the UK and beyond, which is evidenced by an increased use of contactless debit and credit cards, along with mobile phones for a variety of tasks, including checking in at airports and banking. In particular, secure smartcards represent a giant leap forward for public transportation systems that have relied on outmoded paper tickets and tokens for decades.
As we’ve previously discussed on Rambus Press, smart ticketing will continue to evolve along with consumer expectations for frictionless commerce. Passengers should ultimately be able to use their device of choice to travel seamlessly across smart cities, whether it is a smartphone, smartwatch, or even 3D printed clothes with embedded chips. Of course, buying and storing train or bus tickets is only part of the smart ticketing equation for future smart cities. Using a smartphone or wearable as a hub, passengers will be able to purchase food and other items, reserve parking spaces, update travel plans in real-time, interact with augmented reality (AR) and Bluetooth beacons, view luggage status and even replace current paper travel documents, such as passports.
Interested in learning more about how Rambus is providing secure technology products for smart transport? You can check out our article archive on the subject here.