Nexus Commuters in the North East get smarter with Rambus Ecebs
– New mobile App converts old paper tickets to smart tickets –
Commuters in the north east of England are benefitting from an innovative new smart ‘App’ that converts their existing paper season ticket into a smart card.
The app is being used by staff at the Passenger Transport Executive, Nexus. The service was soft launched late September; however the uptake has grown considerably week on week through word of mouth from travellers exchanging their existing paper tickets to smart ‘Pop’ cards. Conversion of old style paper ticket products has been running successfully, and the service provides an easy transition for holders of paper based season ticket products who may otherwise have been stuck with a paper ticket until their products had expired.
The ‘Ticket Converter’ app uses smart technology from market leaders, Rambus Ecebs, whose full Paragon suite of ticketing products currently underpins Nexus’ smart ticketing deployments for both concessionary and commerical smart ticketing. The app connects to Rambus Ecebs Remote Ticket Download System, when product and expiry information from a valid paper ticket is entered it is converted to a smart product by the software system. The android tablet which uses the app then acts as a terminal, meaning that a Pop card can be held against the tablet and the system will immediately download the converted smart products for the customer. The app offers a simple method to transition from paper to smart tickets and has been launched ahead of a wider smart services roll-out planned for early 2014.
David Bartlett, Programme Manager for Smart Ticketing at Nexus, said: “Nexus is leading the biggest roll-out of smart ticketing outside of London, and the key to this is guiding customers through behavioural change. The latest phase has seen us move high-value and long-period season tickets to Pop smart cards, which is the natural home for them. Rambus Ecebs have developed a very useful app that is playing a key role as we convert passengers to smart travel. It is effective because it is so easy and quick for staff and customers to use, and is speeding up the conversion from paper to smart tickets.”
Russell McCullagh, Managing Director of Rambus Ecebs said: “This is just the start of a transport revolution in the North East where customers are already benefitting from the convenience of smart ticketing. All too often the process of converting customers to smart ticketing is complex and expensive, meaning that customers have to wait before realising the benefits. The Ticket Converter deployed by Nexus ensures that the conversion is seamless and delivers those benefits to more end customers as quickly and cost effectively as possible. This is particularly exciting for Rambus Ecebs as this approach makes use of our latest Remote Ticket Download software which delivers a ticket using a smart tablet and NFC technology.”
“Nexus is a foward-thinking PTE delivering exciting new services for its customers and this is the important step it needs to complete the development of public transport into a smart integtrated system in the North East. We have been working with Nexus since 2011 and our products already support over 725,000 smart cards and up to 150 million journeys each year. We see what is happening in the North East as a great example of delivering cheaper, faster transport serving customers over a wide geographical area.”
Once fully operational, passengers will be able to use their Pop cards on a pay-as-you-go basis or using a variety of season tickets, and will be able to upload credit onto their smart card using a variety of methods including their NFC mobile phone, their home computer, at local shops, Nexus travel centres and at Metro stations.