Push needed for smart ticket acceptance

Push needed for smart ticket acceptance Push needed for smart ticket acceptance
Four out of five bus and rail users who currently use paper tickets would move to smart ticketing if there were some incentive for them to do so, according to a study by professional services organisation PwC. Research carried out on a sample of 2,000 people showed that just under half of respondents still use paper tickets. PwC was exploring the potential for smart ticketing, and asking people what would make them switch from paper tickets to smart ticketing using smartcards, mobile phones or bank cards.

The research showed various incentives could persuade people to change, including a guarantee that a smartcard would give the lowest fare for a journey or the offer of discounts compared with cash fares. A 5 per cent discount would encourage 14 per cent of consumers to switch to smart ticketing, while a 10 per cent discount would persuade just over half to make the change. And 5 per cent of car travellers said they would consider switching to buses if offered incentives enabled by smart technology.

Grant Klein, director and transport specialist at PwC, says: “While the results are encouraging for supporters of smart ticketing, it’s clear the public shift needed won’t happen without some encouragement. The opportunity to link both ticket payment, and real-time information through smart technology is not a leap of the imagination for consumers or operators. There’s significant untapped potential demonstrated in these results to use it to increase public transport use by making service timetables, information and fares more accessible.

“At first glance, some of these findings may seem insignificant, but even a 5 per cent shift from cars to bus would represent a significant uplift for public transport operators, and a boost to the government’s plans to get more people on public transport.”