Smart ticketing for bus travel goes paperless

Posted: 9 August 2017 | Andrew Mills | No comments yet

Andrew Mills from Stagecoach talks to Intelligent Transport about the company’s new smartphone app which will make bus travel cheaper and quicker.

On behalf of Stagecoach, Andrew Mills talks to Intelligent Transport about the company’s new smartphone app which will not only save passengers money and make bus travel quicker and easier, but will also encourage more people to take the bus.

Smart ticketing for bus travel goes paperless

Getting the bus isn’t always easy, and sometimes we’d like to use another form of transport; having to pay your bus fare, find the right change and wait at the bus stop can seem like you’ve gone back in time. But not anymore… ticketless paper systems and mobile apps are both now becoming the new way for passengers to board a bus without having to fuss and carry around paper tickets that could become damaged or lost.

Together with Stagecoach, a bus company which specialises in smart ticketing systems that include a student bus pass, explore how using a bus app has brought travelling by the bus straight into 2017…

Everything you need to board the bus

Now, to get on a bus, everything you need is in the one place. An app allows you to have everything about your journey to hand, from when your bus arrives to how much your fare will cost, including specific ticketing information, and when services are not running or alternative services are being incorporated into usual routes.

You can plan your journey, access live bus information in real-time and purchase tickets through a Wi-Fi signal. Furthermore, if the bus you need has been held up in traffic, you can see exactly where it is – minimising the amount of time you’ll spend at the bus stop.

Apps are incredibly easy to use and by connecting your bank details to the app you’re able to purchase digital tickets in no time at all. Believe it or not, this actually helps you to save not only time, but money. Not having to use change is great; it keeps things tidy and paperless plus it means you will never lose your ticket as it’s stored on your phone. By taking away the risk of losing your ticket, you don’t need to spend more than you need to on your bus travel, for example, when unnecessary extra tickets are purchased.

There’s never any delay either – your ticket will be uploaded to your device straight away. All you need to do is activate your ticket and show it to your driver when you get on board. This makes the whole process streamlined, meaning that people can get onto a bus faster, without the need to continually stop and queue while people get money out when the bus is stationary.

Travel made simpler

Setting your location on the app can be controlled via your phone, and this helps you find the right bus to get, where bus stops are and what route to take. With these types of technologies interplaying how we use the bus, we are able to make smarter, more informed decisions regarding how we travel on a day-to-day basis.

This helps bus passengers pick the shortest route possible, or change their route if necessary without having to consult bus maps or bus timetables when they have already arrived at a bus stop.

Should you get lost, journey planners can allow you to find a bus stop or an alternative route if your current bus is running late. If you have a favourite route, or a bus that you take every day, then you can save these on the app, which makes purchasing tickets in the future even easier. This goes the same for if you need to take a new route – as you can analyse where it will go and how many stops it will take to arrive at your destination before you get onboard, helping to put your mind at ease before travelling through an unfamiliar route.

Most bus apps are free, and you can download them for Apple and Android smartphones or devices; for those that take the bus on a regular basis, it’s definitely worth the download. This is only the beginning of smart ticketing and bus travel — alongside contactless payment methods by using your card, it appears that the future of bus travel is entirely paperless.

By doing so, the end goal is to inevitably make travelling by bus a lot easier for those who don’t usually like to travel by such means and prefer other forms of transport such as a car.