The Department for Transport has launched a consultation where they are looking into rolling out the pay-as-you-go ticketing model that can be found in London today.
The aim is to introduce smart ticketing on a nationwide basis and so, the DFT is seeking views from both passengers and rail stakeholders. The system which could be rolled out by 2020 enables passengers to swipe their smartcard or bank card to pay for their tickets.
There was an investment of £80m from the government in the hope of introducing smart and paperless ticketing throughout all of England and Wales. Transport for the North launched the first phase of its Smart on Rail project and now the government wants the system to reach further and wider making it the normal way to pay for tickets.
The aim is to provide a simpler and more effective way of travelling for passengers and it is believed that smart ticketing is the way forward as it is simpler and offers easier fairs and less confusion.The consultation is about finding out what people want and how their lives can be enhanced by smart ticketing. The system has the potential to offer more speed and convenience in paying for travel without the need to queue while providing those who travel less and at quieter times the chance to benefit financially.
A report has highlighted that smart ticketing is a popular choice in London with half of London Tube and train journeys being paid for using contactless payments. It also proves that passengers are looking for a new way in which to pay.
However, the system in London offers convenience and provides passengers with the confidence to know that they are purchasing the right ticket because the system has been set up to work that way. It is this reason why they want to consult and gain the views of passengers to see how the system can be taken forward and rolled out on a wider scale. The system has the potential to go nationwide but things have to be done correctly, listening to customer needs and then developing the correct plan of action. Essentially, the goal is to ensure that fairer and simpler fares are offered and consultations are the beginning of that process.