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04.09.15

Mobile ticketing scheme extended to West Midlands

A new industry scheme to give more people flexible mobile train tickets sent direct to their smartphones has been extended to the West Midlands. 

The m-Ticket scheme was first introduced as a trial involving 99 stations in the north west, north east and Yorkshire, with more than 10,000 journeys using the new scheme. 

But now, for the first time, passengers travelling between stations such as Birmingham and Coventry can use a barcoded m-Ticket purchased on their smartphones and sent direct to the handset for travel with different train companies on their journey. 

Before now, m-Tickets downloaded to smartphones or other mobile devices were limited for use only on one specific train operator’s services. Now passengers can use the new flexible m-Ticket on any Chiltern Railways, Cross Country, London Midland and Virgin Trains service to travel anywhere within the Midlands pilot area which extends to Banbury in Oxfordshire. 

The two northern pilot areas served by CrossCountry, First TransPennine Express, Northern Rail, Virgin Trains East Coast and Virgin Trains will unite later this month so that passengers can travel, for example, from Carlisle to Newcastle via Hexham on one flexible m-Ticket. 

David Mapp, commercial director at the Association of Train Operating Companies, said: “More and more people are finding the m-Ticket an easy, quick and convenient way to pay for train travel, and thanks to cutting-edge technology the new flexible m-Ticket adds an extra dimension so that users can switch between a number of operators’ services. 

“The rail industry is making buying and using train tickets simpler, with a gradual move to new types of electronic ticket.” 

Passengers can now buy a range of National Rail tickets to be delivered as an m-Ticket, including Anytime, Off-Peak, Super Off-Peak and Advance.

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