Latest Rail News

22.02.16

Virgin Trains becomes first TOC to offer m-Tickets on all routes

Virgin Trains has become the first franchised operator to offer mobile tickets across all ticket types and routes along both the east and west coast main lines.

From this week, customers will be able to download the barcoded m-Tickets to their smartphones on any journey purchased through the Virgin Trains website or app.

The operator, which claims it is “heralding the end of the orange ticket”, said the app will allow for maximum convenience and speed by allowing customers to both buy and use their tickets on their mobile.

Those who wait to buy tickets on the day can also download the app via the station wi-fi in order to avoid queues and use a simpler interface than that of regular ticket machines.

Today’s announcement follows on from the TOC’s participation in a pilot scheme looking at how to streamline buying and using train tickets. As part of the pilot, the company claims it has increased its overall mobile ticket sales to over 170,000 since July last year, up from less than half of that amount.

Rail minister Claire Perry MP, who recently made a speech vouching for the “death of the tangerine ticket”, said today that this expansion means more Virgin Trains customers will enjoy the benefits of this new technology as part of a “21st century railway”.

She has also already made clear all future franchise bidders will need to include proposals for smart ticketing in their network – an expectation which is no longer a one-off, Perry said.

Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin MP also suggested early last year that most printed paper tickets for rail travel could be phased out by 2020.

Graham Leech, group commercial director at Virgin Trains, added: “We always want to be on the side of passengers and make their experience with us the best it can be.

“That’s why we love innovating for our customers, which is why we were the first train company to introduce automatic delay repay and why we’re now the first franchised operator to bring in m-Tickets in this way.”

The m-Ticket scheme will first go live from tomorrow on west coast journeys via the app and from 1 March on east coast routes via the website, both of which exclude season ticket holders. From early April, the operator’s app and east coast website will start selling m-Tickets for both franchises.

Comments

Simon   23/02/2016 at 13:48

m-tickets .... smartphone won't feed thro' a barrier machine !!!!!

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