Latest Rail News

17.09.13

Part-time season ticket trial next year

Transport minister Norman Baker has announced a smart ticketing trial next year that will allow the purchase of part-time season tickets.

The precise details of the plan, announced at the Lib Dem conference in Glasgow, have not yet been revealed, but the trial is likely to be on busy London commuter services such as those operated by Southern or c2c.

Baker told the Telegraph:  “Season tickets were set at a time when commuters wore pinstripes worked from 9-5 and always took the same train. The world has moved on and ticketing has to move on with it.”

In its response, ATOC welcomed “further government investment” in smart ticketing, but did not address the issue of part-time season tickets directly. A spokesman said: “Smart cards and other types of electronic ticketing encourage passengers to travel by train by making it easier for them to buy tickets and use the network. Train companies are working hard to deliver this technology and on some routes, smart ticketing is already in use.

“Further government investment is good news for passengers who can benefit from the reduced costs and congestion that flexible ticketing can offer.”

Passenger Focus chief executive Anthony Smith welcomed the plans, which his organisation has long called for.

He said: “This is good news for the 59% of commuters whose working hours don’t fit into the Monday to Friday pattern. We have long said that ticketing options need to reflect changing working patterns – and it is a good opportunity to put smarter ticketing to the test in bringing benefits to passengers.”

Tell us what you think – have your say below or email opinion@railtechnologymagazine.com

(Library image shows Norman Baker MP at the launch of the key smartcard in 2011)

Comments

John The Commuter   19/09/2013 at 21:27

Sounds like a great idea but a lot will depend on how it is implimented. At present a season ticket is valid on all 7 days in a week though a lot of people of course only use them for 5 days. The question is if you get a three day season ticket will it have any validity on the other 4 days ? If so how will they stop 5 day commuters using them ? The only viable option may be to prevent the 3 day ticket being valid in peak hours on the other 4 days if it is not to become a 3 day only ticket.

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