Chiltern Railways launched a pioneering new approach to ticketing today at Marylebone station, with an integrated mobile ticketing system that enables passengers to buy, instantly receive and validate tickets through an app on their mobile phone.
For the first time, passengers arriving at a station without a ticket will be able to get through the barrier within seconds, without needing to queue at ticket offices, contact a call centre or negotiate ticket machines. The application can be used from anywhere and remembers favourite journeys and payment card details, so that travel can be made with just a few key presses.
This innovation marks the first time that any rail passengers have been able to use both Smartphones and everyday handsets to buy and receive rail tickets through one transaction. An additional differentiator is that unlike most commercial booking services, the Chiltern Railways application does not charge a booking fee, and the application is free to download. To get the application passengers just need to text “Chiltern” to 88600 or search the relevant app stores.
This free mobile application provides passengers with details of the cheapest prices and train times, and then delivers the ticket as a 2D barcode within the application. The company has invested in special scanners on gates at stations to enable passengers to enter and exit as if they had a traditional ticket and also on equipment for ticket inspectors to read the mTickets.
Thomas Ableman, Marketing Director of Chiltern Railways said: “This innovation in ticketing is a first within the rail industry and comes at a time when we are investing £250 million on our route to transform rail travel to and from London. The Chiltern Mainline will reduce journey times significantly and our app ensures that passengers spend far less time searching for, queuing, buying and printing tickets. Rigorous usability testing means that we are confident our app is simple and easy to use for all passengers and we are delighted to have developed this industry first by making ticketing faster at a time when we’re also doing the same to our trains.”
The application has been developed with partners Atos Origin and Masabi.
Graham Bodman, Head of Transport Products for Atos Origin said: “We are delighted to deliver an early roll-out of a mobile ticket purchase application direct for a train operator. The solution is connected to our AVANTIX WebTIS retail engine, which Chiltern already use to sell tickets on-line, and also to our AVANTIX Mobile solution, which verifies the mobile barcode, part of our continuing drive to make the whole passenger journey as seamless as possible. This latest innovation from Chiltern offers customers a quicker and more convenient way to buy and collect tickets directly via their mobile device with no additional transaction fees.”
“This app places a ticket machine in the pocket of mobile phone users – providing an enormously convenient and user-friendly means of searching for train times and then buying and displaying tickets,” said Ben Whitaker, CEO of Masabi. “We are proud to have been involved in developing this exciting app allowing instant ticket purchase and travel, to make the process faster and more convenient for rail travellers.”
This simple easy ticketing is initially being launched with versions for iPhone, Blackberry, Nokia, Samsung, Sony Ericsson and other everyday phones. Chiltern Railways will continue to work with partners ATOS Origin and Masabi to develop pioneering technology to meet the growing needs of their passengers.
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For further media information, please contact the Chiltern Railways press office on 020 7333 3014 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to editors
1. A video showing how easy it is to use the application is available on www.chilternrailways.co.uk.
2. Chiltern Railways is owned by Deutsche Bahn AG and is part of DB Regio, Deutsche Bahn’s local and regional service provider.
3. Chiltern Railways is working to create a mainline between the West Midlands/Warwickshire/Oxfordshire/Buckinghamshire and London, with journey times to London cut by 20%
4. When you text “Chiltern” to 88600 this will charge you your standard text fee.
5. mTickets tickets can only be purchased for some routes on Chiltern Railways, these are: London to Birmingham, Birmingham to London, Warwick Parkway to London, London to Warwick Parkway and all Advance tickets currently offered for barcode tickets. Everything else will be picked up by Ticket Vending Machines.
6. mTickets is available for Anytime Single and Return, Off Peak Single and Return, Super Off Peak Single and Return and Advance Singles for tickets routed via Banbury or High Wycombe or Chiltern Railways. Not available for Any Permitted, Virgin Trains, London Midland or any other routed tickets.
7. The application allows you to buy any tickets for any journey across the UK, and pick this up from Ticket Vending Machines.
8. No account login is needed to use this application.
9. Chiltern Railways runs into London Marylebone, one of the most attractive stations in London. Marylebone is within walking distance of Oxford Street, London Zoo and Madame Tussauds and with great tube connections
10. Chiltern Railways was the first train company to introduce tickets by text message sent direct to your mobile phone
11. Chiltern Railways now have a new hotel booking service on their website powered by hotel.info, which gives customers a best price guarantee and access to 210,000 hotels worldwide.
12. Select here to become a fan of Chiltern Railways on Facebook.
Select here to follow Chiltern Railways on Twitter.