Last week, Everything Everywhere announced an agreement with Transport operator Stagecoach Group to offer consumers with a way to use mobile phones as tickets for public transportation. The two companies have unveiled the UK's first Government-standard commercial deployment of mobile contactless transport ticketing , which could lead to a nationwide roll out across select bus and rail services in 2013.
The trial, already underway on the Stagecoach (Perth, Scotland) bus network in Cambridgeshire, enables a small cross section of bus users to receive, store and validate their bus tickets using their mobile phone.
Everything Everywhere (London) is providing each customer in the trial with a Quick Tap enabled mobile handset on its Orange mobile brand. Quick Tap is the umbrella name used for Orange's NFC (Near-Field Communications) services, and the handsets used will feature the technology as well as a specially designed app, making them compatible with the local bus network's smartcard readers, says Everything Everywhere. This will allow users to travel on Stagecoach buses across Cambridgeshire including the Cambridge Park & Ride and Guided Busway services.
The trial uses the Department of Transport's preferred ITSO (Integrated Transport Smartcard Organization) smart ticketing technology, and will monitor the levels of customer convenience the Quick Tap service provides, as well as for operational and technical efficiencies. The trial also contributes to the Government's vision to deliver, along with transport operators and public sector bodies, the infrastructure to enable most public transport journeys to be undertaken using smart ticketing by December 2014.
"Smart phones are playing an increasingly important role in helping people manage their busy lifestyles and are already used across many areas of life” says Martin Griffiths, finance director of Stagecoach Group. “We believe this technology can also make public transport easier and more convenient to use. Once this trial is complete, we will carry out a review of the findings and assess the potential to expand the scheme further for our passengers."