Next stop Midlands for new mobile train ticket
Rail passengers in the West Midlands are the latest to get on board a new industry scheme giving people more flexible mobile train tickets sent direct to their smartphones.
For the first time passengers travelling between stations such as Birmingham and Coventry can use a barcoded m-Ticket purchased on their smartphones ad sent direct to the handset for travel with different train companies on their journey.
More than 10,000 journeys using the new flexible m-Ticket have been made by people in the north west, north east and Yorkshire who were thefirst in the country to try it out - and 97 per cent of customers there gave it the thumbs-up.
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.
The extension of m-Tickets to the West Midlands is the next step in the move to digital ticketing across the rail industry.
Passengers download an app from any of the participating train companies* or retailer thetrainline.com to their mobile device and opt to receive an 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.”
Rail Minister Claire Perry said:
“The extension of the m-Ticket mobile ticketing scheme means better journeys for rail customers in the Midlands, adding considerable convenience for those with smartphones.
“With more passengers using the railways than ever before, new ticketing technologies have a vital role to play in building a 21st century railway and allow customers to benefit from improved flexibility and seamless travel.”
The range of tickets that can be bought and downloaded as an m-Ticket now includes popular flexible fares, including walk-up Standard and First Class Anytime fares as well as Off-Peak and Stper Off-Peak fares for travel at quieter times of the day. The fare, validity and terms and conditions of the ticket purchased remain the same as the equivalent paper ticket.
The m-Ticket is just one of the early benefits for passengers of the rail industry’s long-term plan to make buying tickets more conveniett.
Notes to editors
*London Midland is accepting but not yet selling the flexible m-Ticket.
- More information about the m-Ticket pilot areas and stations covered can be found here.
- m-Tickets must be activated before boarding a train to be valid for travel and will need to be ready for inspection at station gatelines or by on-train staff. They can be activated at any time during the ticket’s period of validity. When the period of travel has passed, the m-Ticket expires at 04.30 the following day and cannot be reused.
- Security measures mean m-Tickets can only exist on one device at a time and cannot be ‘sent’ from one device to another.
- Customers must ensure their mobile device is charged and they are able to show their m-Ticket when asked by staff.
- Advance tickets are also available to download as m-Tickets on a number of train company services.