Smart tickets entice youngsters back to the railway

Smart tickets are the future of rail according to a new survey commissioned by Govia Thameslink Railway with 58% of consumers saying they’d travel by train using smart tickets

Younger generations were the most interested in switching to smart tickets, with 84% of 16- to 24-year-olds agreeing that they would consider travelling by train more often after learning about the benefits of smart tickets.

The research, from the rail operator which runs Southern, Thameslink and Great Northern services, revealed that nearly six in ten (59%) were previously unaware of smart tickets, and therefore were not familiar with the many benefits of their use.

Head of innovation at GTR, Chief Finance Officer Ian McLaren, said, "Smart ticketing options are now available across the UK. GTR's Key Smartcard and eTickets offer an easier and faster way to buy, renew and use train tickets, compared to paper tickets.

"It is now even quicker to load tickets to your Key Smartcard with our app, cutting time spent at the station.”

Following an introduction to smart tickets, consumers agreed they would make travelling easier (35%), remove the stress of losing paper tickets (35%) and, for GTR’s Pay-As-You-Go option KeyGo, guarantee the best value walk-up fare for all the different journeys taken on one day (28%).

And it isn’t just young people who are keen to trade paper tickets for smart tickets; the majority of respondents (66%) from the ages of 35+ stated nothing would prevent them from using a smart ticket.

Mr McLaren continued, "Commuters can buy the new Flexi Season Ticket, ideal for many in the post-pandemic world. If you are not travelling as frequently, you can also enable 'Pay-As-You-Go' KeyGo, which might be a good alternative to a season ticket. eTickets are another great alternative to many paper tickets for daily journeys and they’re available to use at many stations. Simply buy the ticket online and add it to your smartphone.

“GTR’s durable Key Smartcards provide clear benefits to consumers, such as the best value walk-up fare for the day on KeyGo and automatically prompting passengers to claim compensation for late-running trains. For Govia Thameslink Railway, it’s a major boost for our ambition to reduce dependence on the less-sustainable and less-reliable paper tickets.

“We regularly consult our customers to better understand how we can tailor and improve the services we provide to their evolving needs. Our smart ticket options, available on Southern, Thameslink and Great Northern services, are a perfect example of technological innovation that offers access to better fares, automatic delay compensation notification and greater convenience when travelling.”

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