Smart ticketing key to improved service under £96 billion UK rail plan

26 November 21

The UK Government’s £96 billion rail plan announced 18/11 aims to improve the passenger experience in the North and the Midlands as soon as possible.

A speeding train.

One of the biggest improvements will be the investment in modernising rail ticketing systems to bring them in line with the London style PAYG system, which has helped to revolutionise public transport in the South. £360m has been set aside out of this huge investment to modernise rail ticketing and deliver PAYG services across the country – and especially in the Midlands and the North.

The good news is that iBlocks is primed and ready to implement tried-and-tested PAYG solutions in any region. As the only provider of an RDG accredited PAYG smart ticketing solution in the UK rail network, iBlocks has been heavily involved in upgrading rail ticketing across the South over the past few years.

People on a train.

Our modern ticketing solution, iBlocks smartTIS, is so popular that passengers are signing up at an even greater rate than before the pandemic. Our system already covers 20% of UK rail stations and has handled 30 million rail and bus journeys to date. Passenger benefits include:

  • less hassle (no need to queue up to buy a ticket)

  • guaranteed best fare (no more swotting over complex fare options),

  • and potential rewards for regular use through daily and weekly capping.

Train operating companies (TOCs) enjoy the peace-of-mind that they are using proven technology which has been in live use on major southern UK rail networks since 2016, with a proven increase in customer journeys and revenue. They also benefit from:

  • Reduced operating costs

  • Reduced ticketless travel

  • Scalable solutions

  • Token agnostic systems

  • Optional green incentive schemes to further encourage rail use

Train ticket units.

We know regional ticket gate infrastructure will need upgrading in many cases to accept the contactless (EMV) bank cards our system relies on. However, iBlocks smartTIS also works with barcodes and smart cards – so a modern ticketing solution can be rolled out immediately, and then simply switched over to contactless EMV once ticket gates have been upgraded. So, the government can deliver benefits to the North even quicker.

Passengers in the North and the Midlands deserve an improved rail service now. Let’s make it happen.