The death of the tangerine ticket may not be so smart
7 July 2016 • Author(s): Katie Sadler, Digital Content Producer, European Railway Review
Richard Farmer of BemroseBooth Paragon – a supplier of transport tickets – looks at the future of the tangerine ticket and questions the readiness and speed of a move towards smart ticketing. European Railway Review puts his comments to ITSO…
Richard Farmer, Sales and Marketing Director for BemroseBooth Paragon, explains that there are some uncomfortable questions that need to be addressed before we sling our magnetic tickets and grab for a ‘smarter solution’.
Speaking to European Railway Review, he said: “Like any new technology, it was to be expected that people would be excited by the benefits that a smart option could bring to travellers throughout the country. The thought of a single card that could provide multi-modal travel and top-up options seemed to be a positive step forward. The reality however is that the vision is immediate but the implementation will take time, alongside significant investment.
“We should have learnt our lesson following the suggestion that commuters would be turning their backs on paper based tickets in favour of mobile phones. The truth is that less than 10 percent of transactions are as a result of mobile technologies and paper based tickets are still a popular and preferred option for many.
“Announcing the death of a product that is still used every single day is premature to say the least and unhelpful at best”
“Announcing the death of a product that is still used every single day is premature to say the least and unhelpful at best. Rather than communicating a staged plan that will educate, inform and update passengers about the changes that will be made – in order for the transition to be seamless – there are comments made that leave us all baffled.
“As a company that works on both sides of the debate, manufacturing millions of magnetic stripe tickets and also offering smart and contactless solutions, it can be challenging to sit back and watch the debate rage on when we know that what we should be doing is working together and using our collective knowledge and advice to manage and facilitate change that will have a huge impact on travellers throughout the country.
“We can’t expect that commuters will swap from one ticket to another overnight, this is simply unrealistic”
“As a specialist within this industry, we believe that it would make more sense to get around a table and discuss how we approach the change from one ticket to another and how we support a phased transition. We can’t expect that commuters will swap from one ticket to another overnight, this is simply unrealistic.
“We know that a great deal of work has taken place over recent years, not least to update some stations throughout the country to become smart enabled. It is also fair to say however that there is still a long way to go before smart ticketing can be facilitated on every bus and in every train station throughout the country.
“Rather than dismissing a product that continues to support millions of journeys every single day, we should be considering how another product can become just as popular, while bringing extra benefits to travellers and passenger transport organisations wherever they are based in the country.
“If we work together not only will we be in a stronger position to correctly implement these changes, but we can take the time to support an industry that has relied on the paper based tickets to keep thousands of people in employment.
“We are being anything but ‘smart’ in the way that we are addressing the changes that we know are inevitable”
“We are missing the bigger picture with this debate and in actual fact we are being anything but ‘smart’ in the way that we are addressing the changes that we know are inevitable. The evolution from tangerine ticket to smart card will have a lasting impact on a number of industries and we need to make sure that they are ready for that.”
Comment from ITSO…
ITSO, the organisation which aims to make travelling on public transport throughout the UK seamless by using smart ticketing technology, has given its reaction to Richard Farmer’s comments.
“The whole thing about smart ticketing is that it is horses for courses and I have no doubt we will end up with many more than one thing.”
Steve Wakeland, General Manager at ITSO, said: “Those at the sharp end of the market are obviously looking to the future and can see a decline in tangerine ticket sales.
“In smart ticketing we are looking at all options – including mobile ticketing and account-based ticketing – but Bemrose Booth are right to say it will not be tomorrow. However it will be in the next few years.
“I predict a time when many will look forward to having a smart ticket or equivalent in their wallet or phone. Whether that leads to the complete demise of the tangerine ticket is another thing and certainly the passengers will have their say on that. The whole thing about smart ticketing is that it is horses for courses and I have no doubt we will end up with many more than one thing.”
Fare collection system market is expected to reach $10.1 Billion by 2022
According to a recent report by Allied Market Research, the world automated fare collection system market is expected to reach $10.1 Billion by 2022. The smart card segment accounted for around 41.4 percent of revenue share in 2015, and the market is expected to grow with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.9 percent during the forecast period. North America and Europe collectively accounted for over 63 percent of the market share in 2015.