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Flexible ticketing research for South East rail operators

19 December 2014  •  Author: Department for Transport

As part of the government’s drive to give passengers a better deal, rail companies in the South East are being asked to contribute to research into new ways of ticketing

The government is inviting operators to provide details of their plans for flexible ticketing and any barriers they see to successful implementation.

The information gathered will form part of a wider research project into the feasibility of rolling out flexible ticketing. Data will also be analysed from flexible ticketing schemes as they are implemented, alongside evidence from passenger surveys, economic modelling of the impact on fare revenues, and other sources.

Transport Minister Baroness Kramer said:

“We know that more people are working part-time or from home, and do not have to travel into the office every day. It is vital that we develop a more flexible ticketing system that matches the changing patterns of work and gives better value for money to passengers who are not daily commuters. We know that some operators are already well advanced with their plans, and this research is an important next step in making flexible ticketing a reality.”

Flexible ticketing can give part-time commuters a better deal by reducing the money they spend on fares, for example, through carnet-style products which offer savings on bulk-buying tickets for multiple journeys in advance.

Two operators in the South East – Govia Thameslink Railway and c2c – have already committed to introduce flexible season tickets as part of their recent franchise agreements, and the government wants to see the remaining operators follow their lead. The research aims to enable the remaining South East operators to make early decisions on the implementation of flexible ticketing.

The research replaces the previous plans to trial flexible ticketing on a single London commuter route, and will generate significantly more data for analysis over the same period of time.

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