Author Topic: Stagecoach Contactless  (Read 2166 times)

Offline barryb

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Stagecoach Contactless
« on: October 20, 2016, 10:35:50 pm »
Does anyone know how they plan to implement this?  I'm wondering if it will be less cack-handed than Stagecoach Smart!

I hope it's like Tfl's version, and that it doesn't involve using contactless to buy paper tickets that get posted to you, or some other nonsense!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-business-37716236

Quote
Stagecoach has announced plans to bring in contactless payment technology on all of its UK regional bus services by the end of 2018.
The £12m initiative will allow passengers to pay for travel with a contactless credit or debit card, as well as Apple Pay and Android Pay.
Perth-based Stagecoach said it would be the first major use of contactless technology on buses outside London.
The first buses in Scotland will begin accepting contactless payments in 2017.
The initial phase of the project was marked at an event in Oxford attended by UK Transport Minister Andrew Jones.
By the end of 2018, the technology will be live on all of the operator's 7,200 buses in England, Scotland and Wales.
Stagecoach has already ordered 4,000 special ticket machines, covering more than 50% of its bus fleet, with the remaining 3,200 machines scheduled for 2017-18.
The transport group said passengers would not face additional charges for using the contactless technology.
'Greener mobility solution'
Robert Montgomery, managing director of Stagecoach UK Bus, said: "Bus travel is experiencing a complete transformation. Major investment by Stagecoach in new digital technology is making it easier than ever to catch the bus.
"From contactless technology and new apps to greener vehicles with the latest environmental performance, buses are the simpler, smarter and greener mobility solution.
"But to maximise the benefit of this investment, we also need bold and urgent action by transport authorities to tackle the scourge of road congestion that is holding back bus reliability."
Transport Minister Andrew Jones said: "The roll-out of contactless payment technology on Stagecoach bus services outside London will help hundreds of thousands of passengers.
"People will be able to buy tickets online and on smartphones, making bus travel more convenient, cutting queues and speeding up journeys."
Stagecoach is also working with other major bus operators - First Bus, Go-Ahead, Arriva and National Express - to have contactless technology installed on all buses outside London.
The project would cover more than 1,200 bus operators in England, Scotland and Wales, and make contactless travel available for 5.2 billion bus passenger journeys a year across Britain.

Offline dwarfer1979

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Re: Stagecoach Contactless
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2016, 08:45:59 am »
Does anyone know how they plan to implement this?  I'm wondering if it will be less cack-handed than Stagecoach Smart!

I hope it's like Tfl's version, and that it doesn't involve using contactless to buy paper tickets that get posted to you, or some other nonsense!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-business-37716236
There are basically 3 options when going for contactless payment for how the system works from a customer perspective:
a. Tap-on.  If you have a flat fare then customers can just tap on when they board (as London works for instance) and the system deducts the standard fare for the trips at the end of the day, normally this would come with at least a day cap equal to the day ticket price.
b. Tap-on, Tap-off.  Where there are graduated fares this is where customers simply tap on the machine when they board and then tap off at a separate reader when they alight to allow the system to calculate the total cost of the trip (as Trent do with their Mango cards) again with a calculation at the end of the day for day caps and the like.  This comes with a level of complication as it requires reliable GPS location tracking (not as easy at it appears from the outside) & more complicated levels of programming but simplifies & speeds the interaction with the customer.
c. Retail style.  This is where the passenger buys a ticket as they would normally but instead of handing over cash to pay the simply tap their contactless card against the reader to pay.  This has the benefits of simpler programming and the ability to buy a wider range of tickets but doesn't offer quite the same speed of boarding advantages as the other options as passengers still need to interact with the driver (effectively all you save is the time taken to count the coins).

It is likely that, outside major city networks (where the first option offers an attractive solution), operators will favour the last option as this requires little specialist equipment (Trent could only find one supplier who could offer a solution when they tried to launch Mango & that after a couple of years of searching and involved someone who was not previously active in the market before) or specialist programming knowledge (bus operators particularly outside the big groups don't tend to really have IT specialists) whilst also offering the flexibility of cash payments on the products/discounts available (like student/corporate discounts and the like).  Too many people look at London and think everyone will work that way but London is heavily subsidised (allowing a low flat fare that enables tap-on without being too expensive) and is a big city so routes aren't covering huge distances.  Interurban routes will need a different solution to somewhere like London.

Offline barryb

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Re: Stagecoach Contactless
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2016, 12:02:37 am »
B Could work quite cheaply if the reader was connected to the ticket machine and knew the destination the driver last said the bus was at?

Offline Coast_Hopper

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Re: Stagecoach Contactless
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2016, 07:25:27 am »
So like London if you don't have a contactless card or a debit card you can't use the bus

Offline RM471

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Re: Stagecoach Contactless
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2016, 09:49:49 am »
Wrong Coast_Hopper, like in London you will be easily able to buy and top up a smart card on-line or in a shop or ticket office, or use a contactless credit or debit card. Either will be a lot less hassle than having to find the right money or wait for change and then wait for a ticket to be printed and then tear it off every time you get on a bus. And then sit and wait patiently while your bus chucks out toxic emissions at every stop when all the other passengers do the same.

Speeding up journey times with contactless payment should help address the problem of declining bus use if the new machines accept the card instantly like in London, rather than the 2 second wait on current Stagecoach in Peterborough buses.

Of course all my service buses have no doors and a really helpful conductor which is why buses were successful and popular fifty years ago!

Offline TCD813

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Re: Stagecoach Contactless
« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2016, 11:02:03 am »
So like London if you don't have a contactless card or a debit card you can't use the bus

Wrong Coast_Hopper, like in London you will be easily able to buy and top up a smart card on-line or in a shop or ticket office, or use a contactless credit or debit card. Either will be a lot less hassle than having to find the right money or wait for change and then wait for a ticket to be printed and then tear it off every time you get on a bus. And then sit and wait patiently while your bus chucks out toxic emissions at every stop when all the other passengers do the same.

That's more-or-less the case, Paul, but Chris points to the workarounds.

But see the exceptions at TfL – Cash free buses.

Quote from: TfL
Ways to pay
There are different ways to pay for your bus fare:
A contactless payment card to pay as you go
An Oyster card with pay as you go credit, Travelcard or Bus & Tram Pass
A Visitor Oyster card
A Day Travelcard or a One day Bus & Tram Pass

Edit: to insert additional quote.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2016, 11:06:04 am by TCD813 »
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Offline TCD813

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Re: Stagecoach Contactless
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2016, 11:13:04 am »
Speeding up journey times with contactless payment should help address the problem of declining bus use if the new machines accept the card instantly like in London, rather than the 2 second wait on current Stagecoach in Peterborough buses.

Agreed, Chris.

But even a 2-second delay is better than the delay for cash-fumbling and the constant enquires about fares ahead of the ticket issue.

The problems are that neither Cambridge or Peterborough are like London. I can't improve upon Andrew's explanation, above.

 
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Offline TCD813

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Re: Stagecoach Contactless
« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2016, 11:15:19 am »
Of course all my service buses have no doors and a really helpful conductor which is why buses were successful and popular fifty years ago!

Yes: pull up - unload - load - Ting-ting! - and away.

However, there was also much lower car ownership in 1966!

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Offline Julia_Hayward

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Re: Stagecoach Contactless
« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2016, 01:15:02 pm »
There are basically 3 options when going for contactless payment...

Both A and B also have the advantage that you don't get delays when the printer packs up or jams, or the paper roll runs out, or - like a Citi 2 I was on yesterday - when someone can't remember which side of Mill Road bridge they are going to and gets argumentative over the fare. And the accumulated delays may up the PVR to maintain the service.

During the transition years, London charged significantly more for cash fares than cards (and people very rapidly cottoned on and switched) - perhaps it's time to do the same in Cambridge?

Offline RM471

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Contactless
« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2016, 04:59:41 pm »
"Yes: pull up - unload - load - Ting-ting! - and away."

In 1966 unloading and loading took place quite a lot without the - pull up - and - away - . Only stopped when these new-fangled doors were introduced!

"During the transition years, London charged significantly more for cash fares than cards (and people very rapidly cottoned on and switched) - perhaps it's time to do the same in Cambridge?"

Yes, and inter-operator smart ticketing will happen throughout England within the next few years. It is already starting in major cities and will be rolled out everywhere else soon. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland all have similar plans.

I certainly appreciate my English contactless inter-operator smart ticket which never seems to need topping up! Shame outside London it only works after 09:30! and not at all in the other countries currently making up the so-called United Kingdom,
« Last Edit: October 22, 2016, 05:13:09 pm by RM471 »

Offline dwarfer1979

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Re: Stagecoach Contactless
« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2016, 05:21:57 pm »
B Could work quite cheaply if the reader was connected to the ticket machine and knew the destination the driver last said the bus was at?
The problem is that drivers don't update the stage on the machine until they have to, like when they sell a ticket, so it is often not accurate at the point when the passenger alights.

From a passenger perspective A or B are easier & quicker but from an operator perspective C can be rolled out pretty much now with the existing equipment, systems & fare scales whereas A requires a complete change to how fares are set up & charged whilst B needs a complete change in how the equipment works (or even the equipment used).  Aside from the technology, most ticket machines are not currently capable of reading cards, part of the issue with getting this rolled out is getting card issuers interested (much of the industry is comparatively small scale compared to what they are used to dealing with) but also issues over who is liable for fraudulent use (currently it is apparently the retailer for the first £10 which given buses can't check the card until they get back to the depot introduces a big risk though it looks like this may be changed) & transaction costs (not that they are particularly large but when the majority of your transactions are expected to be below £5 it can end up a significant percentage, again this is looking like it may be on the verge of adjustment).

Offline dwarfer1979

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Re: Stagecoach Contactless
« Reply #11 on: October 22, 2016, 05:25:22 pm »
So like London if you don't have a contactless card or a debit card you can't use the bus
Unlikely outside London, as if an operator in a deregulated environment were to do this they run the major risk of another operator sweeping in accepting cash and taking all the passengers.  You will probably see an split in prices to encourage take up, as has happens with Smartcards, but it is only in an environment like London where you can prevent competitors starting up legally that you can risk forcing passengers to move away from cash.

Offline RM471

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Re: Stagecoach Contactless
« Reply #12 on: October 22, 2016, 05:44:17 pm »
"The problem is that drivers don't update the stage on the machine until they have to, like when they sell a ticket, so it is often not accurate at the point when the passenger alights."

With Smart ticketing and Vix the driver doesn't need to collect fares, issue tickets or update the stage on the machine. more time for driving and keeping an eye on the passengers.

Offline Coast_Hopper

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Re: Stagecoach Contactless
« Reply #13 on: October 22, 2016, 06:38:09 pm »
Wrong Coast_Hopper, like in London you will be easily able to buy and top up a smart card on-line or in a shop or ticket office, or use a contactless credit or debit card. Either will be a lot less hassle than having to find the right money or wait for change and then wait for a ticket to be printed and then tear it off every time you get on a bus. And then sit and wait patiently while your bus chucks out toxic emissions at every stop when all the other passengers do the same.

Speeding up journey times with contactless payment should help address the problem of declining bus use if the new machines accept the card instantly like in London, rather than the 2 second wait on current Stagecoach in Peterborough buses.

Of course all my service buses have no doors and a really helpful conductor which is why buses were successful and popular fifty years ago!

Understood but problem is that if you don't have a contactless card chances are you don't have a debit card either so topping up online by card is also out of the question,  yes in London you can top up oyster cards at a shop for cash or buy a travel card but that's OK if the time of travel and your location doesn't inconvenience the passenger to get a valid ticket to travel, 

I was in London with no cards one Sunday morning waited at the nearest stop bus driver said no cash so had to walk the suburbs of Alexandra Palace at 7am on a Sunday morning in the opposite direction to where I wanted to go looking where I can buy a ticket

Offline Coast_Hopper

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Re: Stagecoach Contactless
« Reply #14 on: October 22, 2016, 06:41:08 pm »
Some systems fall flat on their face though like the North scheme called Holdall,  don't think that is widely used

Offline TCD813

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Re: Stagecoach Contactless
« Reply #15 on: October 24, 2016, 01:43:42 pm »
Hi, Forum members.

Here are some links:

Original Stagecoach Press Release on contactless
Q&A on contactless payments
Stagecoach smartphone app

And a quote:

Quote from: Stagecoach Q&A
Do I still need a ticket if I pay with contactless?
Yes. We’re launching contactless payment as an alternative to paying for your journey/ ticket. Tickets will still be provided and will also act as your payment receipt.  If your ticket is added to a StagecoachSmart card you’ll receive a separate payment receipt.
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Offline RM471

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The future of public transport ticketing
« Reply #16 on: October 24, 2016, 03:47:55 pm »
"I was in London with no cards one Sunday morning waited at the nearest stop bus driver said no cash so had to walk the suburbs of Alexandra Palace at 7am on a Sunday morning in the opposite direction to where I wanted to go looking where I can buy a ticket."

I can understand your anger and frustration and it is unfortunate that you hadn't seen any of the publicity about no cash being taken on buses in London. You could have bought an oyster card, when you found a shop, and kept it topped up. It is great because now, thanks to the new mayor, you get your second bus journey free if commenced within an hour of the first touch in. And no more unwanted long Sunday morning walks. Most tourists to London buy an Oyster on arrival, even if they are never visiting London again, so no reason why UK residents shouldn't.

It will be even more useful when smart, inter operator ticketing extends to the whole of the UK and you'll only need one card.

We are way behind the Netherlands. Their ‘Nationale Strippenkaart’ has been around for over forty years and has been valid throughout the country on all buses, trams and underground trains, as well as for 2nd class rail travel within the city limits of Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Utrecht and The Hague/Zoetermeer. It is being replaced by the 'OV-Chipcard' valid on all public transport throughout the country. You can get your own and top it up, or use disposable cards from vending machines, shops, hotels and stations.

Offline barryb

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Re: Stagecoach Contactless
« Reply #17 on: October 25, 2016, 12:07:41 am »
Oh.  So you can use a contactless card to get a ticket put on a stagecoach smart card... Ok.

Remember when Megariders were a tenner and the driver gave you it along with the wallet to stick it in yourself?   That was pretty quick...

Offline TCD813

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Re: Stagecoach Contactless
« Reply #18 on: October 25, 2016, 08:25:49 am »
Oh.  So you can use a contactless card to get a ticket put on a stagecoach smart card... Ok.
...

Underwhelming, eh?
TCD813? The reg of a Southdown Motor Services, Northern Counties bodied, Leyland Titan PD3/4 FH39/30F (popularly dubbed 'Queen Mary') from the late 50s.
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Offline barryb

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Re: Stagecoach Contactless
« Reply #19 on: October 25, 2016, 09:50:34 pm »
A bit in line with what I was expecting, but disappointing nevertheless.  I like it when I get proven to be cynical, rather than when I can say I was just being realistic.  And my mum's experience of the smart cards is that they're a bit unreliable and you have to keep the paper receipt so that you can post everything to them when things go wrong, which...

Do things properly or don't do them at all?