Like coal and steam engines, peak and off-peak ticket pricing could be a thing of the past after train operators have called for a major reform of the rail fare system.
The shake-up could mean that over 150 years of the rail pricing model could be replaced by the rollout of ‘tap-in, tap-out’ travel nationwide.
The Rail Delivery Group (RDG) called its proposals a “once-in-a-generation” reform of the fares system and is the industry’s first contribution to the Williams Review, of which I plan to comment more on in a later article.
Targeting what it calls an “outdated and outmoded fares and ticketing system”, the body said it wants to scrap the “cliff edge” between cliff between peak and off-peak prices, and possibly scrap them all together which it said will reduce overcrowding.
At JNCTION, we believe that the RDG Big Plans and Big Changes consultation results and plan are an important step on the path to the deregulation and market reform of the fares over the next few years.
This should bring the rail sector in line with other sectors such as energy and telecommunications, allowing innovation and competition from new entrants to the market. I believe it’s good news for passengers and for the continuing growth of rail. It’s now up to RDG to deliver on this promise.
This proposal lays down a challenge to the DfT and train operators to enable innovative startups like JUNCTION to come up with solutions that improve the experience for rail passengers.
It’s an exciting time to be working in rail as digital rethinks 150 years of the rail ticket by imagining and demonstrating new ways of choosing and paying for rail journeys.
Mike Lloyd, CEO of JNCTION
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