Jonathan Welch speaks to TransMach director Minesh Vandra about developments in ticketing technology
A few weeks ago, I found myself at the wheel of an AEC Swift. New in 1968, it had all mod cons. Fluorescent saloon lighting. Variable-speed windscreen wipers. And to my left, space for a ticket machine and cash tray. Cash. Tickets. They’re not really in vogue these days, are they? And for good reason.
Yes, they’ll still have a place for a long time to come, but the world has moved on since the Swift represented the latest in bus technology; cash is no longer king, and tickets no longer need to be paper. Nowadays, would-be passengers have a choice of options before they even get near the bus stop, and even if they choose to buy on board, the introduction of cashless payments via contactless bank cards has completely changed the on-bus experience.
The result is a step-change in convenience for passengers, who no longer need to worry about having the right change, for drivers who no longer need to handle as much cash, and for operators who no longer need to process such large amounts of it, though arguably the sharp down-turn in cash payments has made it less economical to process the cash that remains.
For operators, the move towards a more cashless payment system represents a significant change in how they operate, and is just one of the areas in which external partners are being brought in to manage the many technological solutions which the industry has adopted in recent years. Many operators will be familiar with TransMach, and I suspect a significantly larger number of people will have interacted with the company’s products without knowing its name. It is a company which has moved with the times and offers a range of services to operators, including hardware such as on- and off-bus ticket machines as well as the software functions which support them and the growing demand for data in the background.[…]
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