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September 13 2017
By The Routeone Team

The routeONE team is dedicated to bringing you the latest bus & coach industry news, views, jobs and more.

How to create new revenue streams

Passenger wi-fi is still not a perfect solution for coach and bus operators, but there are ways to maximise the potential

The current infotainment services provided on UK transport networks need a shake-up, says software developer Trolex Aporta.

Passengers still can’t always get access to a service that has secure and stable internet connection, and the firm says that as consumers, we’ve come to accept mediocrity on the UK’s transport network, and accept that the onus is on us to provide our own entertainment when we travel.

However, the technology exists today to make the rail and coach passenger experience more enjoyable and interactive.

This can be achieved through providing a secure wi-fi intranet or “offline” network that enables passengers to access digital content and services.

This digital content – e.g. movies, TV box sets, travel information or news – can be streamed directly to a passenger’s laptop, tablet or mobile phone, from an on-board server without any connectivity failure or buffering.

Enhancing the experience

Often, the reason for not providing a quality passenger experience is the associated cost to do so. If transport providers were to provide better public wi-fi access then they would have to invest in the wi-fi network and incur larger data roaming charges from internet providers, which they pass on to customers.

However, a closed network opens many opportunities to enhance the passenger experience by enabling transport providers to solve passenger problems in ways that make it easy and straight forward, while increasing opportunities for new revenue streams.

Making passenger journeys hassle-free can make a huge difference in the perception of the overall service.

For example, making seat reservations available to a personal device or providing in-seat ordering of food and beverages can make the journey more pleasant. From a security perspective, there are improvements that can be made to prevent luggage from being stolen by alerting passengers when an item of luggage is moved.

Monetising digital

Current digital on-board services are cost-effective and provide opportunities for new revenue streams for transport providers. By diverting passenger activity from the public internet to digital on-board services, the cost reduction to transport providers can be significant, by avoiding much of the data charges associated with mobile internet access.

Other tangible opportunities include creating offers around premium content (the latest blockbuster movie or live sporting event), or enabling the pre-booking of hotels, rental cars, tourist trips and restaurants.

Targeted advertising using banner ads or pre-roll video all contribute to creating new revenue streams.

Having access to passengers while on a journey is incredibly appealing to advertisers as it is one of the few times where an audience has a high dwell time and increased opportunity for engagement.

This opens the door to additional income through advertising and sponsorship packages. Moreover, digital on-board services provide transport providers with the chance to capture valuable customer data, which can then be used to drive further engagement and improve other aspects of the passenger experience.

It’s a challenging marketplace, it cannot be denied. Transport companies are constantly looking for new ways to improve the passenger experience, and a new model for infotainment is available today.

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