To help keep its passengers and drivers as safe as possible from the impact of COVID-19, Dublin Coach has become one of the first transport operators in Ireland to roll out a fully cashless ticketing system. The initiative has been implemented across its entire fleet, in partnership with bespoke ticketing specialist, TransMach.
By removing the option of cash payments with the primary aim of protecting its drivers and customers, Dublin Coach has also streamlined its operation by eliminating the need to process currency at the end of each service, saving both time and financial resources.
The upgrade to fully cashless was launched in 2020, consisting of three main elements to the project. TransMach developed a bespoke App for Dublin Coach, providing the facility for real-time GPS vehicle tracking so that passengers know exactly when to expect their service. The App also includes ticket bookings and journey planner functionality, giving passengers access to timetables, connections and fares.
Secondly, a bespoke booking engine has been designed for Dublin Coach, enabling passengers to book tickets and pay online from the website.
Thirdly, TransMach’s mobile TM920 contactless unit replaced an older technology system in favour of an Android based portable solution that links to a cloud-based back office system, designed exclusively for TransMach customers. Weighing under 400g and featuring an in-built thermal printer, the TM920 is ITSO compliant and compatible with all contactless cards, smartphone payment apps and travel related QR codes. All boarding data is logged through TransMach’s securely encrypted back-office system, which also provides Dublin Coach with detailed reports for patronage and overall service performance, plus the facility to cap seats per journey, where applicable.
According to TransMach’s director, Minesh Vandra, almost 90% of smaller, regional operators are still using outdated ticketing machines. As well as adding extra time and
administration for drivers, these also require significant time for operators to download data and compile concession reports manually for local authorities. He commented:
“Due to Covid-19, contactless ticketing is now paramount for safety but TransMach wanted to do more to support operators and drivers, by removing the administrative burden. Our in-house developed TM920 system is an all-in-one solution that enables operators to offer well thought out digital ticketing and real-time passenger information to their customers. TransMach’s mission is to make bus and coach travel seamless and more cost-efficient for our customers, so we’re delighted to have helped Dublin Coach implement a network upgrade.”
Commenting on the partnership with TransMach to make its operation 100% cashless in a relatively short space of time, John Reilly, Regional Manager, Dublin Coach, said:
“Dublin Coach has a long-standing relationship with Transmach and the project to upgrade to its TM920 machines was seamless. The team at Transmach recognised and understood all of our needs and created bespoke solutions to our specific business requirements. The customer service provided is always friendly and prompt and thanks to Transmach we can now accept contactless payments on board our coaches, as well as payments via our website and App and real-time tracking via our App.”
Minesh Vandra, TransMach’s Director, concludes:
“Dublin Coach was TransMach’s first customer in Ireland and our successful partnership has evolved, so that our strategic solutions help them improve profitability and service efficiency. With the introduction of the TM920, App and booking engine, their business is already experiencing a range of benefits and cost savings. As a result of the pandemic, a cashless transport system is the way forward, so TransMach is well placed to support bus and coach operators in the transition to a fully connected ticketing solution. Having built up significant experience working with various transport applications, TransMach takes pride in supporting over 300 customers across the UK and Europe with customer friendly support and competitively-priced ticketing solutions, which include mainstream bus services, inter-town coach and tram operations, as well as commuter, school and demand-responsive services.
For further information on TransMach’s contactless systems, please visit transmach.co.uk