Ticketless gives passengers the power to validate

UrbanThings, the company that created Bus Checker – one of the largest independent bus times apps in the UK – has exhibited its all-in-one ticketing, journey planning and travel information app Ticketless.

The company says it has been its mission to improve mobile ticketing ever since the roll-out of Bus Checker.

Ticketless can integrate with on-board hardware, or use UrbanThings’ own Hex Tag technology.

Where traditionally a driver would have to put details into a ticket machine, take time to print the ticket and then have to potentially validate them, tickets can now be bought in advance and validated using an offline system, reducing bus dwell time and saving money, according to UrbanThings.

“Mobile ticketing tended to be very expensive and still relied on physical readers on the vehicles,” says CEO of UrbanThings Carl Partridge. “Not all operators could afford those and it wasn’t portable enough for dynamic fleets or minibuses.”

Hex Tags, which use a matrix barcode, are made with robust industrial grade stickers for resilience, and are placed inside the vehicle and scanned by the passenger to validate tickets. The app is secure and forbids double-scanning and screenshots.

The system went live for the first time this year with Pilkington Bus in Lancashire.

“Now every morning, 500 students get on board, scan the QR code, and show their phone to the driver,” Mr Partridge explains.

Parents are also notified when their child has boarded the bus – one of many potential uses of passenger data.

UrbanThings is also developing Bluetooth beacons, which will automatically tap out a passenger where distance-based fares can be charged.

It is also trialling “as the crow flies” fares, where fares will be charged between travel zones based on distance.