Flexible mobile phone tickets on test
UK: Mobile phone tickets valid on services operated by multiple train operators are being piloted in two separate areas covering 86 stations in northern England.
Previous m-Ticket products were limited to specific services, but those on trial are available for travel on any CrossCountry, First TransPennine Express, Northern, Virgin Trains or Virgin Trains East Coast services wholly within the pilot area. The range of tickets includes flexible walk-up standard and first class anytime and off-peak fares, with the price, validity and terms and conditions the same as for the equivalent paper ticket.
Passengers can buy m-Tickets through mobile device apps from the participating operators or independent retailer TheTrainline.com. The m-Ticket must be activated before boarding, which can be done at any time during its period of validity, and must be ready for inspection at station gatelines or by on-train staff; passengers must ensure their mobile device is charged.
Security measures mean m-Tickets can only exist on one device at a time and cannot be sent from one device to another. They have barcodes which can be scanned, and an animated ‘watermark’ which shows the period of validity. The m-Ticket expires at 04.30 the following day and cannot be reused.