Fare collection competition concerns raised
UK: The market for ticket gates is 'a near-monopoly, with buyers of gates potentially paying too much', and the market for ticket vending machines is 'delivering poor service quality with low availability of machines', the Office of Rail & Road said on September 13 when it published an update to its ongoing investigation into the fare collection technology market.
The regulator said it would 'press industry to improve competition, value and innovation', It was also seeking significant change in how how equipment is purchased and looking to ensure that new entrants are not deterred from the rail market.
'Supply chains for key railway products should be competitive in order that they can deliver the innovative products and value that British railway passengers deserve', said ORR's Head of Competition Tom Cole. 'This study has revealed a number of concerns about weak competition for retail equipment, and the detrimental impact this has on price, quality and innovation. This is having a direct impact on passengers and taxpayers who ultimately pick up the bill, and miss out on new product developments.'
ORR is seeking feedback on its findings by October 11.