Goodbye to paper train tickets
Paper train tickets look like they're on the way out, thanks to new plans that are set to see passengers tapping in and out with their bank cards or mobile phones. And this could be a thing as soon as 2016.
Basically, you'll be able to buy your journey online, and travel with little more than the bank card that you paid for the journey with. Shall we assume that plans are in place for people travelling who have a ticket that someone else has paid for?
The Department for Transport, banks, and train groups have held meeting to see how quickly the relevant technology can be pushed through, across the UK.
Basically, this is travelling on trains with contactless payment technology, so everyone will tap in and out like people who have been using the Tube in London have done for years.
Jacqueline Starr, managing director of customer experience at the Rail Delivery Group, said this new system will "improve the experience" of travelling by rail (it won't improve the actual trains though, will it?), saying: "The rail industry wants to respond to the needs of our customers and understands the importance of modernising train tickets so that passengers are no longer reliant on the old orange paper format."
"We are in the early stages of exploring how passengers could pay for and store tickets on their contactless credit or debit cards as part of our wider aim to improve the experience of rail passengers and move towards smarter types of ticket."
If this works, one good thing will be the removal of the need to use codes and the like, to print out tickets from machines in the stations. Hopefully, it'll mean an end to stations hiding cheapest fares from customers too, but we're not holding our breath on that score.
A spokesman for the Department for Transport said: "Our plan for passengers is to build a 21st century railway that provides better journeys for all, and improved ticketing is a vital part of that customer experience."