Ticketer has completed the rollout of new contactless ETMs across Arriva’s UK fleet of 3,500 buses in just six months, a new record for the Ticketer implementation team. The new Ticketer ETMs accept QR codes, mTickets, Apple Pay and Android Pay, as well as contactless payments, facilitated by Arriva’s contactless partner Littlepay.
The new Ticketer ETMs provide Arriva with access to key information about how passengers use buses, enabling the company to respond to changes in demand. This data helps Arriva drive a myriad of additional systems, such as RTI and the Arriva Bus app. Ticketer’s back office provides real-time information about transactions and bus locations, giving managers valuable data to improve services to suit its customers. Managers can also send important messages to drivers through the Portal, and the Schedule Adherence feature will help keep services running to timetable.
Driver and customer feedback has been positive, and Neil Shah, Digital and Commercial Platforms Director – Arriva UK Bus, puts this down to collaborative working, detailed preparation and having a solid rollout plan: “It’s no good turning up to a depot, installing some technology and leaving behind a manual. You have to engage with the people who are going to use the tech on a daily basis.
“We prepped thoroughly, created depot launch packs and appointed a contactless champion at every depot so that colleagues could access support before, during and after the units were fitted. This has been a huge team effort and involved colleagues from multiple businesses working together to deliver a complicated and fast-paced rollout.
“We also put a big focus on engaging the public, partnering with local authorities and politicians to launch Contactless to local communities. The secretary of state for Business and Energy, Greg Clarke, MP, even joined us when we rolled out the first machines in Tunbridge Wells. The take-up from customers has outperformed expectations and their feedback on social media tells us they really value the introduction of the new ticket machines.”
Ticketer has previously completed two trials of the ETMs with Arriva; one in Guildford and one in Tunbridge Wells. The main deployment phase, including 64 depots and outstations, with twelve Portals now covering Arriva’s five geographic UK regions, began in January this year and has been completed on schedule.
John Clarfelt, Managing Director of Ticketer, comments: “It’s fair to say that this has been our most challenging rollout due to the short timeframe, but we completed every depot on time without a single delay or change from the agreed plan. We could not have completed this massive project in record time without the invaluable support, teamwork and collaboration across our business, and indeed all the businesses involved.”
He continues: “The two pilot schemes were designed for us to work closely with Arriva in order to create a seamless plan for the record-breaking installation across the group. We adapted the programme to Arriva’s specific requirements and worked as a single team to manage the entire project in conjunction with our installers, Mobile Valley.”
The flexibility of multiple payment methods through the new Ticketer ETMs is proving to be extremely popular with Arriva passengers. Arriva is also benefitting from a reduction in the cost of cash collection and processing, and a reduction in fraud.