Evolvi Rail Systems is predicting a rapid increase in rail tickets booked via App technology and fulfilled through TOD (Ticket on Demand) among the corporate clients of TMCs.
The company - which has just launched a full-functionality App for its new generation evolvi-ng online booking and fulfilment platform - says that research among its TMC customer base shows growing demand for smart phone applications.
“This is one area where technology will really add value to TMCs and their customers,” says Jon Reeve, Evolvi Rail Systems’ Sales Director. “We hear a lot about intentions to roll out national interoperability standards, such as ITSO, and the appeal of plain paper and mobile barcode ticketing…but in truth any significant progress in these areas is many years away.”
Essentially, ATOC (Association of Train Operating Companies) and RSP (Rail Settlement Plan) limit plain paper - largely for fraud prevention reasons - and barcode ticket fulfilment to Advance Purchase Fares that require a reservation and travel on a specified date and time. This profile fits less than two in 10 of corporate rail journeys, where greater flexibility, certainly on inbound travel, is required. Currently, it is not possible to fulfil flexible fare ticket types, either Off Peak or Anytime or on any journey combining an Advance Fare, via plain paper or mobile barcode methods.
In fact, these limitations - and no imminent prospect of national infrastructure improvements - led Evolvi to mothball its plain paper capability until there is much greater market reach and instead focus more attention on optimising its mobile application.
Says Jon Reeve: “Our research shows growing customer demand for smart App-based ticketing technology that is secure, easy to use and fully aligned to specific travel policies and cost centre attribution rules. And when combined with instant TOD, agent ticket issuing, desktop self-booking, desktop ticket printing and on-site kiosk fulfilment offered via evolvi-ng, this is a joined-up approach that better meets the travel needs of TMCs and their corporate clients.”
evolvi-ng is the only online rail booking and fulfilment platform offered exclusively to the TMC community. It is used by 90% of all TMCs, including eight of the top 10, and arranges over 4.7million rail journeys annually for corporate travellers.