Mobile phones will become the new tickets to ride for Arriva bus customers countrywide as the company becomes the first UK bus operator to introduce mobile phone ticketing for all its regional services.
Customers across Arriva’s regional bus businesses in England, Scotland and Wales, will be able to buy daily, weekly and four-weekly tickets via their mobile phones following the national launch of Arriva’s m-ticketing service since 17th November.
Arriva’s introduction of m-ticketing is believed to be the largest deployment of its kind in the world, covering approximately 1,000 routes served by Arriva’s regional fleet of 4,500 buses. It will enable passengers to use their mobile phones to purchase tickets and then display them to the driver.
‘The mobile phone is an essential part of modern life and m-tickets will give additional flexibility and convenience to our customers,’ says Mike Cooper, MD, Arriva UK Bus. ‘The launch of m-ticketing across all our regions will mean that millions of bus journeys will be taken using the technology. We believe this represents the largest introduction of its type in the world.
‘Customers can buy tickets using their phone at anytime from wherever they happen to be. It saves them searching out the cash to buy a ticket and speeds up getting on the bus as they simply show the ticket on the phone display to the driver.’
Arriva has worked in partnership with Concept Data Technologies and mBlox to create the m-ticketing service, which is a free to download mobile phone application. Once downloaded it allows people to purchase a range of tickets.
Tickets can be bought either directly through the application via a registered card or by purchasing credit from any PayPoint outlet either by cash or card. To ensure consumers only pay the price of the ticket and do not incur any data download charges to their mobiles, Arriva is using mBlox’s unique Zero Data Charge service. People using the m-ticketing service can save 10 per cent off Arriva four-weekly saver tickets.
The m-ticketing technology can be operated on any GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) enabled phone. The service also works on BlackBerry smartphones and from early 2010 will be iPhone compatible as well. Phones with black & white screens, which are typically four or more years old, cannot be used. Arriva’s m-ticketing service will work on all mobile networks.