m-Tickets for trains, at last some movement, but more to be done

Posted on March 25, 2014


I saw yesterday (24th March) that First Capital Connect have started supporting mobile tickets.

you can see a capture of their tweet from yesterday.
I am glad that this is happening,  and it would appear to be a lot like the airline’s model:
That is the “ticket” ends up being a QR code read by the entry gates at the station.
Good, easy to understand,  and quite straight forward to use.
Of course there are a couple of issues namely:
The gatelines will have to have QR code scanners, and most do not.  This greatly limits the speed of adoption for the service,  and I am sure will cost a great deal to install the readers in the gates.  I presume this is why the service is limited to Cambridge to Kings Cross and Kings Lynn to Kings Cross.
The other strange thing is that they are not ITSO compliant, this is the scheme backed by central government and I am told by an expert here at IBM, is being mandated in the new franchise agreements.  I presume FCC could not wait for ITSO to arrive.
But let’s not carp,  this is a great thing and I applaud them for getting on with it.
PS I am a FCC customer as I commute on their Thameslink route,  sadly no m-tickets for me.