Bluetooth bus ticketing trial lets passengers travel without buying a ticket

Keighley Bus Company Shuttle service mobile ticketing pilot
SPACE AGE: Keighley Bus Company is inviting passengers to the future with mobile ticketing

Bus passengers in northern England are trialling a mobile ticketing system that works with Bluetooth beacons placed on buses and at bus stops, and a smartphone app that tracks the user’s journey and then charges them the best-value price over the course of a day or week.

The 662Pay pilot has begun on the Keighley Bus Company Shuttle service between the towns of Keighley and Bradford, and runs until 26 March, with volunteers receiving half-price travel on the service during the trial period.

“The mobile app calculates the length of route taken and will cap at the best value price over the course of the day or week, and involves no interaction with the ticket machine, which will mean quicker boarding times and, hopefully, a speedier journey as a result,” the company says.

Volunteers who sign up for the trial will be asked to download the 662Pay App, register and add funds to their account before being able to travel.

They will need to open the app at the start of each journey, confirm they are starting their journey by pressing the ‘Ride’ button and then present the ‘Ride Pass’ screen to the bus driver.

Removing barriers

The app will log user journeys and, provided the phone has synchronised with the 662Pay system via Wifi or mobile data before the end of each day, journeys will be reviewed and the best value fare for that day calculated.

“It has the power to remove some of the perceived barriers to bus travel for new users and make travelling even more convenient for our current customers,” says Alex Hornby, the bus company’s CEO.

“This pioneering technology has great potential to speed up boarding times and journeys, which will only improve our punctuality further on this busy route.”