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More passengers than ever before can now travel with e-tickets on Southern Railway, subsequently helping people to socially distance and, therefore, preventing the spread of COVID-19.
Twelve extra stations along the south coast between Chichester and Eastbourne now have barcode readers installed on the ticket gates for passengers to scan e-tickets bought via the Southern OnTrack app or online, which are then displayed on their smartphones or printed out at home.
Another 29 stations will follow across the Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) network – including Southern, Thameslink and Great Northern – over the coming months, in addition to the 15 major stations already fitted out with the technology.
Barcode e-ticket sales have increased in the UK from 25 per cent of UK rail ticket revenues pre-COVID-19 to 33 per cent now, as passengers realise the benefits of non-contact travel. E-tickets can help passengers travel with confidence and are ideal for advanced singles, peak and off-peak singles, and peak and off-peak day return tickets.
Season ticket holders looking for similar COVID-19-safe benefits are urged to use the free Key smartcard which, by December 2020, will also be available over the ticket office counters and not just by ordering it online (a process which can take up to five days).
Southern’s Managing Director, Angie Doll, said: “Customers can already travel safe in the knowledge that our trains and stations are kept clean with a long-lasting viruscide on all touchpoints. Now, e-tickets and our Key smartcard make it even quicker and easier to book a ticket online, speeding up the journey through the station, minimising contact and helping everyone to socially distance.”
Chris Heaton-Harris, the UK Rail Minister, said: “Making public transport more modern and accessible is a top priority in all the work that we do. The roll-out of smartphone ticketing across the Southern network makes it quicker and faster for passengers to pass through stations, simplifying their journeys and delivering a more seamless experience.”
This article first appeared on www.globalrailwayreview.com
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