Bournemouth railway station

Mixed views on new train e-tickets

Great Western Railway is introducing mobile e-tickets in an attempt to speed up the booking process for travellers.

Rail users will now be able to book their ticket on a mobile phone and scan the barcode at stations on the Great Western Railway (GWR) network.

The Breaker spoke to passengers at Bournemouth railway station to see whether they would use the new system.

“It’s much more convenient”

Miguel, 34, already uses e-tickets for rail travel and prefers them to paper tickets.

He said: “I much prefer them (e-tickets) and say if you’re in any sort of rush and the hassle of going to a ticket machine and fumbling with your card to get your tickets, I much prefer it on a phone.

“I use it all the time, and when I’m going north to Manchester or Liverpool it’s a lot handier, it’s much more convenient.”

Dokyeong, 24, told the Breaker: “I’m a student, but if the e-ticket has better value I will definitely use it because it’s more convenient to get an e-ticket nowadays.

“Normally I go on the website of Trainline and I just search the destination and I get the ticket from the email, and I just go to collect them as I live close to the railway station.

“Therefore I don’t really use e-tickets because I don’t know how to use it to be honest. Trainline is much more straight forward.”

Steve, 74, said: “I’ve just been in to purchase some tickets. You can get them online or you can get them from a machine, but I just find it’s easier doing it now. I’ve got to do my shopping in Asda anyway I’ve got them all ready, all I’ve got to do is go to the platform on the other side, get the train and off I go.

“I’m just not really that bothered”

“I’m just not really that bothered (about e-tickets), I don’t travel by train that much and I just find it’s easier doing that when and if I go.”

23-year-old Rebecca thinks the move is a good idea but has had some issues with the system previously.

She said: “I think it’s a really good idea but I’ve had trouble with e-tickets in the past.

“There’s a lot of things that can go wrong with them so I think if they keep the paper tickets as well, just to introduce it for a couple of months that would be even better.

“I’ve had slow service, I couldn’t access my e-ticket, I had the reference number and everything but couldn’t actually access the ticket because it said on the email ‘this isn’t the ticket’.

“It’s the impracticalities”

“It’s the impracticalities of actually getting it on your phone and the time it takes compared to just going and grabbing the ticket. You don’t have to rely on signal for your ticket.”

GWR said they hoped customers could go from ‘booking to boarding’.

Lee Edworthy, Head of Retail at GWR, said: “Technology has fundamentally changed the way that we travel.

“The expansion of mobile ticketing will make buying a ticket and travelling with us much easier and more convenient, saving valuable time for customers.”

The Trainline ticket website, Virgin trains and CrossCountry Trains are some of the rail operators already using the e-ticket system.

Photo courtesy of Lewis Clarke.

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