On Trains & Buses

Travel news, views & information from Europe & North America by an independent public transport user

On an advance in mobile ticketing

Posted on December 8, 2009

Reading time: 1 minutes.

Mobile ticketing has been with us for a little while now with Scottish Citylink and National Express offering the option to text tickets to any GSM-enabled phone. Arriva seems to be taking things a step further with GPRS and allowing the opportunity for users to download an application onto their phone that is then used to buy a range of tickets. Following registration, it is the phone that does the work and has the required payment details. It’s all secured with a PIN and nothing is stored on Arriva’s servers. However, you do need a compatible phone and cheapskates like me with old bricks (I have my old Motorola from 2000 in mind here) or even recently acquired inexpensive bog-standard phones (like my Nokia 1661) are outside the loop for this means of buying day, weekly and monthly tickets. You’d think that every smartphone would be part of the offer too but that’s not so. In a way, it’s understandable that iPhone users are not served with Apple’s iron grasp of its App Store but Blackberry users are still waiting too. What this implementation illustrates is the need for a more standard computing environment for mobile phones because their platforms are even more diverse than the desktop PC world that gives me the machine on which I am writing these words. Arriva’s idea is a good one but it’s partly stymied by diversity in technology but that’s not the fault of any transport company.