Bluetooth beacons could be just the ticket for UK rail passengers

UK rail passengers could soon have their tickets verified automatically as they walk through fare gates at a station, using a Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE)-enabled mobile ticketing app due to be built by Bytemark.

FutureRailwayThe mobile commerce solution provider has been awarded a contract to create the app by FutureRailway, a collaboration between the Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB) and Network Rail established to “accelerate the uptake of innovation within the rail industry”.

It could be used by the UK’s rail operators to enable travellers’ tickets to be verified by “simply walking through fare gates equipped with new wireless readers”.

“Bytemark have been invited to participate in a demonstration project as part of the Future Ticket Detection competition to prove whether or not the technology works, and demonstrate it to potential customers and specifiers,” RSSB told NFC World+.

“If the demonstrator is successful it would be those potential customers and specifiers who would make the decision about whether it would be rolled out more widely.”

“Once completed, the FutureRailway smartphone app developed by Bytemark will offer transport operators and commuters several convenient methods for purchasing and activating rail tickets,” Bytemark explains.

“As long as their phone and Bluetooth is powered on, riders won’t even need to remove their smartphone from their pocket or briefcase. The new app will offer a host of other convenient features as well as including access to rail schedules, a rail system map, arrival times, GPS-based location services and more.”

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