Brits now use smart cards and mobile phones for half their rail journeys

Smartphone screen with mobile train ticket
SMART TRAVEL: Half of all rail journeys in the UK are now made using smart tickets such as mobile tickets

Rail passengers are now choosing to use ‘smart tickets’ for half of all the journeys they make, the UK’s Rail Delivery Group (RTG) has revealed, paving the way for the introduction of a wide array of innovative new fare structures.

The 50% adoption rate represents a rapid increase from just 37% a year ago.

“Smart tickets can be kept securely, save passengers time with no need to queue to buy a ticket, and they allow people to book online from anywhere for anyone,” the RTG says.

“Covering both smart cards and barcode tickets on mobile phones, they are also less likely to wear out and stop working than paper tickets.”

“Every train operator has worked to provide a smart ticket option and ensure passengers can use smart tickets on nine in ten routes across the National Rail network,” the RTG adds.

“Now, to make the most of new technology, the rail industry wants to work with government to accelerate wholesale reform of outdated fares regulation.”

“Full reform would pave the way for pay‐as‐you‐go price caps and part-time, flexi season tickets to be introduced across the country so that commuters could save money when they travel off peak or fewer than five days a week.

“On long‐distance journeys, it could enable a greater range of on‐the‐day fares for people to buy on their smartphone, giving them more options at a better range of prices.”