Four key themes for rail innovation

The Transport Systems Catapult has published the findings from four recent workshops aimed at creating a better experience for UK rail passengers.

Produced in cooperation with the Rail Executive and transport user watchdog Transport Focus, the Innovation Consultation report pulls together the ideas and insights from the February 2015 workshops held in Norwich, Ipswich, Cambridge and Chelmsford as part of the Transport Systems Catapult’s work for the current East Anglia franchise competition.

Most of the ideas put forward by the rail users who attended the workshops could be grouped into four key themes:

  • Ticketing and a “fare deal”
  • Seamless end-to-end journeys
  • Building customer loyalty
  • A greater on-board experience

After exploring these themes in more detail, the report lists some of the individual ideas put forward by the workshop participants. Under “Ticketing and a ‘fare deal’” for example, proposals included: more intelligent ticket vending machines where regular customers can have a personalised account; smart cards that allow for automatic compensation following delays; and, something between a ‘season ticket’ and a regular ‘one-off’ ticket.

“The ground-breaking work of the Innovation in Rail Franchising team has been one of the great, early successes of the Transport Systems Catapult, and this report goes right to the heart of what this programme is all about – giving voice to the rail users themselves,” said Transport Systems Catapult CEO Steve Yianni.

“There are plenty of surveys that deal with rail users’ gripes and complaints, but this report goes beyond that, by encouraging the rail users to express their own great ideas for improving services, including a number of suggestions that they have seen working in other industries.”

The report, which has already been made available to the companies involved in the East Anglia franchise competition, was also welcomed by Transport Focus’s Passenger Director, David Sidebottom, who said: “We welcome initiatives that get passengers involved in the development of ideas and decision making … [and] were pleased to partner with Transport Systems Catapult on finding out how innovation can achieve this.”

Please click here for a full copy of the report, including contact details for the Transport Systems Catapult’s Innovation in Rail Franchising team. Read more about the Innovation in Rail Franchising programme here.


 

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