Innovation That Matters

Bus company replaces ticket machines with bluetooth beacons

Travel & Tourism

In the UK, Keighley Bus Company is piloting a ticketing service that uses beacons and an accompanying app.

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Bluetooth beacon technology is being used to solve a wide range of problems. In a Mumbai slum, beacons are used to help local trades peoples compete with online e-commerce by messaging passersby with smartphones. And in the USA, an agent-free real estate startup is using the technology to transmit information about houses on the market to those visiting as potential buyers. Now in Northern England, a shuttle service is trialing a bluetooth ticketing system using beacons.

Operating on a service between the towns of Keighley and Bradford, Keighley Bus Company is testing a new mobile ticketing system using Bluetooth beacons. The innovation, which is currently piloting, uses BLE beacons placed at bus stops. Volunteers who sign up for the trial download the accompanying app, register and add funds to their account before being able to travel. The app calculates the length of the route taken and caps at the most economic price so those who use the system also have the potential to take advantage of the best value price over the course of a day or week. Alex Hornby, the bus company’s CEO explains, “This pioneering technology has great potential to speed up boarding times and journeys, which will only improve our punctuality further on this busy route.”

This use of beacons requires no interaction with a physical ticketing machine. Could this kind of technology be implemented on other busy forms of public transport?




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