Many operators only allow their customers to purchase tickets when they board the bus, or at a shop. This can cause queues and inconvenience to passengers. Finding the right change takes time, and getting to a shop is a hassle. However, there is another way.
Most customers will already be visiting your website for timetable information, so why not let them buy their tickets there and then? BusCms.com features a built-in e-commerce system specialised for ticket sales, and a number of our customers are using this to great effect. Customers of the recently rebranded Rosso can buy season passes from the comfort of their own homes, using Paypal to pay online. Season tickets are then sent through the post, ready to be used immediatelty. No extra need for extra equipment on the bus, no swiping of smartcards, and no fumbling for change.
Online selling is also an ideal solution for tourist routes. The Stonehenge Tour, run by Wilts and Dorset, sells advance tickets online through BusCms.com. Passengers are often international visitors, and they can secure their tickets long before they arrive on British soil. Payments are handled by Worldpay, and customers can download a pdf ticket which they need only print out and bring with them on the day. The tickets contain a name, reference number and QR code, which can be read by any smartphone.
But why stop there? With the advent of smartphones people are already carrying their emails around with them, so why bother printing out a ticket? Mobile ticketing has already been adopted by a handful of UK operators, and reports suggest that this is a very cost effective way of selling tickets because it requires no specialist equipment. Some have gone down the route of specialist apps with animated displays, which reduces the risk of fraud, whereas others use email or SMS. The market is still young and has a lot of growing to do, but mobile ticketing is sure to be the way of the future.