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Thursday, July 25, 2024

Fares partnership transforms the skills of rail staff and boosts income

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A partnership between transport software provider ITAL and Carlisle Support Services aims to cut the amount of uncollected ticket revenue and enhance the flexibility of staff who work on the railway. 

Uncollected fares from passengers cost the rail industry at least £240 million per year – the equivalent of more than 80 new carriages.

ITAL’s Kinetic software platform provides multi-skilled, flexible staff with the information and equipment needed to undertake revenue protection and customer service duties on trains and at stations – and when stations are quiet, they can also undertake other duties to ensure facilities are clean and safe for passengers. With access to real-time information on disruption, the ability to report problems for rapid resolution, and extensive support in addition to ticketing facilities, Carlisle Support Services staff will be able to put passengers’ needs first more effectively and flexibly than ever before. It is believed to be the first such partnership on Britain’s railways.

Carlisle Support Services is an established supplier for the Rail Industry with over 20 years of experience in the sector. With more than 2,300 frontline employees working across the full spectrum of customer-facing roles, including Customer Service, Retail, Revenue Protection, Cleaning, and Safety-Critical staff, Carlisle enjoys longstanding and highly successful relationships with 15 of the current Train Operators. The new partnership empowers railway staff to deliver a comprehensive and high-quality service to passengers and train operators which will make rail operations more efficient than ever before.

Flexibility is the cornerstone of the partnership, with train operators using Carlisle Support Services staff to deploy people rapidly to where they are needed – such as to cover busy locations during special events, for example – and undertake a wide range of tasks. These could include ticket selling and validation, fare evasion enforcement, and provision of passenger information, enabling staff to cover more than one role where required.

Furthermore, because vital information will be available in the palms of Carlisle Support Services’ staff’s hands, the number of staff can be increased or lowered depending on operational requirements at any given location. Therefore, providing unrivalled scalability for optimal resource allocation and cost control.

ITAL Group Chief Executive Derrick Bilsby explained the benefits, saying: “Our industry-leading software solutions are helping to make rail operations more efficient than ever before and when put in the hands of multi-skilled staff can amplify those gains. The quality and timeliness of the information, insight and support it can offer mean rail staff no longer have to be pigeon-holed in individual roles. By freeing them to undertake other vital jobs at stations and on trains, our railway can be truly flexible and responsive, putting passengers firmly first.

The Government has challenged the rail industry to be more efficient without compromising passenger service, and our partnership with Carlisle Support Services is a great example of companies within the industry working together to help create a more flexible and responsive railway.”

Carlisle Support Services Chief Executive Paul Evans added: “Our long experience in the rail industry has shown just how effective highly trained, multi-skilled staff can be in making rail travel an easier and more pleasant experience for passengers, while also ensuring that everyone travelling has a valid ticket. This partnership provides the flexibility train companies have long wanted, offering real efficiencies and improving the quality of service. Our vision has always been to create railway assistance, and ITAL’s Kinetic software brings that vision firmly into reality.” 

ITAL’s Revenue protection suite includes facilities such ITAL mobile App, Daily Duty Monitor, Shifts, and our reporting suite, and deploying it to Carlisle Support Services staff is quick and easy with all the benefits of using a proven and effective system. In doing so, train operators can maximise operational capability and gain strategic insight and transparency to minimise unnecessary costs through optimal resource allocation.

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