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Wednesday, May 12, 2021

More eTickets help rail passengers socially distance on Thameslink and Great Northern

Rail passengers will be able to socially distance more easily, helping prevent the spread of Covid-19, by using smartphone eTickets at 14 more stations on the Gatwick Express, Great Northern, Southern and Thameslink network.

Parent company Govia Thameslink Railway this month completes a two-year project which allows passengers to scan eTickets at 60 stations bought via their OnTrack apps or websites and displayed on their smartphones or printed out at home.

Barcode readers have just been added to 11 more stations with a final three to follow by the end of the month: Hove, Horley, Redhill, Reigate, Merstham, Radlett, Harpenden, Welwyn Garden City, Hatfield, Potters Bar and Hertford North; to be followed by Polegate, Bexhill and Epsom (see editor’s notes for a full station list).

Opening the ticket gates with a barcode e-ticket.

Barcode eTicket sales have increased in the UK from 25% of UK rail ticket revenues pre-Covid to 33% now as passengers realise the benefits of non-contact travel. eTickets can help passengers travel with confidence and are ideal for advanced singles, peak and off-peak singles, and peak and off-peak day return tickets.

Season ticket holders looking for similar Covid-safe benefits are urged to use the free Key smartcard, which is now available over the ticket office counters and not just by ordering it online, a process taking up to five days.

Thameslink and Great Northern Customer Services Director Jenny Saunders said: “These eTickets and the Key smartcard are simple to use and save our customers time queuing for tickets at the station. They also minimise contact, helping everyone to socially distance and travel in confidence.”

Robert Nisbet, Director of Nations and Regions for the Rail Delivery Group said: “Investment in smart ticketing across the network has made train travel quicker and easier as people can get their ticket straight to their phone without stopping at ticket offices or ticket machines.

“To make the most of smart tickets rail companies now want to work with government to rewrite outdated rail fares regulations to enable new types of ticket that better reflect the way people will work and travel in future.”

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