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National Transport Authority pilots new mobile ticketing app

The trial is part of wider plans by the NTA to modernise and link ticketing systems across the networks.

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THE NATIONAL TRANSPORT Authority (NTA) has recently launched a pilot version of its mobile ticketing app for a small-scale trial which, if successful, will be rolled out across the country.

The pilot is part of the authority’s wider plans to modernise and link the ticketing system across all networks.

Last year the NTA awarded a contract worth €3.6 million for the development of a new mobile ticketing app that allows commuters to purchase and display their tickets on their phone. The tickets available for sale through the app are likely to include “multi-operator and multi-modal tickets”.

The NTA also said last year that it was progressing plans to introduce an Account Based Ticketing system across the entire network.

This would allow passengers to pay for their journey through their mobile phones, bank cards or official ID card or passport, removing the need to carry a special card, such as a Leap card, for commuting.

In response to a recent parliamentary question from Social Democrats co-leader Catherine Murphy, chief executive of the NTA Anne Graham said work on preparation for the “Next Generation Ticketing programme” is well advanced.

“The work comprises a series of projects to modernise the ticketing experience across the country and will be the next evolution of the current Leap integrated ticketing system,” she said.

Graham said as well as the option of using a smartphone or bank card, payment methods will be “smarter” with a greater choice of pre-paid and post-payment options and a system whereby the best fare for customers can be automatically charged. 

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“Better mobile apps and near real-time information on payments will be available,” she said. “In addition, the systems will cater for services not covered by Leap Card currently, such as inter-city rail services where customers typically book and pay online for their ticket.”

Graham said a pilot version of the NTA’s mobile ticketing app, for which the contract was awarded last year, has recently commenced with a limited trial on Bus Éireann route 133 between Wicklow and Dublin. 

“Subject to trial, this mobile ticketing app will be gradually rolled out to other Bus Éireann bus services as well as being extended to other operators across the country.”

Graham said it is not possible to give a timeframe for the delivery of the wider programme until the NTA receives approvals under the public spending code. 

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