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Chiltern Railways to pilot Bluetooth beacon mobile payments


A train company is to experiment with automatic fare payments that detect when passengers board and leave their journey.

Beacon technology will use Bluetooth frequencies to communicate with passengers' smartphones, establishing the fee they will be debited by the day’s end.

Chiltern Railways, owned by Arriva, will trial the transactions for 12 months on its London to Birmingham line.

Jointly funded by the Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB), the scheme could be “the next evolution of rail ticketing,” Dave Penney, managing director of Chiltern told the Times.

“We know passengers want to purchase tickets easily and travel for the best price; this app-based concept eliminates the need to purchase a ticket.”

Train passengers already have to pass through ticket gates so Bluetooth beacons could easily communicate with travellers, with the company promising a “best-value guarantee” for the journeys taken.

The mobile device would of course need to run the dedicated app for the scheme to work.

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