We’re excited to announce that John Backway, Head of Retail at Southeastern, will be keynoting on “National Rail’s transition to digital ticketing – historical challenges and future opportunities” at TRANSPORT Smart Class, London & South East England 2018 (Radisson Blu Edwardian Grafton, October 31st).
“80 per cent of rail journeys”, notes John, “are still made using magnetic stripe tickets, a technology that was first introduced into the rail industry 35 years ago. Working in partnership with government, train operators are actively working to digitise ticketing and simplify rail fares. Historically, progress with new forms of ticketing has been slow, and alternatives to magnetic stripe ticketing have not proved as successful as schemes such as Transport for London’s Oyster. Three interrelated initiatives are aiming to address this challenge – the Department for Transport’s Smart Ticketing on National Rail programme; the Rail Delivery Group’s Fares Reform consultation; and the joint RDG/DfT Future Connected Ticketing project”.
Southeastern is one of the UK’s busiest train operating companies and the operator of Britain’s only domestic High Speed rail service. John is responsible for retailing, ticketing and pricing. This includes all of the company’s digital channels and the development of its smart ticketing product The Key. Prior to starting his current role in 2017, John spent a decade working at Southeastern’s parent company Go-Ahead Group. In this role he headed up strategy for the Group’s future ticketing initiatives, developing business cases for contactless payments for bus and new retailing platforms for rail. He is also actively involved in industry ticketing policy, including the sponsorship of the RDG digital wallet ticketing project.
John completes our keynote line-up for this year’s London & South East England edition and joins TfL’s Shane Hymers (whose keynote, “Dynamic Demand Led bus service planning: maximising the opportunities provided by technology”, will explore what ‘Demand Responsive Buses’ could mean for Transport Authorities and operations such as London Buses), and City of London Corporation’s Bruce McVean (whose keynote, “Strategic approaches to smart mobility: Walking towards a smarter City”, will consider how the smartest approach is to “focus on the needs of people walking, and how emerging technologies can help deliver Healthy Streets”). Delegates can also expect to benefit from up to five rapid fire innovator presentations, delivered by leading digital technology experts, plus deeper-dive roundtable sessions to help hone smart transport and mobility strategies. Those with relevant credentials can apply for a free delegate place by completing the registration form at the bottom of the event page.