Leading international public transport company, Stagecoach, has launched a new service giving passengers direct access to the cheapest fares across all rail journeys – a first for a UK train operating company.

The integrated customer-facing service, designed and executed by digital agency Zone, has been launched as an IOS app and new website via Stagecoach’s South West Trains service.

Zone’s brief was to enable the new app and website to allow consumers to plug directly into the national ticketing database, instead of via a third-party solution – the first time this has been done by a train operator. South West Trains passengers are therefore given direct access to every ticketing option available – with no booking fee – allowing for more value and transparency.

In addition, for the first time, passengers will be able to transfer tickets they have purchased directly to their South West Trains Smartcard via the website and app.

The new digital platform has been architected and built by Zone to realise a simpler, more flexible and intuitive information source and sales point.

The innovative new M- and E-Commerce platforms are part of a major overhaul of South West Trains’ digital presence, as Stagecoach aims to lead the way in transforming the UK rail passenger experience – starting with the customers who take 230 million journeys on the South West Trains network every year.

The digital overhaul follows research[1] showing the majority of UK rail passengers are confused by sales and journey information available to them.

Christian Roth, Managing Director of South West Trains, said: “Rail passengers tell us they want easy, fast access to the cheapest ticket for their journey. We’ve worked with customers and technology experts to deliver exactly that. We are now able to offer the easiest go-to resource to access the best value travel anywhere on the UK rail network.”

Dominic Mills, chief technology officer of Zone said: “There is a clear need to create a better online passenger experience across the sector. Digital is key in delivering that ambition. M-Commerce is now pushing the frontier of genuine customer service, utility and value. And this is the next chapter in the disrupters’ story: we’re starting to see the established, traditional brands and services such as Stagecoach take on the digital age’s newcomers and beat them at their own game, with even more ambitious, more useful, more seamless and more customer-oriented digital services.”

Published on: 4:00PM on 1st June 2016