Posted 27th March 2024 | 2 Comments

RIA says simpler fares would boost railway revenues

A new report from the Railway Industry Association is calling for a shakeup of how railway fares are charged, with the aim of making tariffs simpler and easier to understand.

The report mentions recent research commissioned by RIA and carried out by Steer, which found that passenger numbers could grow between 37 per cent and 97 per cent by 2050.

Even a rise of 37 per cent would exceed totals recorded in the 1920s, the previous busiest decade. A 97 per cent increase, resulting in around three billion journeys annually, would be unheard-of.

RIA is asking for a consistent ‘stable national vision’ for fares which balances national and regional interests while ensuring the ‘right balance’ between the private and public sectors.

It also says there should not be differences between ticketing systems which block simple travel purchases. There should be a ‘level playing field’ for all organisations involved in selling tickets, with data and other information being freely available.

Finally, RIA wants to see a ‘clear contracting framework’ which attracts new ticket sellers and ‘fosters collaboration’.

RIA’s innovation director Milda Manomaityte said: ’Providing better, simplified fares and ticketing, rooted in the principles of trust and value, are vital. We hope rail policy makers, stakeholders and all those in the railway industry with an interest in fares and ticketing find this report a useful contribution to the debate on how we can boost revenues and rebuild trust in rail in the future.’

Reader Comments:

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  • david C smith, Bletchley

    Perhaps there are different interpretations of " simplification". Richard Beeching is (in)famous for closing lines /stations/services, yet his basic principle was that the railway should concentrate on doing what it does best , rather than trying to be an "all things to all people " general carrier.

    If we develop that further, then maybe simplification within a "sector" , rather than uniformity between sectors across the whole passenger range would be more useful ? ,

  • Mike Richardson, London

    Hear hear for this:

    "There should be a ‘level playing field’ for all organisations involved in selling tickets, with data and other information being freely available".

    Exactly what independent retailers/the IRR are calling for.

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