Successful NESTI Pilots / 'Open Day' Event
Two North East bus companies have now successfully installed Ticketer smart ticket machines funded by the NESTI project to introduce a single smart technology for the whole region.
The first pilot operator was Scarlet Band based in West Cornforth, County Durham, installed fifteen smart ticket machines with support from NESTI grant funding, and went live at the end of April. In addition, Gateshead Central Taxis went live with four Ticketer smart Ticket machines at the end of May.
As Gateshead Central Taxis provide secured contract services for Nexus, a key partner in NESTI, they benefited from Nexus setting up the fares and services in the Ticketer Portal on their behalf. This additional free service is available to operators who provide secured contract services for Nexus or Durham or Northumberland county councils.
Both Scarlet Band and Gateshead Central Taxis will receive a NESTI grant funding of £1,000 per eligible bus (calculated on PVR), plus 10%, rounded up to the nearest £1,000. Operators with smart ticket machines can also benefit from an 8% increase in BSOG funding and an additional 2% in BSOG funding if the Automatic Vehicle Location data is used for real-time information.
Other small bus operators in the North East who wish to benefit from the NESTI grant funding for Ticketer smart ticket machines must have completed and returned the NESTI registration of interest form by 30th June.
All bus companies need to do is contact Nexus, which is co-ordinating the installation of on-board Electronic Ticket machines (ETMs) on behalf of NESTI, the North East Smart Ticketing Initiative. They must do this before the end of June. All companies operating registered local bus services within or into the Tees Valley, County Durham, Darlington, Northumberland or Tyne and Wear are included.
Scarlet Band is hosting an ‘open day’ event for bus operators who have registered their interest in the NESTI grant funding, where they will be able to see the Ticketer system working ‘live in the field’ and ask any questions they may have to Scarlet Band, Ticketer and NESTI.
This event will be held on Wednesday 25th July, which is the first week of the school summer holidays.
Graeme Torrance from Scarlet Band said: “The installation of the new Ticketer machines over the weekend went very smoothly and the drivers have found the machines very simple to use. The Ticketer Portal also helps keep track of our buses and the tickets we are selling in real time. The NESTI grant funding and the 8% increase in our BSOG return due to the new smart ticketing machines has really helped us go ‘smart’. NESTI and Ticketer have been there to help us before, during and after the installation of the new machines”.
John Clarfelt of Ticketer said: “We were delighted to win the NESTI Tender, and equally delighted that our first two operators in the region have been able to go ‘smart’ so quickly, with the minimum of disruption to their operations. We are very appreciative of the support we have received from NESTI and the inputs from the first operators, who have helped us further refine our solution for the North East. We now look forward to helping and supporting a growing number of bus operators in the North East to convert to the Ticketer smart ticket solution”.
Keiron Gooch the NESTI project officer for assisting small bus operators said: “NESTI are very pleased that these two operators have now gone live with Ticketer smart ticket machines and we are looking forward to working with other operators interested in converting to the Ticketer smart ticketing system with the assistance of the NESTI grant funding of £1,000 per eligible bus. We already have more bus operators throughout the North East planned to go live with the Ticketer system during the Summer and Autumn period.”