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Oxford Bus Company

 

Success Stories - Oxford Bus Company

 

When their existing pavement conductor ticketing system reached the end of it's life, Oxford Bus needed a new solution for their park & ride and coach services that not only provided efficient ticket production but also gave them more data on journeys made. Following advice from Barcode-IT, Oxford Bus were able to develop a new ticketing system using data capture terminals and mobile printers that has surpassed all expectations and revolutionised their pavement conductor ticketing system.

 

The greatest benefit realised by Oxford Bus when the ticketing system went live, has been the quick return on investment the system has given - it took just 4 weeks for the new solution to pay for itself! The major reason for this is the complete control Oxford Bus have over the software behind the ticketing solution and the ability to record more detailed passenger data. Changes and updates can be made in-house quickly and at no cost, whereas previously alterations or additions made through their original provider could take weeks to complete and were very costly.

 


"Our passengers demand the best possible service from us and the ability to sell them the right ticket as efficiently and quickly as possible is extremely important to the company and passengers alike." says Louisa Weeks, Operations Director at Oxford Bus Company . "Barcode-IT took the time and trouble to find out what we wanted and then helped us create the right system."


Oxford Bus Pavement Conductor Ticketing System

Pavement conductor ticketing for Oxford Bus is now an extremely quick process, which has improved customer satisfaction immensely and really does act as a "queue busting" facility. Tickets containing all the necessary information about the passengers and journey, a feature that was lacking in the original system, are produced simply and efficiently. In the case that an incorrect ticket is printed, it can be easily cancelled, a transaction that was impossible to complete previously. Additionally, the equipment used is no longer heavy and cumbersome, improving operator efficiency and reducing user fatigue.

 

Application Overview

The pavement conductor ticketing solution used by Oxford Bus uses a combination of portable hardware and intelligent software to produce tickets efficiently. Honeywell Dolphin® 7600 hand held computers are used in conjunction with Datamax-O'Neil OC2 portable printers to produce barcoded tickets for customers. The software driving this hardware was written using MCL in-house at Oxford Bus, with help and guidance provided by the software team at Barcode-IT. As the software is written in-house, this allows for instant changes and additions to be made, for example price changes, promotional deals, event tickets, etc.

 

The solution is currently in place on the Thornhill park & ride route, the airline Service from Oxford to Heathrow and Gatwick airport, as well as the express service to central London. The pavement conductor simply chooses the correct location of departure on the Dolphin® 7600 and then follows simple steps to complete all the necessary information to produce the ticket using the Datamax-O'Neil OC2 printer. These steps include inputting the number of passengers, passenger class (adult, child, senior, etc.) and destination. A ticket is then issued for the correct amount with a 2D barcode containing all of the input information plus extra information on the journey, like the route, driver number, date & time, price, destination, etc.

 

MCL is a powerful development tool that allows customer and application designers to create customised mobile applications.  MCL runs on a wide variety of mobile terminals and portable PCs and allows the program designer to create a user interface to a remote system, which can be simple or complex, but provides a consistent menu driven interface to the mobile user.

 

How It Started

Oxford Bus Company IT Manager, Mike Baston was referred to Barcode-IT when enquiring about mobile printing software solutions. Following deep discussion about the specifics of the project, it was suggested by Barcode-IT that a different approach needed to be taken. Following a number of meetings between Barcode-IT and Mike Baston and Colin Smart at Oxford Bus, a suitable solution was devised that satisfied the needs of the project.

 

Oxford Bus Company is part of the Go-Ahead Group Plc, one of the 5 major groups running buses in the UK. Oxford Bus run 150 buses and coaches within the Oxford area, providing local buses, park & ride and coach services to London airports and central London.

 

Want to know more about the individual components of this success story, click below for more information:

Oxford Bus - Solution Components


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Honeywell Dolphin 7600 MCL Software Datamax-O'Neil OC2 Portable Printer