Train travellers, more than anyone, need good clear information design to be confident they are on the right track (literally) and got the right ticket. Despite lots of talk about the simplification of ticket types in the UK, this is an area the train operating companies still have lots to learn. You need a degree in ticket options to know when off peak starts (and it differs on train to train), whether you can get on a specific train or whether you need a separate seat reservation. The combination of ticket types, travle conditions and price bands beggars belief. Just look at my tickets from a journey last week and the various codes, and you start to get an idea of confusing they are. Any idea what STD means, or Anytime S or SEAT tickets? Does any permitted route mean any permitted train? And what happens if you miss the train?
My challenge is to the authorities to really make it easy for us travellers. Put the customer first and design a ticket system that is straightforward and easy to understand. Easy to normal human beings that is. Tell us what trains we can use, in a way that makes sense to everyone, whether its their first journey or they use the railway everyday. And include all the information we need in a form we understand.
It can’t be that hard. Really, it can’t. We’ll do it for you if you need some help.
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