In the past transport has always been very much a physical thing. By that I mean, you had to have the right change for the bus or you had to buy a train ticket in person at a train station. As time has gone on however transport has developed more of an online presence and you can book tickets for most if not all forms of transport online; sometimes at discounted prices.
In more recent years this has gone one step further because with contactless payments it makes it easier and quicker to pay for things. I’ve seen lots of people make use of this method when catching a bus or using the underground especially.
It’s not just public transport though that’s shifted with the digital age, apps like UBER offer an alternative way of booking a taxi to get you from A to B. You can even use the app to pay for your ride and review it. UBER has been revolutionising the way we see transport, it’s cheaper and that’s the main appeal ,but it’s also the ease of being able to see where your nearest driver is and using the app without the need for cash. However, since the app launched it has also raised several safety concerns for both drivers and passengers and more recently it has been banned in London by TFL (Transport for London) because it did not meet the standards set by the government body. They deemed that it could not meet their safety regulations and this decision has gathered a lot of attention over whether it is a step to far. Other apps that offer the same service such as Lyft are still allowed to operate in the capital but it could possibly change the way these apps are allowed to do business.
Oyster card has been around a bit longer than UBER and is arguably one of the main choices for people travelling in London. It was launched in 2003 by Transport for London as a card that you could top up and use to travel around London more easily. Since then it has developed its own app which launched early this September. The app now allows you to top up and monitor your card balance to make it even easier to travel.
It isn’t just London that these apps work for though, there are cities all over the UK where UBER operates as well as all over the world. Most apps do focus on London like Citymapper, which shows live departures for various forms of transport and even has price comparisons for taxis, but this app in particular also covers cities abroad such as Toronto or Madrid. No doubt as transport shifts more and more with technology these apps will become available in even more cities.
It really shows how technology has developed to meet the newer technology that has been created in recent years. Certainly in London they have now gotten rid of ticket booths in underground stations and replaced them with self-service machines. The rise in the use of contactless and apps to travel will no doubt mean we won’t have to queue as much anymore for train tickets, because nobody likes to queue.