NATIONAL Express train operator c2c has today launched the country’s first flexible season ticket, saving some part-time commuters in Essex over Â£100 a year.
The new Flexi-Season ticket is a digital carnet of 10 individual tickets which passengers buy once, but then only use when they wish to travel. Each ticket provides a typical 5% discount on the usual peak-time price of daily travel, with an additional 10% reward offered if that ticket is subsequently used to travel off-peak instead of at peak times.
Flexi-Seasons are specifically designed to provide discounted travel for part-time workers or those who don’t need to travel every day, and therefore buy daily tickets because traditional season tickets don’t provide good value:
– Passengers who commute three times a week from Southend would save over Â£135 a year by using the Flexi Season ticket instead of buying Anytime Day Returns
– Passengers travelling three times a week from Benfleet would save nearly Â£125 a year
– Commuters from Basildon stand to save over Â£100
Flexi-Season tickets are purchased online and loaded onto the c2c Smartcard automatically by tapping on the ticket gate. The tickets are exclusively available to c2c customers who travel from stations in Essex outside the Oystercard area, and can be used anytime over the next six months once purchased.
The initiative is expected to cut queues at ticket offices, meaning other local passengers will benefit too.
c2c Managing Director Julian Drury said:
"We are really excited to launch the UK’s first season ticket specifically designed for part-time workers. We know that flexible working is increasingly popular and provides the work-life balance that so many commuters crave. This new ticket means that part-time commuters can now get full-time value from their rail ticket, saving themselves time, money and hassle in future."
Rail Minister Claire Perry said:
"The launch of the c2c flexible season ticket is great news for passengers. We are providing record levels of investment to build a modern railway that provides better journeys for all and simpler, smarter ticketing is a vital part of that.
"People across the south east are already benefitting from the ease and convenience of smart ticketing provided through the South East Flexible Ticket programme. I am delighted to see C2C have built on this success and have taken up our challenge to develop innovative ideas that meet customers’ needs, saving them money."
David Sidebottom, Passenger Director at passenger watchdog Transport Focus, said:
"Passengers, particularly those who commute part-time, will really welcome this flexible season ticket. This is exactly the sort of new product we want to see smart card technology being used to offer."
An online calculator for passengers to work out if Flexi-Seasons can save them money is available at http://www.c2c-online.co.uk/tickets-and-fares/c2c-smartcard/flexi-season/.