The 1985 Transport Act enabled more bus operators to take part in local authority concessionary fares schemes. This increase in operators created a greater need to monitor journeys for the purpose of reimbursing operators for carrying concessionaires. The potential of magnetic ticketing as a means of monitoring concessionary travel was already established. A successful trial of stand-alone validation equipment had been undertaken by the Laboratory in Eastbourne. A second trial, which is detailed in this report, has been undertaken in Andover with a validator linked to an electronic ticket machine. This enabled data, extracted by the validators from each magnetically encoded pass, to be stored with the data collected by the ticket machine. The results obtained indicate that the elderly persons who participated in the trial were able to use the system without too much difficulty, that boarding times were not increased significantly and that overall the equipment operated successfully in the hostile operating environment of a public service vehicle. The report also draws general conclusions on extending the use of this technology to include both monitoring concessionary travel and services run under contract to the local authority. (A) For details of the earlier trial undertaken in Eastbourne, see IRRD 816854.

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