Oyster and contactless payments take off at Gatwick as the tech-traveller soars
09 March 2016
Over 180,000 passengers have already touched in and out at Gatwick’s rail station using Oyster or contactless payments since the technology landed at the airport only a matter of weeks ago.
For the week of 22-28 February alone, almost 35,000 passengers’ used Pay as you Go with Oyster or contactless, equating to 10% of Gatwick’s total passengers travelling to and from the airport by train.
The roll-out of Oyster and contactless payments is a game-changer for Gatwick’s rail passengers enabling them to benefit from seamless connections to and throughout the capital using a single ticketless system.
Across Europe, the UK has more Visa contactless card users (49.6 million) than any other European country and double the number of users in France (20.3 million), which is the next highest user. Rail Minister Claire Perry recently observed that advancements in contactless technology will likely lead to the ‘death of the tangerine ticket.
Elsewhere around the airport, millions of Gatwick’s passengers are also making the most of advancements in digital technology helping them to more efficiently manage their journey from curb to gate. Recent surveys show a surge in passengers maximising online check-in, self-service bag drops, mobile boarding passes and e-passport gates.
The number of passengers checking-in online has almost doubled from 33% in 2010 to 58% in 2015, while the number of passengers using a mobile boarding pass has surged from 0.9% in 2013 to 7.9% in 2015. Based on the 20 million passengers who departed from Gatwick in 2015, this equates to approximately 11.5 million checking-in online and 1.6 million checking-in on their mobile.
Gatwick Airport’s Chief Commercial Officer Guy Stephenson said:
“The roll out of Oyster and contactless payments at Gatwick is already helping to make journeys to and from the airport easier and ticketing considerably faster for thousands of our passengers.
As the rise of the tech-passenger soars, rapid advancements in technology at Gatwick are bringing huge benefits for millions of passengers, offering them greater convenience when travelling and more control over their journey from curb and platform to gate.”
The roll out of Oyster and contactless represents another milestone in the transformation of Gatwick’s rail services. Approximately 40% of the 40 million passengers who travel through Gatwick each year travel by train when using the airport and Gatwick has set a target of increasing this to 50% by 2040, comparable with the best airports in the world for public transport use. Gatwick’s rail passengers are also set to benefit from a significant investment in rail services over the coming years through the delivery of a newly refurbished rail station by 2020, new trains to central London every 2.5 minutes by 2025, and new Gatwick Express trains starting this month. This means 15 million people will be within 60 minutes of Gatwick and Gatwick will be railway-ready for a second runway by 2020, five years before a second runway at Gatwick could be open.
More information about the improvements to Gatwick rail services is available here.