Barrister, butcher and now busman: John Clarfelt has revolutionised on-bus payments with his start-up Ticketer which now has 25,000 on-bus electronic ticket machines (ETMs) in the UK.
Having qualified as a barrister and also been a butcher, Ticketer is his third venture.
Over Lunch with Leon Daniels, he chats about how cashless payments have changed society and what the possibility is for charging passengers after a journey is made, to get them the very best fare.
They talk about the relationship of trust between operators and passengers and what more can be done by using data.
“The UK is very far advanced in terms of ETMs,” he says adding that public transport should be “enjoyable to travel on and efficient to operate.”
They mull over the possibilities for variable pricing on public transport according to demand, how to take fares without intervention (i.e. the passenger simply walks on and off , never touching in or out or buying a ticket) using facial recognition and how data about passenger loadings could improve vehicle utilisation.
Given how much Ticketer has changed the face of transport ticketing already, and the enthusiasm of enlightened operators, their discussions about the future might become reality sooner than we think…