Introducing the Rail+ Club from UrbanThings

November 26, 2021

Rail smart transport platform

The UrbanThings team is excited to announce the launch of our latest solution. Rail+ Club is a powerful new loyalty App designed to encourage passengers back to rail. It’s being trialled on Thameslink and Great Northern railway lines from this week.

 

The SBRI win 

This project is funded by the Department for Transport through the First of a Kind 2021 competition, delivered by InnovateUK. The solution focuses on developing pioneering technology and exceptional ideas that can improve journeys for passengers and decarbonise the rail network. UrbanThings won a share of the £9m prize awarded for the Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) competition, to run a three-month demonstration of our new technological approach.

From this week, selected Thameslink and Great Northern passengers will have the opportunity to download the Rail+ Club App and use it to track their journeys in order to receive rewards. Using our new, privacy-conscious QR scanning technology, passengers simply scan codes located on station platforms to record their trip. In exchange, they’ll receive rewards such as hot beverages, gourmet pizzas and luxury shopping vouchers. 

Not only does the platform encourage rail patronage, but it also provides train operators with a lower cost of customer acquisition via the collection of highly accurate data relating to passenger journeys. 

 

Rail+ Club Partners

Alongside GTR, incentives platform BetterPoints supplies the rewards engine for the project. Their technology promotes behavioural change through curated incentives.

The project is also working with several town and city partners including Hertsmere, Letchworth, St Albans and Stevenage to promote the app. Rail+ Club aims to boost these regional economies by promoting leisure travel and tourism to the areas.

Rail Plus Club Screenshots

Encouraging passengers back to rail

As many people continue to work from home, the number of commuter journeys is still not back to pre-pandemic levels. According to the Rail Delivery Group, journeys are only at 45% of what they were in Autumn 2019. Whilst passenger numbers are trending upwards, rail users still need to be encouraged back on board. 

Carl Partridge, CEO of UrbanThings, said “It’s essential we get passengers out of cars and back onto rail. It’s one of the most sustainable ways to travel. This technology has the potential not only to do this, but also to collect highly accurate passenger movements data that enables train operators to acquire customers far more affordably.”

It’s hoped that the incentive programme will encourage people out of their cars and back on to public transport.  

“We are facing a climate catastrophe if we don’t do everything we can to stop it right now,” said Richard Kirk, CEO of BetterPoints Ltd.  “We have to change the way we move: we have to get people away from single-occupancy car journeys and into using more sustainable modes of transport, like trains.”

David Gornall, Commercial Director of Govia Thameslink Railway:

“GTR is committed to supporting innovative projects, like the Rail+ Club programme, that incentivise rail travel. We are delighted to be working with UrbanThings and Better Points to pilot the Rail+ Club on the GTR network to encourage customers away from car journeys to rail travel.” 

The project’s technology is designed so that it’s adaptable for any ticketing or tech supplier. It is hoped that the project will expand to include additional train operating companies following a successful 3-month trial.

If you’re interested in trying out the Rail+Club app for yourself, you can sign-up here. Or get in touch with the team to find out how our technology can encourage your passengers back on board.