Whether we’re making journeys for business or leisure, convenience is at the very heart of a seamless travel experience. When well-designed and well-executed, trips by train become more attractive for passengers, helping encourage rail usage over other (e.g. private) modes of transport.
That’s why constant innovation is vital. Thankfully, due to the ever-increasing levels of digitalisation within the public transportation industry, the capacity to deliver experiences which live up to passenger demand has been significantly improved in tandem: Fast and reliable connectivity empowers transport operators to enhance existing onboard passenger services, or to deploy helpful and handy new applications.
In this article, I’d like to introduce and explain two such GoMedia solutions in a little more detail: At-Seat Ordering, and ScreenShare.
Your Snacks in a Snap…
At-Seat Ordering empowers passengers to browse, order and pay for food and beverages from the comfort of their seat, simplifying the travel experience and creating additional revenue potential for rail operators in the process.
Utilising the fast and reliable Wi-Fi delivered via Icomera’s centralised connectivity platform, At-Seat Ordering allows customers to see what’s available and order refreshments via the train’s online web shop directly from their Internet browser; this means that no App is required (though the service can be integrated with a transport operators branded App, should that be preferred). The solution automatically brings the passenger to the correct web shop for their specific train service and can even be designed to automatically attach their designated seat number to each order.
There’s the possibility for orders to be delivered directly to passengers at their seat, or to be collected from the train’s buffet car. At-seat delivery clearly provides convenience-related benefits for all passengers, allowing them to continue watching that movie or chatting with their friends / family while they wait, rather than having to get up to collect their order. For lone travellers especially this improves the travel experience, since they do not need to worry about leaving their luggage unattended or taking it with them around the train to collect their order – potentially losing their seat if it was not reserved.
There are also specific advantages for anyone who might otherwise find it difficult to reach the dining area independently; passengers with mobility issues can rest assured that their snacks will be delivered to them at their seat, saving them the difficulty of finding their way. Further improving accessibility, At-Seat Ordering is WCAG 2.0 compliant and can be built to be multi-lingual too.
From a transport operator’s perspective, the solution supports a variety of payment options and can be integrated with existing Electronic Point of Sale (EPOS) and stock management systems, where available. Food and drink stock levels can be updated in real-time, and staff on the vehicle can directly create, edit and / or remove any listings themselves.
Meetings on the Move…
ScreenShare is a high-quality video and audio-conferencing solution, allowing passengers to give presentations, collaborate on documents, or chat with friends / family located on the same train.
With more rail passengers than ever utilising onboard Wi-Fi services while they travel, and more seeking to take advantage of their commute to carry out work-related tasks, ScreenShare makes communication between passengers traveling on the same vehicle easier and more productive. For example, a group of colleagues travelling on the same service might decide to use the ScreenShare feature to prepare for an upcoming meeting together, by sharing their entire screen, a single application window or web browser tab. Similarly, if a group of friends are on a busy train and forced to sit apart from one another, ScreenShare allows them to carry on their conversation throughout a trip.
ScreenShare leverages the onboard Wi-Fi hotspot connectivity delivered by Icomera’s routers, providing a far more stable connection than relying on a single passenger’s mobile data to host a meeting. Because all data is transferred across the train locally, the service doesn’t impact other connected services (such as passenger Wi-Fi), since it does not require any of the bandwidth from the vehicle’s external Internet connection, saving data costs for the transport operator. Additionally, if the vehicle loses external Internet connectivity for whatever reason, ScreenShare continues to work.
ScreenShare integrates as part of a transport operator’s web portal so, again, no App is required. It can be designed to meet bespoke brand guidelines and is password-protected, delivering security and peace-of-mind for users.
Crafting a Vision for Better Public Transport via Innovative Onboard Solutions
Inventive in their aims yet simple to deploy, passenger-centric services which take advantage of improved digitalisation within the rail sector, such as At-Seat Ordering and ScreenShare, help transport operators set the benchmark for seamless and enjoyable journeys.
By building travel experiences which are effortless, engaging and rewarding for passengers, we can elevate train travel, setting it apart from other modal choices, and encouraging its future use.