ECR Retail Systems

Isle of Wight Floating Bridge Ferry Service

ECR has provided one of the UK’s last remaining floating bridges with an up-to-date ticketing system.

The Isle of Wight Floating Bridge Ferry Service needed to create a smarter, more streamlined way for its passengers to travel. The existing technology was outdated and could not cope with passenger demand and with decades of account-based ticket management experience, ECR was selected to help achieve it’s goals.

The Concept

The Ferry service, which runs between Cowes and East Cowes, has been owned and operated by the Isle of Wight Council since 1901. It was first established in 1859 and is one of a few remaining floating bridges in the UK.

With the help of ECR’s Cloud-based TicketPoS (Point of Sale) solution it strives to be more reliable and convenient for passengers to travel.

The previous three-piece EPoS solution suffered connectivity issues and wasn’t easy to use.

Delivering the Vision

ECR was asked to provide an account-based end-to-end ticketing system, which would include a new website interface for customers to book tickets.

The solution also needed to include the ability for customers to register an account, set up payment, and add minimum account value details on their Saver Cards (like an Oyster Card for locals), as part of a more streamlined process.

High on the agenda was ensuring they had all payment options covered whether on account, walk up or drive on.

In developing the Ferry ticket solution, ECR also needed to design and create a new website where customers could buy tickets and manage/top up their Saver Cards.

The functionality includes:
  • Scanning barcodes on tickets for passenger and vehicle journeys.
  • Scanning Saver Cards for passenger and vehicle journeys.
  • Scanning tickets purchased online via secure website.
  • Selling cash/card payments for tickets.
  • Maintaining a database of Saver Card accounts/users.
  • Real-time reporting and the ability to create custom reports using various reporting tools.
  • Promoting innovative future ticketing solutions including pre-purchase of tickets online for use on a designated future date.

As one of the world’s leading specialists in our field of mobile point of sale, ECR has designed and developed TicketPoS, a unique solution that delivers ticketing exactly where it is needed at the precise moment that the transaction is ready to be made.

The Ferry Service now use ECR’s Go2 all-in-one handheld terminal, which accepts all payment types including contactless, mobile wallet, chip and pin, swipe, and cash. It fully supports loyalty programs, smart (RFID) cards, voucher payments and multi-currency and language. All ECR’s mobile solutions are fully EMV levels 1 and 2, and PCI compliant, and include an onboard silent, thermal printer, Bluetooth, 4G and Wi-Fi connectivity, plus a 2D scanner.

The Outcome

Devices were launched in December 2020, on schedule and within budget.

TicketPoS today offers the Floating Bridge passengers the widest variety of payment options across all of its ticketing range, fast and reliable processing, accepting e-tickets scanned from any format (print at home, mobile device etc), as well as closing the gaps on lost fares.

Capacity managed and responsive technology has ensured that no journey should ever be under-booked or underfilled on any leg. Visibility over real-time boarding and passenger numbers has also ensured that crew members have the confidence and data they need at any time.