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Technology and tradition; Keeping up with the public transport resurgence

Digital technology shows no sign of slowing down, particularly within the wider automotive sector. With noticeable improvements made to public transport services in recent years, accompanied by the rising costs of vehicle ownership, the taxi trade has seen a resurgence of sorts. Here, Derek Way, managing director, at world-leading mini printer specialists, Able Systems explains how taxi providers can use technology to keep up with this increase in demand and retain a loyal base of customers. For many, particularly city dwellers, public transport has always been the preferred method of travel. However, for others, including the increasingly environmentally conscious younger generation, it is now becoming a much more appealing option. The rising cost of fuel, maintenance and insurance means that owning your own vehicle is becoming less viable, especially when such reliable and cost effective alternatives are now readily available at the touch of a button. This is backed up by recent figures from the DVSA, obtained by motoring website Honest John, which show a 28 per cent dip in the number of young people taking their driving tests. This has accumulated in a decrease of 100,000 since 2007/8. As more people endeavour to cut down the size of their carbon footprint, taxi manufacturers are increasing their focus on improving their eco-credentials too. We’ve seen measures already implemented across the board, including the incorporation of natural gas powered engines into vehicles. With green initiatives also being launched by local authorities, electric taxis are now common sight in major cities across the UK. It’s incentives such as these, which help sway the mindsets of an increased number of commuters and tourists into using these vehicles - all without the worry of the longer-term impact on their surroundings. While companies must continually adapt to cope with an increase in passengers, it is important to consider the standards expected of those that have long used this type of transport. Ticketing and receipt systems, for example, must be able to cope with heightened levels of demand, whilst still offering the same guarantees they have previously. It’s no secret that we will continue to see a general shift towards online platforms that offer travel, namely Uber and MyTaxi. These convenient methods have their warrants, but the tradition, and convenience, of simply hailing a cab will always remain. The app-focused alternative also fails to take into account the importance of retaining physical records. The receipt is still required by many, including the older generation who may not yet be comfortable with new technologies. There are also business people to consider who require paper trails for expenses and records of travel. The printing of tickets also prevents any potential errors from handheld technology, such as failing smartphones losing vital information, or the risk of human error when handwritten receipts are issued. With this in mind, it is still of paramount importance not to alienate a customer base whilst attempting to capture a new one. For more information on Able Systems and its printing solutions, visit here.

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