Commuters urged to use cash amid ongoing ticket app glitches

The provider of Edinburgh's failing mobile transport app has said it is doing all it can to fix issues experienced by outraged passengers for the fourth day running.

Thursday, 6th September 2018, 11:04 pm
Updated Monday, 10th September 2018, 9:15 am

Commuters have been frustrated since Monday with the Transport for Edinburgh app temporarily glitching during peak times each day meaning users are unable to buy and load tickets on mobile devices for Edinburgh Trams and Lothian buses.

Many have been left confused with some Lothian drivers allowing some passengers to board for free while others demanded a cash fare in order for them to travel.

Within the terms and conditions of the app, provided by CoreThree, it states when the service is not available a cash payment will be required.

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Gilmerton resident Mark Donaldson, 50, told the Evening News that the situation should have been handled by Lothian.

He said: “All my purchased tickets and active day ticket had disappeared. Thankfully the driver of the bus I got on accepted my screenshot from when the app was working.

“I work in IT and have great sympathy for the company because I know how difficult it can be with technology. But I feel a block should have been put on the app to prevent people from using it, or a message should be displayed when opening the app telling all customers to use cash instead while the issue is being resolved so everyone would get the same message.

A fourth consecutive day of ticket app failures has left many commuters fuming.
A fourth consecutive day of ticket app failures has left many commuters fuming.

“For those who have purchased and activated a ticket and then cannot use the app should not have to pay double. Some people simply do not have the money and it is not good enough.”

Passengers are being advised to buy tickets outside of peak hours if possible. Customers should also connect to the app using mobile data and if they are unable to connect, they should wait 60 seconds before trying again.

A CoreThree spokesman said: “We have and continue to implement planned measures which mitigate the risk of the system becoming overloaded and losing service for users.

“This does mean a degraded service is possible for some users during peak periods, as requests may not be accepted straight away. This does not mean that some users will be completely unable to use the app.

“Our team are currently working with experts from Amazon Web Services to ensure that the system going forward is suitably equipped to handle the increased usage currently being experienced.”

McGill Buses, First Scotland East and Edinburgh Trams also all confirmed issues with a server issue being blamed for the problem.

The situation renewed calls for Lothian to install contactless payment on its buses due to the only other method of payment available being cash with no change provided.

A Lothian spokesman said: “The problems are being experienced by a small group of m-ticket users (less than two per cent). We can only apologise for any inconvenience caused by our suppliers issue.

“Until this matter is resolved we ask our customers to take note of the advice given by our supplier and ensure that they have other means of payment with them for their journeys.”