Abellio Greater Anglia, a subsidiary of transport provider Abellio Group, and Cubic Transportation Systems (CTS), a business unit of Cubic Corporation, received the “Scheme or Product of the Year” award for NextAgent at the 2016 ITS United Kingdom Awards for Excellence. ITS U.K. is the regional association for the promotion of Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) with a goal to elevatethe international excellence of U.K. technology, expertise and solutions. The organization announced four awards for excellence, with the Abellio and Cubic win among those announced at the ITS (UK) President’s Dinner held in London on July 20.

Cubic’s NextAgent combines a virtual walk-up ticket office, a ticket vending machine and a video-linked call center. In October 2015, Cubic and Abellio Group partnered to trial NextAgent at Stansted Airport to assist passengers en route from plane, to train and totheir final destinations. Customer reviews conducted by a third-party research firm have been extremely positive and indicate:

  • 91 percent of users said they’re likely to use NextAgent again when flying to/from Stansted.
  • 97 percent of users reported a positive experience using a virtual ticketing office like NextAgent.
  • 93 percent of users said NextAgent was either better or the same as using a staffed ticket office window.

NextAgent technology provides a virtual ticket office in remote locations where there is limited space for a full ticket office, and it’s also an important customer information point. NextAgent operators can remotely answer customer questions, provide advice about best fares and reassure passengers about their onward travel. The ability to provide this service is central to the high value Abellio places on the customer experience.

“This innovative partnership project with Cubic has delivered excellent customer feedback for providing high-quality information and a simple ticketing process,” said Jeremy Whitaker, head of commercial development at Abellio. “While ideally suited for locations where there are irregular travelers and where it may not be practical to have employees available in person all the time, NextAgent offers users the reassuring human contact of a qualified member of staff able to retail tickets and offer advice. We consider it an impressive ground-breaking initiative with real best-practice benefits and transferability to other U.K. rail locations, and are absolutely delighted to receive this award as recognition of our innovative approach.”

“We are equally honored by this recognition in partnership with Abellio, which demonstrates and ensures first-class customer service for their passengers arriving at Stansted,” said Roger Crow, executive vice president and managing director of Europe, Cubic Transportation Systems. “We factored in the most important customer needs for providing a friendly, flexible, helpful and multilingual service to customers arriving at the airport — at a point where they are often uncertain about their options. We are pleased to have delivered on that promise.”

This is the second award Abellio Group and Cubic have received for NextAgent. In April 2016, the team accepted the award for “Product Innovation of the Year” from SmartRail Europe.

Original Source: Cubic