Technology

Trainline using machine learning to predict future ticket pricing

Posted by Ben Ireland on
Trainline using machine learning to predict future ticket pricing

Rail ticket retailer Trainline has unveiled a price predictor that it says is a UK first.

The company says the online tool, available through its app, can save customers an average of 49% per journey.

It allows customers to “look into the future” to see when advance ticket prices are set to increase over time.

The tool works by analysing billions of data points using machine learning to provide an “at-a-glance snapshot” of the difference between ticket prices.

Trainline says “advance rail ticket pricing is complex and customers can often miss opportunities to save” and believes its price prediction tool gives customers “transparency”.

Most train companies release advance tickets around 12 weeks before the day of travel, and tickets almost always increase in price as the day of travel approaches.

Jon Moore, chief product officer at Trainline said: “Our data scientists have used historical pricing trends from billions of customer journey searches to predict when the price of an advance ticket will expire. We now share this information in our app to allow our customers to get the best price possible for their journey.

“We’re introducing more advanced machine learning every day so naturally our predictions will get increasingly accurate. Our mission is to make train travel as simple as possible and price prediction is the first in a long line of predictive features we have planned to help customers save time and money.”

The new price predictor tool follows the introduction of BusyBot in the Trainline app, which allows customers to identify the quietest parts of the train and choose their seat accordingly.

Trainline says customers can save £88 if they book a ticket from London Euston to Manchester Piccadilly 80 days before the date of travel. It says tickets cost £32 80 dauys in advance, rising to £38 at 41 days before the day of travel, £42 at 13 days before, £87 at 2 days before and £126 on the day of travel.

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