United Kingdom-based rail booking tool Evolvi launched
a mobile application that allows travelers to book within corporate policy and collect
their tickets at a railway station. Travel charges can be attributed through
the app to the appropriate cost center.
The app comprises part of what Evolvi called
its most significant upgrade since its launch six years ago. Other improvements
include the addition of a pre-trip approval function, the ability to create
multi-sector and open-jaw itineraries, and instant ticket fulfillment. Previously,
tickets could not be collected until two hours after the reservation was
Revenues at Evolvi in 2011 rose 9 percent year
over year to £286 million, while transactions rose 10 percent to 4.7 million. The
average fare purchased by Evolvi users fell marginally to £60.85, despite the 6.2
percent increase in published fares U.K. rail companies enacted in the
beginning of 2011. "While part of this was likely due to businesses
placing further restrictions on first-class travel in times of austerity—as
happened in 2010—I believe it is also a clear reflection of the much smarter
approach being taken to rail travel procurement," said Evolvi managing
director Ken Cameron.
According to Evolvi, more than 60 percent of travel
management company clients in the U.K. now book their rail through an online
reservations tool, with total online bookings through TMCs amounting to a
little under £600 million last year.