Essentially I suppose we could term it a ticket purchase - one can buy the tickets but, with the exception of Eurolines, it's not journey specific and doesn't reserve or guarantee accommodation for you on a bus. The eight digit MAC number is the link.
For bookings made via a mobile device it would be a good idea if BÉ allowed you to show a particular screen snap with the MAC number and details. The problem is that the driver then has no record but this can be overcome quickly by quickly jotting down the details. Sometimes when using an online ticket I notice the driver will write down the actual ticket number on my e-mail printout. Other times not.
BÉ online ticketing was introduced prior to the widespread installation of onboard CCTV. Traditionally onboard security has never been a major issue on provincial buses and less so now with CCTV monitoring both the interior and exterior of vehicles.
It is indeed a nuisance printing out an A4 sheet and for the driver the online tickets involve a fair bit of work at the end of his/her duty.
One can buy a ticket from a rural hamlet such as Grangebellew into Drogheda online but not buy tickets for journeys between several major towns and I won't even begin talking about the lack of cross-border online ticketing (the sole exception to my knowledge is the jointly-operated X2/200 where Journey-specific ticketing from en route points in the North to Dublin Airport/Dublin can be booked online with Translink).
Plus the very steep fares and absence of day return tickets on several cross-border coach journeys between major towns in the swathe of the NW and border counties that are rail-less.
Last edited by Traincustomer : 08-08-2011 at 16:15.
Reason: clarity of detail & addition of info