State of the art features have been added to ticket machines at Ely Station, enabling passengers to chat to virtual agents.
Travellers can now press a button, connecting them to a real person who can help them buy tickets and find the best fares.
Greater Anglia is the first train operator in England to roll out the ViTA “virtual ticket agents” across all its existing ticket machines, so that passengers can connect to a real person – via an audio link.
Speakers and microphones have been installed in 196 ticket machines across the network, along with software and application updates.
The machines are connected to a central in-house call centre, staffed by 13 Greater Anglia ticket sellers in Essex, which operates around the clock.
All passengers have to do is press the “Ticket Assistance” button on the machine to be put through to a call centre agent.
Spokesman Andrew Goodrum said being to connect straight away to a “friendly voice” would help customers who may have felt intimidated using electronic machines.
“We hope it will result in ticket machines being used more, helping to reduce queuing time at ticket offices and offering customers a better level of customer service, enabling them to buy with ease and confidence.”