updated 12:27 pm EST, Fri November 22, 2013
Proposal could make use of 260 expected ticket office closures
Amazon is in discussions with Transport for London (TfL) to turn ticket offices for the London Underground system into delivery drop-off points, according to a report. Details of the talks surfaced after London mayor Boris Johnson revealed plans to make the Underground operate 24 hours per day by 2015, while also closing the majority of ticket offices in the network.
The plans from the retailer, reported by the Financial Times, would be a natural extension to its Amazon Lockers program, one where customers would be able to nominate a code-protected locker for item delivery instead of receiving it at home or work. A statement received by TechCrunch from TfL advises that it is "working with retailers to transform the services on offer for our customers." Though a trial with supermarket chain Asda to provide "click and collect" services at six station car parks is highlighted, TfL is still "looking to work with other retailers to offer similar services." A total of 260 of the 268 offices will be closed, with only larger stations retaining staff.
Other possible retailer delivery services in discussions were not revealed by the statement, though there are a number of potential suspects. eBay recently started a trial with retailer Argos, allowing users to order from 50 merchants and have goods delivered to one of 150 Argos branches across the country. Amazon and eBay both also offer deliveries through a CollectPlus pilot program that delivers to a network of 5,000 corner shops and newsagents, in what could be described as a low-tech version of Amazon Lockers.
The plans from Mayor Johnson for the ticket office closures will save more than £40 million ($) per year, according to the BBC. Other parts of the plan include contactess bank card payments for tickets and Wi-Fi coverage across all below-ground stations.