Friday, 21 August 2009

DfT Ticketing Strategy Consultation

Yesterday, DfT issued its consultation on Ticketing Strategy which is due to conclude at the end of October. This is a very important exercise for all organisations involved in public transport, concessionary travel and service improvement initiatives. The SCNF already has a sub-group focussed on Transport and will be considering the questions raised and arrange a SCNF meeting before the consultation closes.

I have extracted a few lines from the DfT press release which can be found at:

Paper travel tickets could become a thing of the past under proposals announced by the Government today. New technology, enabling mobile phones to double up as "swipe and go" cards and bank cards to be used to pay directly for journeys could revolutionise how travellers purchase and use tickets according to the new consultation. The Government estimates that the benefits of universal 'integrated smart' ticketing could be as much as £2 billion per year through improved journey times and faster, more convenient and reliable purchasing and use of tickets, with benefits for local government and operators too.

Central to the vision is the implementation of smart ticketing infrastructure using the Government backed ITSO specification to allow seamless travel between, and within, cities and regions; and different modes of transport. We could see the end to waiting in line at ticket machines, while buses could spend half the amount of time sitting at the bus stop waiting for people to board and looking for the right change.

DfT consultation also refers to joining up services through using smartcards for other products such as library membership, leisure centre entry, benefit entitlement, parking, bike and car hire, and even lift share arrangements.

Jonathan Bray, Director of the Passenger Transport Executive Group Support Unit said:
"We fully share the Government's ambition to see smart ticketing introduced across Britain's largest urban areas as soon as possible. Oystercard has become intrinsic to London life - passengers have a right to expect a similar deal in the next tier of major urban areas.
"We look forward to continuing to work with Government on the reform of bus subsidies that's currently underway to help make this happen."

Please let us know the points SCNF should discuss and look out for arrangements to discuss a response from SCNF.

Kevin Farquharson
Co-Chair SCNF

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