Friday, 27 December 2013

South Yorkshire moves a step closer to all over smart

PUBLIC transport users in South Yorkshire are a step closer to benefiting from new smart ticketing products. Because annual TravelMaster Gold tickets became available on smartcards in November. 

South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (SYPTE) and partners Yorcard and TravelMaster say this is the first step to introducing a fully comprehensive and wide-ranging ITSO-compliant multi-modal and multi-operator smart ticketing system in the region. 

Many buses have already been fitted with necessary equipment to process ‘smart’ transactions, and handheld devices are available to be used by tram conductors. 

Read the full article from ITSO here.

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Southern takes ITSO ticketing to London Victoria

NEWLY-APPOINTED Transport Minister Baroness Kramer was on hand on 21 October to launch an industry first for Southern Railway. That was the day when Southern’s ITSO-compliant smartcard – the key - became live in London.

This involved the first step in the DfT- funded ITSO on Prestige project designed to upgrade Transport for London (TfL) ticketing systems around London to accept ITSO as well as Oyster cards, and has meant close partnership working between Southern, TfL and Cubic Transportation Systems.

Southern’s smartcard can now be used by point-to-point season ticket holders to travel to East Croydon, Clapham Junction and London Victoria from Southern stations south of Gatwick Airport.

In the months ahead, other products including Travelcards and single and return tickets to London terminals will be introduced.

Read the full article from ITSO here.

Thursday, 31 October 2013

New Busway will be just the ticket

TRANSPORT MINISTER Norman Baker officially opened the £91 million Luton Dunstable Busway last week (24 September). The Minister cut a ribbon on the 4.8-mile concrete guideway, part of a 13.4km largely segregated bus route, and unveiled a plaque at the new Luton Station bus-rail passenger interchange.

Local councils expect the busway services to deliver around 2 million passenger journeys a year within two years.

Read the full article from ITSO here.

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Stagecoach Supertrams go ITSO smart in Sheffield

SUPERTRAM passengers in Sheffield are to benefit from smarter travel following the launch of Stagecoach’s smartcard ticketing scheme in the area.

The StagecoachSmart scheme - which is now live across the city's tram network - allows Supertram passengers to store their travel on an ITSO-compliant electronic card instead of using paper tickets.

Read the full article from ITSO here.

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Manchester’s new smart ticketing will ‘get you there’

THE NEW smart ticketing scheme for the Greater Manchester area will be called get me there.

The name has been chosen to reflect how the combination of ITSO-compliant smart ticketing with the option to use contactless bankcards on Metrolink will make journeys by public transport easier, more accessible and more flexible, whether by tram, bus, train – or any combination of the three.

The Government, Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) and its local partners, including major transport operators Arriva, First and Stagecoach, are investing several million pounds in the scheme. The objective is that the ticketing system should keep up to date with the latest technology and provide an integrated system that in the future could be linked in to real time information: That way journeys could be planned and paid for ‘on the hoof’ using a smartphone or smartcard.

Read the full article from ITSO here.

Monday, 10 June 2013

Launch sees ITSO smart rail ticketing in London

THIS Summer will see a historic leap forward for ITSO smart ticketing when Southern Railway customers start using their smartcards to pay for journeys to Southern’s London stations.  Southern is owned by Govia, a joint venture led by Go Ahead which brands its ITSO compliant smartcard as ‘the key’.  The smartcard is currently  undergoing testing with a view to firstly processing weekly, monthly and annual season tickets, as well as point to point single and return tickets.

This will be the first use of the new ITSO - compliant ticketing infrastructure inside TfL’s (Transport for London’s) transport system which involves the tri - reader equipment capable of processing ITSO - compliant smartcards, bank and Oyster cards (ITSO on Prestige, or IoP).  

The key was first launched on a trial basis on Southern in September 2011 and has been gradually rolling out on all of Southern’s routes since then. April 17 saw it introduced to a further 17 stations, meaning it is now live at 88 out of 93 planned stations outside London.  Customers already load weekly, monthly and annual season tickets onto their cards for journeys outside London.  Summer will see 21 gated stations within London start to accept some Southern rail tickets on the key card.  These include Victoria, London Bridge, Purley, Peckham Rye and Sutton.

Read the full article via the ITSO website here.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

TfL goes out to tender for ticketing

TRANSPORT FOR LONDON has issued an OJEU (Official Journal of the European Union) tender notice for its ticketing  and fare collection services beyond 2015.  The Electra contract is valued at up to £1 billion over ten years and is expected to be awarded in October 2014, with a start date of August 2015.  By then the ticketing system in London should be ITSO - compliant and accept integrated ticketing with the country’s rail network.  The contract covers the  maintenance and availability of some 20,000 pieces of ticketing and fare collection equipment, including machines on 8,500 buses, 1,900 ticket gates at London Underground and Overground stations, and 2,250 National Rail stations. It also covers 1,800 stand - alone ticket validators (including the Docklands Light Railway), 1,600 ticket machines, and 4,000 retail ticketing devices at Ticket Stops across London.

Friday, 17 May 2013

SCNF Members’ Meeting at PayExpo

SCNF members have been offered free places to the PayExpo conference this year.  We are hosting a members’ meeting on the first day so please email if you are planning to attend.
SCNF Member’s meeting – 14:20, 18th June
Chaired by Kevin Farquarson, SCNF Chair

Prepaid in Transport

With case studies from:
·         Kevin Farquharson of SCNF
·         Lindsay Robertson for ITSO
·         Mick Davies Chairman of LASSeO
·         Adele Wearing for Leicester City Council
On Wednesday, 19th June there will be a Transport Ticketing Summer Seminar at the same place. The audience will be European transport operators and local authorities
·        At 1.30pm to 2pm Kevin will present Matt Lewis of Centro who will talk about their smart ticketing scheme and Swift card plans
·        From 3pm to 4pm there will be a discussion moderated by Mike Burden of Consult Hyperion with the topic Contactless payment: encouraging mass user adoption in transport. Taking part in this discussion will be Steve Wakeland, Steve Howes of ATOC, Levente Nagy of the Centre for Budapest Transport, and Erbil Yurdakul of Bankalararasi Kart Merkezi (Turkish Interbank Card Centre)

This is a well attended event and not to be missed for anyone with an interest in Prepaid cards.  You can see the full agenda via the Pay Expo website.

Core Group Election 2013/14

We are now accepting nominations for our online core group elections for 2013/14.  If you would like to stand for election please email with your name, organisation and a short biography about you and the reasons why you wish to join the core group.
This is your chance to make the decisions about the forum's future and programme of events.

Would you like us to do things differently?  Would you like to see us cover a certain topic at one of our events?  Tell us!

The SCNF core group members are located all over the UK and are a mix of sponsor members and Local Authority members.  The local authority members make up most of the core group and we welcome those from varied backgrounds and levels of experience.  The core group has regular teleconferences to discuss event plans, current initiatives and forum growth and they come together at SCNF events if availability allows.

We are also accepting nominations for the posts of treasurer and chairperson so if you would like to stand for these posts please let us know.

The deadline for nominations is 5pm, Friday 21st June.

Saturday, 4 May 2013

ITSO all aboard the Shields Ferry for the Pop card

THE cross - Tyne Shields Ferry is one of the first passenger ferries in the country to accept ITSO - compliant smartcard transactions.

Nexus, which owns and operates the Shields Ferry service, has fitted smartcard readers on its two ferries to accept smart payments using the Popcard.  The Pop card allows the holder access to Metro and Ferry travel in new ways, including online.

Travel products can be easily uploaded on to a Pop card at the new ticket vending machines at Metro stations.

Passengers will eventually be able to use their Pop card on a pay - as - you - go basis, and will be able to upload credit on to their card using their home computer, at local shops and at Metro stations. Pop card readers are already installed at Metro stations across Tyneside and Wearside, and the Shields Ferry has followed suit in a scheme that is transforming the way people access public transport in Tyne and Wear. Director of Customer Services for Nexus, Tobyn Hughes, said: “We believe the Shields Ferry is one of the first crossings in the country to accept ITSO compliant transactions. This is great for our passengers.

Read the full article via the ITSO website here.

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Putting ITSO at the heart of smart ticketing

THE ITSO Specification is at the heart of two major pieces of work just published by the Department for Transport – the Door to Door Strategy and the guidance for multi operator ticketing.

THE STRATEGY is about making it as easy as possible for people to get out of their cars and into different forms of transport. DfT sees smart and integrated ticketing as one way of encouraging the improved Door to Door proposition for the customer.

The Strategy says: “We are ... committed to realising the potential of smart ticketing through a shared approach between operators, local transport authorities and central government, and by involving the wider payment and retail industry.

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Event date for your diaries

ITSO has been working with the Smart Card Networking Forum to have some input to two related events in June – PayExpo 2013 and the Transport Ticketing Summer Seminar.

On Tuesday, 18th June, there will be a Smart Card Networking Forum (SCNF) Members’ transport ticketing workshop
as part of the PayExpo 2013 event at the Excel Exhibition Centre in London.  This will be coordinated by SNCF Chair Kevin Farquharson and will include overviews and updates on smart ticketing projects from:

Kevin Farquharson SCNF Chair
Lindsay Robertson ITSO Chief Executive Officer
Mick Davies Chairman of LASSeO
Adele Wearing of Leicester City Council

On Wednesday, 19th June there will be a Transport Ticketing Summer Seminar at the same venue which will include:

A presentation from Matt Lewis of Centro who will talk about their smart ticketing scheme and Swift card plans
A discussion moderated by Mike Burden of Consult Hyperion with the topic Contactless Payment: Encouraging mass user adoption in transport. Taking part in this discussion will be ITSO Governance
Manager Steve Wakeland, Steve Howes of ATOC, Levente Nagy of the Centre for Budapest Transport, and Erbil Yurdakul of Bankalararasi
Kart Merkezi (the Turkish Interbank Card Centre).

All transport operators and local authorities get a free pass to these events.

Further details can be found at

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Nexus passes can now carry a golden ticket ...

TENS OF thousands of Metro Gold Card holders will switch to smart travel as they renew their annual passes this month.

Gold Card, which allows off - peak travel for older and disabled people, is now being sold as an ITSO - compliant ‘smart’ ticket by Nexus, added electronically to customers’ concessionary bus passes.  That means people who buy Metro Gold Card now only need a single smart card for all local bus, Metro and ferry travel in North East England.

Tobyn Hughes, Director of Customer Services for Nexus, said: “Metro Gold Card is now being sold electronically onto
concessionary travel cards.

This will make it easier for older and disabled customers to transfer between bus and Metro services with no need to carry two different passes.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

2013 is Going full steam Ahead on smart ticketing

THIS YEAR will see major strides forward for Go-Ahead in terms of ITSO-compliant smart ticketing schemes.
The group says it will soon offer the first multi-modal smart ticketing scheme outside London, and the first smart tickets
for rail travel to London from outside Transport for London’s Oyster card zone.

This will build on existing PlusBus trials with Southern Railway, allowing customers with ‘the key’ cards to buy smart tickets for both bus and rail services.  It will involve linking current schemes run by Go-Ahead’s Metrobus, Brighton &
Hove Buses and Southern Railway, providing integrated travel on a single ‘key’ card for bus services in Brighton, mid
-Sussex and around Gatwick airport, and rail services on the Bexhill-Brighton-Warblington, and Brighton-Gatwick routes.

Dave Lynch, Group IT Director and ITSO Board member, says the scheme is in the final stages of testing and they plan
to launch in the second half of this year.

A new charge to account product will be launched. This will be a back office based Pay As You Go (PAYG) product (using an ITSO TYP22 IPE), with customers able to use it to travel within a certain geographical area. The account balance and journey calculation will take place in a back office as opposed to on the card.  Customers would apply for this product online, and have to sign up to an account which links a credit or debit card to an auto top-up mechanism of a set cash

Customers would then simply travel as much as they like and be charged the best value fare for their journeys following
a retrospective back office fare calculation.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

StagecoachSmart cards set to rocket down South

STAGECOACH passengers in Hampshire and West Sussex can now travel using the ITSO compliant
StagecoachSmart card.  Since February, the scheme is now live on more than 365 Stagecoach buses across the region, allowing customers the chance to pay for their travel through hassle free automatic payments after registering online.

Stagecoach says the launch of the smartcard technology in the area is another demonstration of its commitment to making travel more convenient for passengers.  Andrew Dyer, Managing Director of Stagecoach South, said: “We know we have a responsibility to our customers to continue introducing new technology and new ideas to improve their
travel experience.

“We believe the launch of StagecoachSmart will encourage even more people to try our greener, smarter bus services and the scheme will rocket in popularity. As more passengers use the smart card we will see less boarding time at bus stops as the journey is prepaid.”

“The launch of StagecoachSmart in the South offers passengers the chance to sign up to the company’s new
Megarider Xtra ticket which allows monthly payments to be debited from the customer’s bank account on an agreed date
each month, meaning they no longer have to renew their ticket manually. The customer’s ticket is stored on their StagecoachSmart travel card and simply remains valid for travel until the payment is cancelled.”

Read the full article here.

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

DfT launches £2.5 million ITSO managed service trial

LAST week saw the launch of a £2.5 million smart ticketing managed service trial in Norfolk.  More than 40 bus operators in the county will be invited to take part in the three year pilot, which will increase the number of ITSO-compliant, smart-enabled vehicles to more than 700.  A number of larger public transport operators currently providing services in the county, such as First and Konect (part of the Go-Ahead Group), have already invested in the ticketing equipment and back office services to establish their individual, national, smart ticketing schemes supported by the DfT’s BSOG smartcard incentive.

The aim of the Norfolk pilot is to develop a managed service scheme for smaller bus operators. The pilot will be supported by SWSAL (South West Smart Applications Ltd) - a membership body of 15 local authorities and 17 public
transport operators which is already developing an ITSO-compliant smart ticketing scheme for the South West of England.  The DfT says that where the Norfolk pilot differs from other initiatives is that the provision of smart ticketing equipment is firmly tied in with the development and acceptance of smart ticketing products for the passenger. 

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Norfolk bus trial to inform government's smart ticketing strategy

£2.5 million pilot funding for paperless transport system in Norfolk.
Norfolk’s buses will be at the forefront of government ambitions for a paperless transport system, with a £2.5 million pilot of smart card technology, Transport Minister Norman Baker announced today.
The scheme, which will be funded from the government‘s £15 million commitment to ensure all buses in England are smart enabled, will allow the county’s entire bus fleet to be fitted with smart technology.
The pilot will last for 3 years but will be evaluated throughout so that the benefits can be understood and used nationally before the end of the trial.

Read the full article here.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Transport Ticketing 2013 – Event Report

Transport Ticketing 2013 – Event Report
28-30th January 2013
By Valentina Barker

Transport Ticketing 2013: How smart is your ticketing?

This year’s Transport Ticketing conference, organised by Clarion Events, gathered more than 400 delegates and covered many topics, including:
  •    emergence of new ticketing technologies best practice for implementation of new schemes
  •        interoperability in transport ticketing
  •        and the benefits that new ticketing methods bring.

The growing interest to transport ticketing both from within transport and other market sectors signifies that ticketing, through use of smarter technologies, is becoming more than just a fare collection instrument. 

The full report is available in the members' section of here.  To become a member for free click here.

Friday, 22 February 2013

SCNF sponsor Payne Security joins ITSO

PAYNE Security - one of the world's leading companies in the fields of authentication technologies, document security and card solutions - has recently joined ITSO as a supplier member.

Janet Taylor is the Business Development Manager for the transport smartcard sector and has recently joined Payne after eight years at Novacroft, where she spent the last four years as Sales Director.

For more information visit

Thursday, 7 February 2013

ScotRail says it’s playing its Smartcards right

ScotRail and the Scottish Government are accelerating plans to offer Smartcard season tickets to customers.
The train operator – which runs 95 per cent of train services in Scotland - has already issued some 12,000 cards to staff and customers, providing a robust testing ground for a wider customer roll out this year.

An initial pilot on the Edinburgh – Falkirk High – Glasgow Queen Street route has been successful, providing impetus to extend the scheme.

An investment pot of around £2million has seen the installation and/or upgrade of equipment at 70 stations across the central belt, which will see key season ticket routes -  Stirling, Ayrshire, Aberdeen and parts of Strathclyde- switch to smart.

The move is in line with the Scottish Government’s long term vision to have a ‘Saltire’ card that will enable passengers to switch between different modes of transport using one ITSO-compliant smartcard.

ScotRail is currently completing rigorous testing before going live on new routes, to ensure that customers get the best possible first impression.

“To encourage customers to make the switch, the entire Smartcard offering must be seamless,” said Sean Duffy, commercial director at ScotRail.  “We are ensuring that we have all elements in place and working well before we go live:  a dedicated website – where photos for Smartcards can be uploaded online; a specialist customer service team; reliable equipment at stations and on trains; and well trained staff on the
ground to assist.

“To support the roll-out we’re producing a range of marketing materials to position Smartcards as the best choice for season ticket holders.”

Read the full article via ITSO.

Thursday, 31 January 2013

North Wales national smartcard trial launched

GoCymru, the new Welsh Government funded smart travel card, started trials in Wrexham and Bangor on January 31.  Cardholders will be able to top up their card online, on bus, over the telephone or through retail machines installed at a number of locations, including Post Offices.

Other benefits to the new scheme
- cutting down on boarding times which will improve timetable efficiency
- the ability to offer better and more flexible ticketing deals
- enabling operators and local authorities to use data from the system to improve and better target services

Speaking at Yale College, Wrexham, for the official launch of the North Wales pilot the Welsh Minister with responsibility for Transport, Carl Sargeant, said: “Not having the correct change for the bus will be a thing of the past with the introduction of this new GoCymru travel card.

“Providing the people of Wales with a realistic alternative option to the car for their everyday journeys is key if we are to develop a truly sustainable public transport network that is widely used across Wales.  “Part of this goal is to remove any misconceptions about public transport or any unnecessary inconveniences – such
as not having the right change.

“The introduction of the GoCymru card, which is a National Transport Plan commitment, will be another step in the right direction of achieving our goal.”

Read the full article via ITSO.