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.