Category Archives: ITSO

Go smart. Spend more.

From the Wilts & Dorset webpage about their smartcard product, the key:

Multi-trip – new on m1 & m2 routes

This is a cheaper way of buying single journeys and the more you buy the more you save.Each time you put your key on the reader one journey is deducted.

  • 10 trip – £15 (£18 if you paid for each trip separately)
  • 20 trip – £29 (£36 if you paid for each trip separately)
  • 30 trip – £ 42 (£54 if you paid for each trip separately)

This assumes that each journey is a £1.80 flat fare. On the journey I take, it is £1.40. So, taking their PR, and applying it to my journeys…

  • 10 trip – £15 (£14 if you paid for each journey separately)
  • 20 trip – £29 (£28 if you paid for each journey separately)
  • 30 trip – £42 (£42 if you paid for each journey separately)

So, to go smart on my local operator, I don’t save any money if I buy a multi trip ticket and had I just believed their PR and gone for a 10 or 20 journey multi trip ticket, I’d be spending more.

Go smart. Spend more.

Fragmentation and interoperability of ticketing standards on public transport

The public transport network in the UK is fragmented and, quite frankly, confusing – but it doesn’t mean that we have to have a perception of ticketing like that as well.

The ultimate aim of smartcards should be to replace the numerous paper tickets issued with a single plastic card, itself capable of holding many tickets. As it stands, we’re moving towards an environment where we will simply end up in a scenario with as many smartcards as paper tickets. There are already over 35 million cards in the UK that are, or could be, used for transportation and yet we simply can’t use just one single card for all journeys on public transport within the UK. This is formed of 22 million recently used Oyster cards and 15 million ITSO compatible cards. There are, however, 50 million active Oyster cards. The number of smartcards is anticipated to rise by another 15 million by 2015 meaning that there will be almost one for every adult in the living in the UK! [1]

We can sort this now, with some effort, and it will bring benefits to everyone – operators and passengers alike.

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On the buses…with smartcards

This post is largely based on my observations of the rollout of smartcard enabling technologies across my local bus brands.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve noticed a few problems with the implementation of smartcard technology on buses. This blog post details the problems that I have found.

Why use a smartcard on a bus?

A smartcard is capable of rapidly speeding up boarding on buses meaning that buses are able to keep to the advertised timetable with greater ease. I see this in action on my university bus service, uni-link, where the majority of users hold smartcards (University ID or Southampton ‘mini card’) either with a period travel pass or a carnet style ticket. The machines are also capable of accepting ENCTS cards issued in Southampton only.

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