ITSO for Local Authorities

LOCAL authorities in the UK have statutory duties in relation to the provision of public transport and other services to enable people to travel to work, school and leisure activities.

These include the administration of the national concessionary travel schemes in England, Scotland and Wales (for the elderly and disabled) which are backed by ITSO technology.

But ITSO is also increasingly being used for commercial ticketing schemes throughout the country, making it possible to introduce multi-operator ticketing and smartcards which can be used between different transport modes, such as bus, tram and train, to make the end to end journey easier.

The Government encourages authorities to work with transport operators to improve public transport and encourage higher use because this can:

  • reduce CO2 emissions, which is good for health and the environment
  • ease congestion, thereby reducing working time lost through delays
  • make employment and public services more accessible

Smart ticketing is seen as one of the factors which encourages people to use public transport because it:

  • does away with the need for cash
  • is convenient
  • means tickets can be bought beforehand and online
  • can decrease the amount of time it takes to board buses, thereby improving bus punctuality
  • can be used throughout a door-to-door journey on different modes of transport

For the local authority it:

  • attracts Government support and funding through grants like BSOG (Bus Service Operators Grant), LSTF (Local Sustainable Transport Fund) and BBAF (Better Bus Area Fund)
  • helps prevent fraudulent use of concessionary passes
  • allows them to use journey data to better plan public transport services

ITSO-compliant smart ticketing schemes are also being used for other public services. The Scottish National Entitlement Card supports around 30 schemes and services, including library & leisure membership, cashless catering, staff & student services, rewards and national proof of age.

Several local authorities in England also have plans to expand the services that can be accessed through their ITSO-compliant smartcards.

This page was last updated on 9 January 2015 GMT