logo logo

ITSO responds to Government's £80 million smart ticketing plans

10 October 2017

ITSO welcomes the announcement last week, (5 October 2017) that Government set out details of its £80 million programme to accelerate smart ticketing across England and Wales by the end of 2018.

The investment will ensure that rail passengers across the country can use mobile phones, bar codes and smartcard ticketing across almost all of the network.

ITSO offers the only completely nationwide, inter-operable smart ticketing solution for rail and has for many years worked with the Department and transport operators in delivering ITSO smartcard services to an ever-wider population of passengers. ITSO is already in place throughout much of the UK for smart ticketing for fares on bus with 1 in 3 journeys carried out using an ITSO smartcard, accounting for over 2 billion journeys per year. ITSO ticketing on rail continues to grow and the advantages are clear. From the point of view of passengers, it is all about flexibility and convenience. From the transport operator's perspective, it is about creating an attractive offer; and, from the Government's view, it is about minimising possible hurdles to using public transport.

ITSO on Mobile development

ITSO is only too pleased that Government recognises the need to bring forward the next generation of ticketing systems to deliver these passenger benefits. ITSO is currently in the final stages of development with one of the main, global wallet providers and with a number of UK bus and train operators to bring all of the benefits of the ITSO national smartcard to the mobile phone. The ITSO on Mobile service is expected to be trialled by the end of this year and from early 2018 will offer passengers end-to-end functionality that will allow them to plan their journeys, buy their tickets and then access their chosen modes of transport seamlessly, in a virtual 'wallet', all from the comfort and convenience of their mobile phone.

Steve Wakeland, CEO said “This is a hugely exciting innovation that resonates strongly with the plans recently set out by Chris Grayling, Secretary of State for Transport. With ITSO on Mobile, the infrastructure and technology is already there - no need for operators to invest heavily in new equipment or back end systems. ITSO have been working hard to bring the trusted ITSO smartcard to the mobile phone and will work with Government to explore how best we can support the delivery of the smart ticketing vision.”