What is smart ticketing?

Tags: smartcard

Smart ticketing is the name given to the system where an entitlement to travel (or ticket) is stored electronically on a microchip rather than being printed on a paper ticket. In most smart ticketing schemes, the microchip on which a ticket is stored is embedded in a smartcard. For this reason, smart ticketing schemes are often known as smartcard schemes, although there is much more to the scheme than just the smartcard.

Smart ticketing uses the Government backed ITSO specification to allow seamless travel between, and within, cities and regions; and different modes of transport.

The key benefits of smart ticketing include:

  • Allowing passengers to load tickets or credit in advance of travel, speeding up boarding times and reducing queuing.
  • Fraud and security. Smart tickets are far harder to replicate and can be electronically 'killed' the moment they are reported lost or stolen with any remaining balance refunded.
  • Operators will be able to run their own loyalty schemes and offer ticket types to suit individual customers' needs.
  • The ability to top-up some smart products on bus or at a designated location.

Cards currently issued by South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive and West Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (Metro) for senior citizens (eligibility is changing in line with the State Pension based on your date of birth) and disabled customers, are all smart enabled and will work on public transport services fitted with smart ticket machines outside London. Most bus operators have equipped their buses with smart enabled ticket machines.  It is expected that all buses will be equipped within 2014.

When the bus you're travelling on has a new smart ticket machines, all you have to do is show your card to the driver (as now) to confirm that you are the same person as the picture on the card. Place the card on or close to the ticket machine. The ticket machine will then read and validate the card. Finally, take the card away from the ticket machine and take a seat and enjoy your journey. It is that easy...