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Government to invest £80m in smart ticketing

Smart Ticketing is an operating system where a ticket is stored electronically on a microchip rather than a paper ticket, for example Oyster cards.

By CBR Staff Writer

The UK Government has unveiled plans for an £80m programme to introduce smart ticketing across England and Wales by the end of next year.

The move will allow every passenger to travel without a paper ticket by the end of 2018, by making mobile barcode ticketing available on every rail franchise in Great Britain.

Passengers will also have the option of having smart cards hosted on their mobile phone, like a digital travel card. A pilot of the technology is planned to be carried out in the next four months.

The Department for Transport is working with the Rail Delivery Group to develop the next generation of ticketing systems, which will give passengers more tailored options when paying for travel. It will save money and offer better value deals for passengers.

The government said negotiations with train firms on introducing mobile phone smart cards are now at an advanced stage. Deals are expected soon with three operators.

Pay-as-you-go travel is also rolling out across the UK’s rail network, including with the launch of contactless travel card system KeyGo by Govia Thameslink Railway.


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The KeyGo system lets passengers use their card to tap in and tap out, and be automatically charged the most appropriate fare across virtually the entire Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern networks.

Other train operators are preparing to introduce the system. Tests will be carried out shortly on South Western Railway, c2c and Greater Anglia.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said: “Passengers across the country want smart ticketing and this government will deliver it.

“This significant investment will ensure that passengers across the network can use mobile phones, bar codes and smart cards across almost all of the network by the end of next year.”

Smart Ticketing is an operating system where a ticket is stored electronically on a microchip rather than a paper ticket, for example Oyster cards.

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