◆ Edinburgh has successfully launched a non-ITSO mobile ticketing scheme; ◆ Transport Scotland is working with operators and local authorities to offer ITSO home to school smart ticketing option; ◆ First ScotRail currently offers an ITSO-based smartcard for commuter travel between Glasgow and Edinburgh and surrounding areas. Abellio will take over the franchise in April and has plans to considerably increase the smart offering. In Wales: ◆ All buses are ITSO-smart for concessionary passes; ◆ Cardiff and Newport Buses have commercial ITSO-based smartcard schemes; ◆ The Welsh government has also run a national pilot for multi-operator smart ticketing. On rail: As already mentioned, ITSO-based smart ticketing exists on rail in some parts of the country. The Department for Transport is also now investing up to £80 million to support train operating companies in delivering smart ticketing on rail in the South East through the SEFT (South East Flexible Ticketing) project. SEFT involves the DfT, TfL (Transport for London) and 12 train operators working together with the support of RSP (Rail Settlement Plan – a division of ATOC, the Association of Train Operating Companies). Latest statistics show that, in the year to December 2014, 1.1 billion rail journeys were made using these South East operators’ rail services, so that’s a big chunk (69%) of all rail journeys nationally. One of the most recent DfT initiatives is a research project into flexible season tickets. This has the potential for reducing the cost of season tickets, particularly for part-time workers. The impact on rail franchises’ revenues would need to be taken into account but it is hoped that the research will show that flexible products can also generate revenue. But what about all this technology? Hasn’t ITSO gone past its sell-by date? Not at all. The many millions of pounds already invested by operators, local and national government in ITSO schemes are now bearing fruit. The ITSO Specification is currently mainly being used on smartcards, but it can be used on smartphones, for barcodes, or on smart watches, to name but some. The technology for all of these options is challenging but doable. And it need not stop at the UK’s borders. ITSO Chief Advisor Standards John Verity is also Chairman of the Europe-wide Smart Ticketing Alliance which is not only looking at achieving interoperable and integrated smart ticketing on public transport in Europe, but also liaising with mobile network operators and other standards bodies on how transport ticketing applications will be handled. Getting different transport operating companies and other partners together to agree business rules of sharing information and pricing tickets, however, is a major challenge. And smart ticketing – be it ITSObased or not – will always be only a part of the solution. Not everyone, particularly schoolchildren, has a bank account. London took a very brave step with its cashless buses. It remains to be seen if the rest of the country will take that step. Transport ticketing equipment suppliers need to anticipate their clients’ needs and I suspect, through looking at the work of our supplier members, that paying by cash, bank card, ITSO smartcard and mobile phone will all remain options for some time to come. ◆ Steve Wakeland has worked in technology risk management and information security at various industrial and financial services organisations for over 30 years. He joined ITSO Limited in 2011 as Governance Manager to lead compliance through the implementation of policies and procedures across the ITSO membership. Steve became General Manager of ITSO Limited in January 2015.
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