ITSO - Articles and news items
Industry news • 29 September 2016 • Katie Sadler, Digital Content Producer, Eurotransport
New technology that allows passengers to travel using their smartphone instead of paper or smart card will soon be trialled in West Yorkshire, reveals ITSO.
Industry news • 24 September 2014 • ACT
Masabi, the leader in mobile ticketing and payments for transit, and ACT, the digital transactions and payments specialist, have announced that the two companies are working together to bring ITSO ticketing to smartphones…
Issue 2 2011 • 6 May 2011 • John Verity, Head of Security and Compliance, ITSO
Earlier in 2011, Transport Secretary Norman Baker released a White Paper setting out the UK Government’s vision for local transport. It includes a statement on the Government’s commitment to delivering the infrastructure that will enable most public transport journeys in the UK to be undertaken using smart ticketing by December 2014.
One of the ways the UK Government hopes to achieve this is by working closely with ITSO to ensure technology is up-to-date and meets future requirements.
In Europe, Siim Kallas, Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for Transport, asked the Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) annual conference in June 2010: “Why can’t I yet plan or book my journey through Europe – switching from air to rail or sea, to urban or road transport – in one single go and online?”
Issue 2 2011 • 6 May 2011 • Colin Kennington, Principal Transport Officer for Cheshire West & Chester Council
Since bus services started, paying for bus travel in the UK has largely relied on cash and paper tickets. This is now starting to change with the introduction of smartcards – plastic cards which contain a microchip to store data and radio aerial to communicate with ticket machines.
One of the pioneers has been Cheshire, a County in North West England, sandwiched between Manchester, Liverpool and North Wales. Cheshire introduced smartcard ticketing way back in 2002 with the launch of the Chester Travelcard. This was not a trial or pilot scheme, but a full rollout of smart ticketing with four bus operators in Chester and part of Wales. Perhaps this was the first multi-operator, multi-national smartcard scheme?
Issue 5 2010 • 28 October 2010 • Mark Greasley, Group Projects Manager, trent barton
Based in the East Midlands, trent barton is proud of its reputation for being ‘fiercely independent’ and has long been regarded as an innovator within the UK bus industry. As long as two decades ago, we were among the first to recognise that we were a purveyor of destinations rather than bus journeys per se, to grow bus markets based on customer-focused research, to understand the concept of product life-cycles and to abandon standard route numbering in favour of route-specific branding. Vital to continuing that development was the need to follow in the footsteps of other leading retailers in providing an innovative means of payment, with the ultimate goal of reducing boarding times and promoting customer loyalty. This is the story of MANGO, the unique contactless smart card that grew out of that thinking.
In December 2009, the UK Department for Transport (DfT) published its strategy for smart and integrated ticketing and in doing so clearly stated an aspiration to revolutionise public transport ticketing and to create a seamless transport experience for the end user. ITSO is at the heart of this vision, through providing and maintaining the ITSO Specification and the supporting security infrastructure.
The ITSO Specification is an open interoperable smart ticketing standard developed in the UK under Crown Copyright. It provides the platform for integrated smart ticketing schemes in England, Scotland and Wales through enabling technical interoperability and in facilitating seamless travel across modes, operators and regional boundaries. The advent of the ITSO Specification paved the way for the development of interoperable ticketing infrastructures across the public transport sector.
Smartcards provide a significant number of benefits both to the card holder and for the background processes involved. Fraud, in particular, is a threat that is significantly reduced as smartcards are almost impossible to copy, whilst cards that are lost or stolen can easily be identified and removed permanently from the system, the result of which is that they are of no use to anyone once they have been deactivated. Smartcards can significantly reduce boarding times, particularly when combined with card-readable Point of Service Terminals (POSTs), subsequently reducing driver workload, journey times and removing a potential monetary transaction element from travel.
Scheme Operators benefit from the wealth of information that is readily available to them. Fully smart ticketing schemes can provide more data on journeys taken with greater accuracy; this can assist in the reimbursement arrangements with operators to ensure that all payments can be fairly administered. Travel information can also be shared with operators to identify patterns of travel that can lead to improvements in vehicle deployment. For operating companies who in the past have spent large amounts on surveys to establish travel patterns for their services, this readily available information can reduce or even remove the need for such surveys and hence reduce annual operator expenditure.
ITSO was founded in 2001 following discussions started in 1998 between the Department for Transport, Public Transport Executives, Transport for London and other interested transport authorities with a desire to generate one interoperable specification for transport related activities. The ITSO specification has now been adopted across the UK and is set for expansion into Europe as operators realise the many advantages it offers.
It may not have hit the front pages of the daily newspapers, but both ISO, the International Organisation for Standardisation, and CEN, its European counterpart, voted unanimously to adopt the new standard ISO 24014-1: 2007 Public transport — Interoperable fare management system, Part 1: Architecture. This is the new standard that all countries have agreed to adopt when implementing Interoperable Fare Management (IFM) systems.
When looking back through previous ITSO articles in Eurotransport, I was struck by the number of times I have said “ITSO is coming”.The sentiment behind that was more a promise at that time, but now I can safely say “ITSO is coming” as a statement of fact. This article looks at some of the issues the ITSO journey has addressed and briefly gives an idea of progress.
Whilst not strictly an ITSO matter as ITSO does not run schemes, this is a pertinent question. Perhaps the answer lies in a simple question; What is it about smartcards that make them ideal for being part of local authority service delivery?
In the very first issue of Eurotransport, I suggested that I come back after five years and review the beliefs that I postulated on smartcards and the need for interoperability. To be asked to do it after just 12 months posed an interesting question – was there anything to say? But I am a consultant so either way it shouldn’t be a problem!