John Verity - Articles and news items
Issue 6 2014 • 22 December 2014 • John Verity, Chief Advisor for ITSO Limited
Smart ticketing has emerged over the past few months as one of the central considerations when it comes to a number of core transport issues in the UK, just as it is throughout Europe. However, Chief Advisor for ITSO Limited John Verity explains that a wider working partnership for ticketing is needed for success and future growth…
Leading the UK’s m-ticketing revolution (Mark Yexley, Operations and Commercial Director, Arriva UK Bus / Thomas Ableman, Commercial Director, Chiltern Railway / Louise Blyth, Head of Marketing, CrossCountry)
ITSO, European Standardisation and the Smart Ticketing Alliance
The importance of sharing knowledge and experience
Issue 5 2012 • 31 October 2012 • John Verity, Chief Advisor, ITSO Ltd
Until recently, most smart ticketing schemes were completely independent of each other and often based around bespoke closed transit operations. This made a lot of sense to the large transport operators or metropolitan authorities who commissioned them. It gave security and control, met their specific local needs and, should they decide to exploit it, a unique relationship with their customers. Schemes such as Oyster in London and Navigo in Paris have been incredibly successful, even if some are nearing the time for a technology refresh.
However, to the increasingly mobile customer, with access to sophisticated handsets, it has meant carrying ever larger wallets full of plastic. And when schemes become increasingly close or overlapping, separate closed smartcard schemes begin to make less logical sense.
Although smartcards have begun to migrate to common technology platforms, the customer has been less well served. Hans Rat, recently retired UITP Secretary General, observed that: “The switch to a modern smart ticketing system has been planned and prepared with the good intention to make travelling on one card easier. There has been a strong focus on system technology. (We now need) a stronger focus on customer perspective and lifestyle.”
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?”
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.