Compatibility and interoperability – key for smart ticketing success

22 December 2014  •  Author(s): John Verity, Chief Advisor for ITSO Limited

John Verity, Chief Advisor 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.

Devolution of transport powers to English regions, quality contract schemes, and paying for rail travel have all included requirements for smart ticketing that satisfy a variety of needs, whether it be a multi-operator offering for passengers, or c2c’s planned smart reimbursement for delayed trains. A smart multi-operator ticket, though, is not just about technology making it easier for people to pay for their journeys or getting them on-board quicker. It is about who is in control of local transport, setting routes, frequency and ticket prices.

The debate about whether it should be re-regulated, franchised or contracted is destined to be a political ping pong ball in the run up to the UK elections in May 2015.

Authorities outside London on the one hand want wide-reaching London mayor-style transport powers, while transport operators want to be in as much control of their own destinies as possible.

The main political parties vary in their stances, with Labour veering towards re-regulation of buses and, for some, re-nationalising the railways. The Conservatives and Liberal Democrats want to see more partnership working, but with varying degrees of clout if partnership agreements fail to materialise.

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