Go-Ahead Group unlocks smarter travel with the key

27 January 2012  •  Source: Go-Ahead Group

Bus and rail operator Go-Ahead further expanded its award-winning smartcard the key this week when Bus Users UK Chair Gillian Merron launched the latest roll-out at Go South Coast in Bournemouth.

Smartcard ticket machines have been installed on all Go-Ahead’s 2,000 buses outside London and the key is successfully up and running across most of its bus network and on parts of its Southern and London Midland rail franchises. In all, 140,000 passengers are now actively using the smartcard and 60,000 journeys outside London are made every day using the key.

David Brown, Go-Ahead’s Group Chief Executive said:” We are absolutely committed to giving our passengers the kinds of tickets and products that meet their requirements. Smart ticketing through the key means we can introduce new offers such as integrated bus and rail tickets, inter-operable tickets, lifestyle offers and pay as you go. The key is proving a big success with passengers. In Oxford, only 40 per cent of passengers now pay on the bus, and in less than two years, the key has been made available at eight of our 11 businesses outside London. Our aim is to see the key being used by half a million passengers by early next year.”

Gillian Merron of Bus Users UK said:“I am delighted to launch the next phase of Go-Ahead’s roll-out of the key. The smartcard is hugely convenient for passengers because it means they can hop on the bus without having to worry about having the correct change. It also reduces boarding times for operators, so services are more punctual.”

Go-Ahead is marking today’s launch at Go South Coast with a new podcast at go-ahead.com/thekey and a key facts area which will keep track of the smartcard’s progress over the coming year. Over the next two months, the key will be introduced in Southampton and Salisbury in February, Bournemouth and Poole in March and on the Isle of Wight in April. Metrobus will also introduce the card next month.

Andrew Wickham, Managing Director of Go South Coast said: “The key will deliver real benefits for passengers. It will mean people can better control what, when and how they buy tickets and, by encouraging customers to switch to the key, we will all be doing our bit for our carbon footprints by reducing the amount of paper being used every year on producing paper tickets.”

Gillian Singh, Group Marketing Director for Go-Ahead said:“The key is becoming highly recognisable across our operations now and is uniquely branded to fit each different operation – an approach which echoes Go-Ahead’s distinctive localised approach to running its businesses. The key really does unlock a wealth of smarter travel options for our passengers, enabling us to offer lifestyle products like car and bike hire, a car scrappage scheme at Go North East, plus self-service and on-line ticket buying.”

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