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DfT launches smart ticketing push



The Department for Transport has announced three measures to promote the use of smart tickets and contactless payments

Transport Minister Baroness Kramer has announced three government initiatives aimed at accelerating the introduction of smart ticketing and contactless payments in public transport.

The Department for Transport (DfT) has signed a concordat as a basis for cooperation between bus operators and the members of the Smart Cities Partnership to begin delivering multi-operator ticketing before the end of the year.

It is aimed at developing a system in which payments can be stored on a smart card or in a mobile phone and used for journeys with different operators. The SCP likens it to London's Oyster Card, and it would be a significant step for cities with multiple bus operators.

A DfT spokesperson told UKAuthority there is little detail yet in the concordat but that it lays a foundation for work to be done during the year.

Kramer said this would be accompanied by an investment of £620,000 over the next two years in smart ticketing across the rail network in the West Midlands. It will enable Centro, the regional transport authority, to extend the Swift smartcard to large areas of the rail network.

Agreement with association

The third measure is an agreement between the government and the UK Cards Association to work on bringing contactless payment to public transport around the country.

Melanie Johnson, chair of the association, said: "We will be coordinating the collaborative effort on behalf of the card and transit industry including the card schemes, issuers and the payment businesses which enable transactions to take place, as well as transit operators."

The DfT spokesperson said there is no clear timeframe for the project so far.
Kramer said: "Smart ticketing is revolutionising travel and is an important part of the transport investment which will help to build a stronger economy and fairer society. I am very pleased that it is gaining real momentum.

"Implementing smart tickets involves close working across operators, administrative regions and industries. These 3 initiatives show how much can be done through partnership working."

The Smart Cities Partnership consists of nine city regions, the largest outside London.

Pictured: Baroness Kramer, Open Governement Licence v3.0

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