15 August 2011

Low Key launch for The Key

The Key
After much anticipation our new key smartcard will be launched on Sunday 14th August.
Existing young person card holders have been sent a new smartcard with 1 days free travel. All Adult customers have been sent a new card with existing travel credits transferred to the new card. Please check the balance on your new card to ensure the correct credit has been transferred and zone applicable to your travel. This can be done by clicking the Plymouth unlocked image above, and then logging on to your account.
For travel credit issues please send an email to thekey@plymouthbus.co.uk with your current freedom card number (written under the name on the card) together with your new card number (written under your name on the front of the pass), and we will check and update our records within the next 7 days.
Alternatively, please take your Freedom card and your new key to our Debenhams Travel Centre, where our staff will be able to assist you.
The ability to top up and purchase on line will be available next week.
All customers are advised to visit our travel centre in Debenhams to purchase new products. Customers with 1 week products on their card can top up their key on-board the bus. 1 and 7 day paper tickets will continue to be available from the driver, and from shops displaying the Paypoint logo.
If you have any other queries with your new card please call 0845 077 2223 and press option 2 where a service representative will be able to answer your query.
If you have not received your key, please let us know as soon as possible by email or by visiting our Travel Centre in Debenhams.
We apologise for any inconvenience caused whilst we launch our new key.
Plymouth Citybus

The Plymouth launch of The key does seem to have been quite Low Key (pun intended) compared with elsewhere in the Go Ahead Group. Go Northern have a few buses in a special overall advert livery for The Key while we just have a few normal adverts carried on a few buses. At Derriford Hospital staff received an email on Friday advising us to check with the company if we hadn't received our new pass. I only received mine on Friday and I know other staff were also still waiting for them at that time. Citybus have said that there will be a period of grace where they will still accept the old passes as I am sure many passengers will be unaware of the new Key and the need to change their passes. The first they will know is when they use their pass today and the driver points out they need a new one!
Many will wonder just why they need a new pass as in use the new pass does not seem much different to the older one. Of course this does assume that the new machines work properly! I guess I will find out on my way to work today...
I am sure there will be issues with the new cards this week. Any new technology product these days seems prone to breakdown. Oxford was just one of the areas where problems with the new pass hit the local headlines for a few weeks.
As I said Go North East launched their Key with a lot more publicity including a series of Flash mobs:

    Elsewhere on the net

    • During my recent trip to Wales, I found many connections with home, such as old local buses operating in new areas, or buses from the same batch as what we have locally Southern England Bus Scene
    • It's Sadly Died, our Civic Pride [1] Once Proud of our Public Services ... ... but Now? Public Transport Experience
    • Yesterday, Plymothian Transit offered a glimpse of what is to come (tomorrow) for the first of a dozen or so Plymouth Citycoaches, the coach unit of Go Ahead's Plymouth Citybus Omnibuses
    • It's Sadly Died, our Civic Pride [2] Pride and Prejudice? Public Transport Experience
    • Today's story has to be about the London-Surrey Cycle Race which was a test event for the Olympic Games next year and which took place today. Leon Daniels
    • Light Horizontal Short – The Bristol LHS TGP Photos Unlimited


    1. I hope the launch of the key goes much more smoothly than it has with Go North East?

      Initially it was a bloody nightmare up here with the system, although it has now settled down to some extent. However, my partner always has problems with stored tickets being activated prematurely before the current one expires.

      Go North East haven't as yet come up with a conclusive answer as to why this keeps on happening?

    2. If I went to another Go Ahead operator with my PCB key, could I use it?

    3. Jared, it maybe a possiblity in the future. I shall be pressing Mr Huntley about it! To Plymothian Transit, the reason The Key was launched in such a high profile way was thanks to Go North East's seemingly never ending budget and the ingenuity of the Mr Huntley and his team! Yeahh, I totally agree with Anonymous 11:19, the Key didn't get off to a bright start as the majority of ticket machines and readers failed to 'read' the cards.


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