15 September 2011

At the forefront

PLYMOUTH was said to be "at the forefront" of a new 'smart' ticketing system which would improve its bus services, council chiefs have claimed. Plymouth City Council's cabinet committee heard that a successful bid for millions of pounds of Government cash would help the transition to smart bus ticketing.
The 'smart ticketing' project would be delivered through a new not-for-profit company – South West Smart Application Ltd – hosted within the Institute of Sustainability Solution Research (ISSR) at the University of Plymouth.
It involved different ticket products, such as day returns or annual passes, being loaded onto a smart card which is then tapped onto a card reader on the bus.
Councillor Kevin Wigens, cabinet member for transport, said the Government grant of £2.98million would help progress the scheme which put the city "at the forefront of smart ticketing".
He said: "We are one of the leaders throughout the whole country, which has already been nominated for an award at the national transport awards.
Full story This is Plymouth

I am not really sure I fully understand what is happening here. Why does the City Council feel the need to introduce a new smart card of its own? Plymouth Citybus has a brand new smart card of its own. The Key is a Go Ahead project shared across all its operations. It may be a bit limited at the moment but but in time I am sure it will expand and offer more payment possibilities such as pre-paid cards by amount rather than for a specific time scale.
First have also just announced a large scale project to offer a whole range of payment options on their new contactless smart card system which if it delivers what it promises then it really will be a class leader.
With both operators systems being able to read other itso smart cards do the council really need to pay out a large sum for one of their own? The existing Green Travel Pass is currently supplied by Citybus as part of The Key so surely as long as all local operators can read it then why not just carry on with this kind of arrangement?
It would be great if the council can put together a scheme which would allow travel on both operators services at all times so maybe this is just the start of a move in this direction. Oh hang on, the Green Travel Pass already offers this, although it is currently limited in availability. Couldn't they just try to extend this pass and make it available to more passengers?
I am not trying to put a damper on things as any investment by the council with the aim of increasing bus use in Plymouth is very much welcomed by Plymothian Transit. I am just not sure I fully understand what they are doing here. Go North East - The Key Smartcard Launch 2011 - Park Lane Sunderland #gonortheast www.simplygo.com/thekey
Creative Commons licensed flickr photo shared by AdmiralPR
Go Ahead made a song and dance of The Key in the North East. Will the City Council do the same with their new scheme, whatever it is?

Related Links

  • First Gets touchy Plymothian Transit September 2011
  • Low Key Launch Plymothian Transit August 2011
  • Key Moment Plymothian Transit May 2011
  • Buses getting smarter? Plymothian Transit October 2010

      Elsewhere on the net

      • "The town has little that, in itself, is attractive." Public Transport Experience
      • In October 1986 Plymouth Citybus adopted a new livery. It was described as flame red, white and black. TGP Photos
      • Might it actually be better, in England, to reduce the scope of free travel in order to help fund reductions in bus travel for younger people, even up to their mid-twenties. Omnibuses
      • After being out of public view for the last 25 years, Lowestoft Corporation No 12 is now back on the road. East Norfolk Bus Blog
      • When new these were powered by Leyland O401 engines. Several in Malta would appear to have had Perkins engines fitted thus making them LH6Ps ! Many have had instrumentation altered with at least one running with Swift instruments TGP Photos
      • Apart from the occasional knot of American tourists searching for Anne Hathaway's cottage, Stratford's role has become that of a major transport "hub" Public Transport Experience
      • Is it time to remove what has become an archaic restriction, to allow operators more flexibility in setting up new bases by having a national system? Omnibuses
      • The East Anglia Transport Museum has been situated in the village of Carlton Colville, near Lowestoft in Suffolk since 1965 and, despite a relatively small site manages to pack in multiple forms of public transport, especially trams, trolleybuses and buses. Transport Illustrated
    • 1 comment:

      1. Mr Wigens is taking credit for a south-west wide initiative that almost all councils are in, though to be fair, PCC did lead the bid. It isn't a new system, but a small grant to help operators move to ITSO. Citybus and Go-Ahead are way ahead of the game and have already done so, First to follow next year. I'm sure Citybus will be taking debit cards etc by next year.


      Have something interesting to say? Please share it here!

      (Moderation is currently switched on so please allow a short while before your comment appears on the site. This is only to cut down on spam - not to cut out people who disagree with me!)