Smart ticketing the way forward

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IN ANSWER to J Dudley’s letter on February 2, I am pleased to explain the purpose of the introduction of smart card technology on buses in Eastbourne.

Local Transport Minister Norman Baker announced his aspiration for all public transport in the UK to be covered by smartcard technology in September 2010.

He said, “Smart ticketing is already part of everyday life for millions of travellers in towns and cities across England.

“But this is only the beginning - my personal vision is to see seamless travel on one smart card throughout the country by 2020. I believe the roll-out of smart ticketing will attract more people onto public transport.”

In October 2010, Stagecoach Group became the first major UK bus operator to complete the installation of Government-standard smartcard ticket machines on its entire UK bus fleet outside London.

All 7,000 vehicles in Stagecoach’s regional bus operations are now ready to move forward with the acceptance of smartcard transactions, using the Government’s preferred ITSO technology.

At Stagecoach in East Kent and East Sussex, we accept national concessionary travel smartcards across our entire bus fleet and are working towards the full introduction of smart cards for our day, weekly and season ticket range.

Passengers will be able to use their StagecoachSmart travel cards to store their tickets electronically and will also have the option to pay for their travel for through hassle-free automatic monthly payments.

While we accept some customers will take a little time to adapt to the technology, we believe StagecoachSmart is another step forward in making it easier for people to travel and make integrated journeys using public transport.

Phil Medlicott

Managing director

Stagecoach

East Kent & East Sussex