A REUSABLE card for rail commuters travelling between Brighton and Seaford has been launched by the town’s MP Norman Baker.
Known as the Smartcard, it is an alternative to paper tickets, and is the brainchild of Southern’s parent company, the Go-Ahead Group.
Mr Baker recently launched the Smartcard at Lewes Railway Station where he joined Southern directors, senior staff and other representatives to get the initiative off the ground.
The key is a reusable card which can be recharged again and again with various types of tickets.
The pilot will be at all stations on the line from Brighton to Seaford where special equipment has been installed to support the Smartcard system. The key is a greener alternative to paper tickets and should be easier and quicker for passengers to buy and use tickets.
Transport Minister Mr Baker said, “Smart ticketing is already beginning to make a positive impact across the country, and now it is giving passengers the confidence to get out of their cars and onto public transport. I am sure the same can be true for rail travel in Sussex.
“My vision is of a transport system where we can enjoy seamless travel on one smartcard. I will be following the progress of this trial closely.”
The Go-Ahead Group, brainchild of the key, also owns Brighton & Hove buses and train operator London Midland who is also using the same Smartcard technology.
Southern’s development director, Alex Foulds, said, “After nearly two years in the planning, this really is a landmark occasion to have the key working on the Southern network. The key smartcard will evolve over time with many possibilities for the future.
“For example in time we will be able to tailor ticket products. There will also be opportunities for integrated travel tickets such as rail-bus tickets, and, in time, we will be introducing Pay As You Go functionality so passengers will be able to use it in a similar way to the Oyster card.”
Ticket products that can be loaded onto the key during the pilot once people are registered include weekly and monthly season tickets online and weekly season tickets at self service ticket machines.