Public transport users in South Yorkshire are a step closer to benefitting from new smart ticketing products designed to make travelling around the region even easier.
South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (SYPTE) and its project partners YorCard and TravelMaster are developing an integrated system for multi-operator smart ticketing products to ultimately be used on all modes of public transport across South Yorkshire.
The system will allow passengers to buy their multi-operator travel tickets on an electronic, credit-card sized card instead of using the scratch cards and paper tickets currently available.
Many buses have already been fitted with necessary equipment to process ‘smart’ transactions, and hand held devices are available to be used by tram conductors.
Multi-operator products will be made available as part of the TravelMaster ticketing range.
All English National Concession Travel Scheme (ENCTS) passes in South Yorkshire are now ready to use as smartcards on most bus and tram services. Stagecoach also has its own range of smart products already in use.
From November 2013 SYPTE will have completed the work necessary to introduce the sale of multi-operator smartcards in all Travel South Yorkshire Information Centres.
During November we will start to see Annual TravelMasters sold as smart tickets.
Initially, these passes can be used as smartcards on Stagecoach Bus and Supertram services, but are also valid for travel on other bus and train services in the traditional way.
As part of a phased roll out of products, the project will continue to make additional ticketing products available as smartcards throughout 2014.
The ultimate goal is for customers to be able to load ticketing products onto their smartcards in various ways, including online, on mobile phones and via dedicated kiosks across South Yorkshire.
TravelMaster Chairman, Duncan Roberts, said: “This marks the important first step along a path which we have been developing since the Yorcard Pilot and heralds new opportunities for ticketing. As other operators adopt smart equipment in the next few months we will convert a range of products to smart format and be able to look at enhancing the TravelMaster range and opportunities to purchase them.”
SYPTE Interim Deputy Director General, David Young, said: “We take very seriously our responsibility to continue to improve travel for the people of South Yorkshire and the introduction of smart ticketing will revolutionise the way that passengers pay for their transport needs.
“It’s our customers that matter to us the most so we are taking care to ensure these products meet their needs, therefore we want to make sure each development is operating to its full potential before we expand the complexity, so a phased roll out is the most appropriate approach.
“The introduction of this new technology demonstrates SYPTE’s commitment to making travel easier and more convenient for customers and we hope it will encourage even more people to give public transport a go. This, in turn, will help reduce congestion and carbon emissions and help deliver a better transport system for the whole county.”
A dedicated website has been developed to provide updates on the project. For more information visit travelsouthyorkshire.com/smart
To learn more about TravelMaster products visit sytravelmaster.com or call in to a Travel Information Centre and speak to a Travel Advisor.
The scheme to introduce smartcards in South Yorkshire is funded by the £1.34m secured as part of the Better Bus Area Fund (BBAF) - a grant awarded to SYPTE in March 2012 by the Department for Transport.