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Friday, May 24, 2024

Southern launch new Smartcard pilot: ‘the key’

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Under-Secretary of State for Transport, Norman Baker MP has launched Southern’s new Smartcard pilot, the key, which is taking place at stations between Brighton and Seaford.

The key is a reusable card which can be recharged again and again with various types of ticket including season 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 the brainchild of Southern’s parent company, the Go-Ahead Group which also owns Brighton & Hove buses and train operator London Midland who are also using the same smartcard technology. Go-Ahead, who won the Excellence in Technology category for the key at the National Rail Awards, is now installing ITSO ticket machines to its fleet of 2,000 buses outside of London. Southern has plans to integrate the key with the Brighton & Hove buses system to allow either card to be used on both companies.

Commenting on the launch of the initiative, 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.”

Around 100 passengers, stakeholders and Southern staff are taking part in the pilot who will report back on their experience of the system so that Southern can refine it before rolling it out across the remainder of the non-GLA Southern network over the course of the next year. The pilot is due run for three months.

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