Public transport gets smarter


SMART ticketing for public transport continues to advance in South Yorkshire, with the launch of more tickets on smartcard and the installation of smartcard kiosks in interchanges.

TravelMaster 7 and 28 Day tickets - offering unlimited travel on bus, tram and train in Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham, Sheffield and South Yorkshire zones - will be available as smartcards from Friday 15 August.

Passengers will be able to buy the tickets on an electronic, credit-card sized pass instead of using the scratch cards and paper tickets currently available, making travelling around the region even easier.

Thirteen new smartcard kiosks installed across Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham, Sheffield and Meadowhall Travel Interchanges will also launch on 15 August. The kiosks vend smartcards and will allow people to buy tickets on these smartcards, or alternatively over the counter at Travel Information Centres.

Many buses in South Yorkshire are fitted with card-reader ticket machines and will scan smartcards. Hand-held devices are being used by tram conductors. Smaller bus companies’ vehicles and trains will accept smartcards when shown with a valid paper counterpart. Ultimately smartcards will be able to be used on all modes of public transport.

More tickets will be made available on smartcards over the next year, with the next multi-operator tickets available from Autumn 2014.

Smart ticketing in South Yorkshire is delivered by South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (SYPTE) together with its’ project partners YorCard and TravelMaster, and bus and tram companies.

As part of the phased project, work is underway to allow tickets to be loaded onto smartcards in various ways, such as online, on mobile phones, and pay-as-you–go type products.

SYPTE Deputy Interim Director General, David Young, said: “SYPTE is committed to making travel on public transport easier and more convenient for customers. This milestone for smart ticketing in South Yorkshire is the next step in revolutionising the way in which our passengers travel.

“We are excited to continue to progress South Yorkshire’s smartcard project, and carry out our promise to expand the range of tickets that are smart enabled, to modernise and future-proof our public transport network.”

TravelMaster Chairman, Duncan Roberts, said: “Getting from A to B can currently sometimes mean using different products with different operators. Making TravelMaster 7 and 28 Day tickets available as smartcards means a variety of journeys can be made using just one ticket, and people can buy tickets conveniently and easily using our new smartcard kiosks.”

The £1.34m scheme to introduce smartcards in South Yorkshire is funded by the Better Bus Area Fund (BBAF) - a grant awarded to SYPTE in March 2012 by the Department for Transport - together with funding from TravelMaster, and bus and tram operators that have equipped their vehicles with smartcard readers.

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