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Mobility Measure

Developing integrated transport ticketing(12.9)

A smartcard was introduced for use on the transport network in order to make travelling by public transport easier and more attractive.

Implementing sustainable mobility

Making public transport more convenient via integrated ticketing and the use
of smartcards was an integral part of Preston’s overall plans to increase the use of
this sustainable mode.

The smartcard ticketing product was introduced with the aim of enabling all bus operators in the area to provide passengers with the opportunity to purchase a single “smart” ticket using a card that could also be used to purchase other services.

Specific goals were to:

  • reduce barriers to the use of public transport and thus reduce dependency on the private car;
  • introduce integrated ticketing products for public transport; and
  • improve the image of public transport and raise customer satisfaction in order to increase public transport patronage.

How did the measure progress?

Bus operators were equipped with appropriate ticket machines, compliant with ITSO (the government-backed non-profit organisation that defines and develops the UK-wide technical specifications for smart ticketing), as well as the necessary depot equipment. However, technical issues related to ticket machine/smartcard software delayed overall progress of the measure. There was also some concern amongst operators about the perceived possibility of revenue abstraction by competitors and potential adverse impacts on the financial viability of some services.


What were the outcomes of the measure?

All bus operators in the project area converted to an ITSO-compliant smartcard-based ticketing system.  The system was also capable of processing smartcard transactions for concessionary travel reimbursements and parking-related schemes.

Half of the people surveyed who used the test versions of the interoperable smartcard in Preston, the product worked every time. Instructions on how to use the smartcard were clear and the fact that the smartcard could be recharged on board a bus was generally appreciated. The smartcard was the preferred method of payment among respondents on all bus routes.

This fact sheet has been updated by a third party on the basis of available information (not by the city itself), therefore we do not guarantee any data with respect to their content, completeness or up-to-dateness.

Basic Information

November 2011

Thematic Areas