Passengers commuting from East Anglia and Essex to London will soon benefit from the ease and flexibility provided by smart tickets, Transport Minister Baroness Kramer announced today (26 March 2015).
Train operator Abellio Greater Anglia has committed to providing its passengers with a smart ticket offer, under an agreement signed with the Department for Transport.
As part of the DfT-funded South East Flexible Ticketing (SEFT) programme, Abellio Greater Anglia will upgrade its ticketing systems and begin a phased introduction of smart cards, initially for season ticket products, on parts of its network.
This work will be done throughout 2015 with the aim of launching at the end of the year. Initial routes to benefit are between London Liverpool Street and Cambridge, Ely, Norwich and Southend Victoria.
Transport Minister Baroness Kramer said:
I am delighted by Abellio Greater Anglia’s commitment to introduce a modern smart ticketing system to their passengers. This is another example of the rail industry making progress, with the government’s support, in developing an easy and seamless transport network with the passenger at its heart.
Harnessing the latest technology holds the key to offering passengers the best possible services. This is especially important as we embark on major investments in our railways to build a stronger economy and fairer society.
For passengers this will mean:
- easier purchase of tickets online and collection at stations
- shorter queues at ticket offices
- more durable tickets that do not wear out as quickly as paper ones
- much quicker and more reliable passage through automatic ticket barriers
- potential for more flexible ticketing products that could not work on paper-based tickets
Managing Director for Abellio Greater Anglia, Jamie Burles, said:
Abellio Greater Anglia are excited to be participating in this initiative, which will provide significant customer benefits and make rail travel even more attractive and accessible.
Abellio Greater Anglia is the latest train operating company to commit to offering passengers smart ticketing through the SEFT programme.
Other operators who have previously signed similar commitments include c2c, South West Trains, Southern, and Govia Thameslink Railway.
Smart ticketing is already used in some parts of the UK, the most well-known scheme being London’s Oyster Scheme.
SEFT is a government sponsored programme, delivered in partnership with the rail industry and transport operators. It aims to promote seamless and convenient travel on different types of transport across the region by encouraging operators to introduce smart and integrated ticketing technology.