There seems to be good news on the horizon for users of the Southern travel network and public transport users as a whole as they have recently joined an ever growing list of companies that are starting to incorporate a smart ticketing system into their travel routes.
This implementation of an integrated smartcard system was launched on Wednesday 17th September at London Victoria by Transport Minister, Baroness Kramer. ‘The Key’, as it is known, will allow users to use the smartcard as their single go to ticket for rail, bus and tube travel across London and the south of the country, all on a single smartcard.
The overall aim for this transition to an all-encompassing ticket is to ensure that the passenger experiences a better, more efficient journey every time that they decide to travel. Baroness Kramer stated:
“Offering smart ticketing is an important part of our plans to deliver a better experience for passengers, providing greater choice, security and convenience and making it easier to get around. I congratulate Southern on achieving this important milestone”.
The Key is the first train operating company smartcard to be integrated with Transport for London’s Oyster Card readers which helps to improve the versatility of this type of smartcard across the south and into London. Hopefully this will pave the way for a more connected system between London and the surrounding areas and eventually across the country in the future.
This sort of approach appears to be a growing trend in the public transport sector, and really seems to make sense for people that use trains and buses every day as it can save them time and money in the long run. Oyster cards are well established in the public eye and are now a regular part of the daily commute for a Londoner, so expanding the infrastructure needed to accommodate these new smartcards outside of London is surely the next step in having integrated travel for everybody and these sort of systems becoming the norm for people outside of the Capital.
With a further 300 stations set to be smartcard enabled within the next two years, this certainly looks to be the case and the future is looking promising for promoting sustainable, integrated travel options.