pteg calls for beefing up of DfT ticketing strategy

Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Transport for London's Oyster card scheme provides a smart ticketing alternative to cash fares

Smartcard roll out should start with the big cities

‘integrate ticketing and patronage grows’ finds new pteg report

On the closing day of the consultation on the DfT's draft integrated ticketing strategy, pteg has welcomed the DfT's commitment to smart ticketing but calls for a clearer plan of action for working with the cities to roll out the smart integrated ticketing that urban public transport users want.

To tie in with the consultation pteg also released the findings of a new report into the benefits of simple and unified ticketing structures which shows that the introduction of such systems can lead to substantial patronage growth in the range of 6% to 20%, with some modes experiencing increases of the order of 40%.

Examples include:

  • Zurich – patronage up by 12% in the two years following the introduction of zonal and integrated ticketing
  • Freiburg - annual average growth of 7.5% a year in patronage since the simplification and integration of public transport fares
  • London – an estimated third of the increased use of public transport since 1999/00 can be attributed to Oyster and other ticketing simplifications

The PTEs have also set out their own aspirations for smartcards in a joint statement.

Chair of pteg, Neil Scales, said:

'We believe that simple, integrated and smart ticketing brings a host of benefits for public transport users. London's Oyster card shows how well passengers respond. In a relatively short period of time it has boosted patronage and become an intrinsic part of London life.'

'Now that London's ticketing has gone smart, moving onto the next tier of major cities is a logical stepping stone towards the ultimate goal of national smart ticketing.'

'But to make this happen for the eleven million people in our areas we need a clearer plan from DfT on how it intends to work with big city
transport authorities to deliver smartcards in the most cost effective, comprehensive and timely way. We fear that a cautious 'build it and they will come' approach from DfT will not be enough to fully realise the enormous potential that smartcards have to offer.'

A copy of pteg's response to the Government's draft ticketing strategy can be downloaded below.

Key points include:

  • PTEs have been the driving force - and major funders - of smart and integrated ticketing initiatives in the Metropolitan areas. The strategy needs to recognise this and give the PTEs a more integral role in making smartcards happen in the big cities
  • DfT 'BSOG' financial incentives for smartcards should be routed to the PTEs. The PTEs are in by far the best position to ensure that these subsidy flows are targeted in the most cost effective, locally relevant and impartial way in order to get comprehensive smartcard schemes in place as rapidly as possible.
  • The strategy should be clearer on the benefits of using smartcards to help bring about simple integrated ticketing structures - as oppose to reproducing 'disintegrated' fares structures in smartcard form
  • DfT Rail Division strategy on smartcards and ticketing should be better co ordinated with the wider work of the Department on promoting integrated ticketing for city regions
  • The DfT should explore how regulatory and legislative measures could be used in support of smart and integrated ticketing objectives

ENDS

For more information contact Jonathan Bray on 0113 251 7445 / 0781 804 1785

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