Brighton and Hove buses have announced the introduction of a smartcard ticketing system which will be implemented this summer. As with other smartcard systems, like the Oyster card in London, users are required to ‘touch in’ on every journey rather than purchasing a paper ticket each time.
The scheme is being introduced due to high customer demand and also due to the amount of commuters travelling between Brighton and London every day. The smartcard will make travelling easier as the current paper-tickets can be easily lost. The smartcard will also allow easy online renewal and top-ups and can be cancelled if stolen.
The government is very keen on ‘smart ticketing’ and is working with all major transport service providers to develop the technology. The cards being issued will all be compatible with each other so the same card can be used throughout the UK.
A spokesperson for Brighton and Hove Bus and Coach Company said: “Students will no longer have to worry about queuing up to buy a ticket in a shop any longer; once they have their card, they can just renew their ticket online or whenever is convenient for them.
“Technology is continually evolving and ‘smart’ ticketing opens up many new opportunities.”
Some students at the University of Sussex welcomed the proposal. One final year English undergraduate student said: “I think this is a good idea because anyone who has experienced Brighton and Hove buses previously knows it is inconvenient to use the current daily bus passes. There’s so much faffing around. The card would be handier to always have on one’s person.”
The company hopes to work with Southern Railway and eventually link with Transport for London to enable a smooth travelling experience.
However these plans are still under development and will not be implemented for a few years.
The transfer from paper to plastic will begin after a series of tests have been completed and then long term bus pass holders will be transferred over first with short day passes being the last to transfer over.