RDG moves ahead with standardised smart ticketing
THE Rail Delivery Group has signed a contract with a smart ticketing company which brings the prospect of standard electronic ticketing for all National Rail operators closer. The RDG is acting in advance of Great British Railways, which will inherit the scheme in due course. Unicard Ltd will provide its Host or Operator Smart Ticketing Processing System, or HOPS, which is being described as ‘secure’ and ‘stable’. It will also work on other modes of public transport, and ‘accommodate future growth’. The system will be suitable for smartcards and also digital alternatives, such as smartphones. A number of operators adopted smartcards and related technology when they were franchises, but until now there has been little consistency, and Unipart says its system will allow 17 operators to migrate from their present arrangements. Unicard CEO Sean Wilkinson said: ‘We have collaborated very closely with RDG to optimise the provision of our HOPS managed service, to support the evolving needs of RDG and the train operating companies in line with the Williams Rail Review.’ RDG chief information officer Simon Moorhead added that the system ‘also has the potential to support other forms of smart ticketing in the future’.