Norfolk County Council is aiming to meet retail-type service standards in the new phase of its £2.5 million, three-year ‘holdall’ bus smartcard rollout.
Project manager, Laurie Egan, told Transport Network: ‘A passenger downloading a new ticketing product by 2100hrs one day will be able to use it by 0600hrs the next – in the same way as a store chain offering next day delivery’.
New products being added during 2015 to the holdall card, in addition to the current Norwich park-and-ride payment option and a sQuid travel purse, will cover school bus ID, travel for 16-19 year olds, a smart version of the Norwich area Fusion multi-operator ticket, and, in what will be a first for a UK rural authority, the extension of the last across the county.
All will meet ITSO standards for smartcard interoperability. The scheme could eventually expand to National Rail services.
Department for Transport head of smart and integrated ticketing, Jenni Borg, hailed the county’s progress as ‘groundbreaking’, and aimed at delivering a ‘bleeding edge passenger experience’ at last week’s 2015 Transport Ticketing Global conference in London. The DfT chose Norfolk because of its mix of rural and urban journeys and range of operators.