A four-year smart ticketing roll-out across the South West England bus network is on course to deliver economic benefits worth £35.5m by the end of 2015, according to an impact study from Plymouth University.
The project includes England’s first regional e-money stored-value transport ticketing scheme, ‘a multi-authority, multi-operator equivalent to London’s Oyster card’, says the university’s Centre for Sustainable Transport.
It lists gains in concessionary fare administration (£1.6m) and general back-office and payment operational efficiency (£1.04m). Increased ridership accounts for £8.9m, and additional income of £9.6m under the Government’s Bus Service Operators’ Grant Scheme for boosting smart ticketing implementation.
Finally, the study calculates savings of £4.9m in reduced congestion and emissions; and a regional economy supply chain boost worth £9.4m.
Plymouth University professor Jon Shaw said: ‘Our work constitutes a UK and EU first, and is being used by the Department for Transport (DfT) in support of developing the national agenda of introducing smartcard technology throughout England’.
The DfT’s smart ticketing programme manager has highlighted the South West’s role in sharing knowledge and helping to ‘define strategic smart requirements’.
The project has also helped to set up a support fund to aid community transport operators to introduce smartcard payments.