back to article Department for Transport pours millions into eTicketing

The UK's Department for Transport is to pour £20m into eTicketing outside London, and £60m into eTicketing within the smoke. The numbers come from the Department's Smart and Integrated Ticketing Strategy, which lays out who is to get the money and what for. It asserts the Department's belief that if only people didn't have to …

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"get punters onto public transport"

If any more "punters" get on public transport I think they will all die of suffocation. I wonder how often Lord Adonis takes a bus, and not just to get his photograph in the newspapers.

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FAIL

What a joke!

"It asserts the Department's belief that if only people didn't have to scrabble around for change they'd all be taking the bus every day."

Of course that's why i don't use the bus/train to get to work. Nothing to do with the fact that my 1 hour commute to work in my car would take almost 2 hours using public transport.

Leave the existing system as it is until such time as we as a nation can afford this sort of thing.

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FAIL

It works in London because....

.... there IS public transport.

With the exception of a couple of metros/tram systems and the tube in Glasgow there isn't ANY public transport in the rest of the UK. If you're lucky you might have more than the usual two bus companies but as for competition or sensible pricing - forget it! I can get a taxi into the centre of Leicester with the two kids and it works out cheaper than the bus - not to mention taking less than a quarter of the time. The PRIVATE bus companies have a legal duty to their shareholders, not their passengers and everyone outside London knows that there is no "transport policy" other than leave it to the market.

Then again why should we expect different from MPs - they all live in London, where it appears that market forces are not allowed to dictate transport policy and huge subsidies per passenger are in fact acceptable. Funny that eh?

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One small thing...

There's no such thing as the Department of Transport. Its the Department for Transport. Might want to correct that.

/pedantry etc

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And what about

Those people who rarely use buses, will there still be an option to pay cash? or will they be put off by having to faff about getting one of these e-tickets

I walk everywhere, local shops etc. only drive long distance and jump on a bus or train once in a blue moon.

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Stop

Not for me until they lock the Police out of it

So the Department against Transport want to 'upgrade' the e-ticket system to integrate it with mobile phone numbers so that their hundreds of thousands of fishing expeditions a year trawling through the Oyster database yield them more 'suspects' and phone numbers so they can go fish in your phone records as well? Oh well, good job they still have to go to a judge before snooping on you instead of investigating crime, oh no, sorry, the RIPA fixed that, the piggies can snoop all they want.

Tell you what, how about just making everybody in the country go to a Police station and fill in a form requesting authority to travel before we are allowed in a vehicle? Surely this is what they really want, it would certainly be more honest.

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Silver badge

Ha Ha

"if only people didn't have to scrabble around for change they'd all be taking the bus every day"

Round here it's not lack of change that's a problem, it's lack of buses. Vicious circle - crap service means people use cars, which means no demand for buses so no service improvements. We get four buses a day in my village, none of which actually go anywhere I want to go.

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Upgrade

And what about the upgrade from old Oyster cards to new ones? Will I have to pay for a new card?

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You didn't pay for the old one

The 3 quid for the prepay ones is a refundable deposit

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FAIL

@It works in London because....

It remains cheaper for me to drive my 27year old Landrover into Leicester than get the bus. If I take my wife that's the parking charge covered as well. Make the damn buses affordable before buggering around with frills like etickets. Right now we're paying a 1st class price for distinctly 3rd class service - some days its actually quicker for me to walk the 3miles than wait for a sodding bus.

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Stop

It's policy Jim, but not as we know it.

Not long ago, we in Greater Manchester were asked to vote for a "congestion charge" and get new funds for the trams and buses. At the time we were told that there was no "option B", a no vote would lose the funds.

The result of the vote was an overwhelming no.

Yet the money for the tram network extension is still available and work is already started.

I'm sure that there is a transport policy, it's just that nobody knows where they left it.

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Gold badge
Joke

Thisi s just another case

of Lord Adonis flexing his muscle.

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Troll

The real reason .....

The real reason for this new card system is that the old Oyster system, based on an NXP chip, has been cracked open, and there's no pearl inside. Sooner or later they'll have to replace the flawed Oyster with something new.

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Hang on a sec

Wasn't electronic ticketing one of the touted reasons for privatising all of the trains and buses in the first place, then the government have to do it because the operating companies can't be arsed to invest...

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Happy

I for one welcome...

...this.

Down here in Devon we have numerous bus companies; in Plymouth there is competition on many routes but the lack of cross-ticketing means that there is no effective choice if you've bought a return or a pass. Out in the country there isn't the competition (i.e. duplication) on routes but there are plenty of connections to be had between buses from different companies.

One ticket to rule them all, I say.

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I for two welcome

Don't know if it's changed, but it was the same in Liverpool.

Same route, same route number, different bus companies = return or multiple-trip tickets are useless.

First time I tried it, I got looked at like I'd arrived here through the LHC portal.

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Big Brother

ANPR extension

As others have already indicated, this has little to do with the announced target of making public transport easier. It has much more to do with tracking the movements of everybody, thus DafT's insistence on ticket barriers at all railway stations whether the train operators want them or not (see the saga of York for more details).

Of course with the success of the Copenhagen Climate Change Control talks, it will now be necessary to control the travel of individual citizens much more strictly than before. Expect Mr Plod to be enforcing a whole range of "you travel too much" offences in a few years' time.

AC because I am not yet ready for a stretch on Dartmoor.

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Pint

80s Legacy

Back when public transport was actually public, and not a mess of competing for-profit operations, you didn't even need to worry about compatibility.

Similarly, is it reasonable to expect competing operators to play along with systems which allow their customers to jump ship to other suppliers as easily as possible?

Surely the lesson here is that public transport can't be run as a for-profit concern, if you want a lot of people to use it. If you want to maximise the sheer number of bums on seats, rather than profit, you have to have a different model than a simple for-profit enterprise - if not outright renationalisation, then at least a social enterprise model which is constitutionally driven by common benefit (defined as maximum participation), notby proprietorial profit.

Just as with natural monopolies like utilities, running public transport as for-profit businesses will (doh!) maximise profit, not participation or customer service. This is empirically true, not an ideology or a political opinion.

The problem is partly that politicians have any ability to distinguish between empirical thinking and party policy beaten out of them by the whip's office the day they walk into Westminster. But they would only be open to that if they were unprincipled or stupid to begin with.

Or more likely, both.

Pint, because decent beer is the only thing which makes living in this stupid country bearable..

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Silver badge

Another NFC system?

I'll be ordering my Proxmark3 then...

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Anonymous Coward

Prestige

The Osytercard system isn't being upgraded to Prestige, it's been known as the Prestige system since 1998 when the contract was awarded, long before the marketing people came up with the Oyster brand. The new project is "ITSO on Prestige", i.e. the support of ITSO cards on the existing Prestige (Oystercard) system.

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Anonymous Coward

The Usual Crap

Re:

""It asserts the Department's belief that if only people didn't have to scrabble around for change they'd all be taking the bus every day."

Of course that's why i don't use the bus/train to get to work. Nothing to do with the fact that my 1 hour commute to work in my car would take almost 2 hours using public transport."

--------

It never ceases to amaze me how the government and its quangos use statements to justify their arguments which everybody else knows are patently untrue.

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Gold badge
FAIL

Does this inherit Oysters insecurity.

Only as El Reg reported at some length the hardware behind Oyster has been comproimised some time ago.

If this is more on tomp of the current hardware that makes more stuff to steal. Or are they upgrading the card hardware?

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Anonymous Coward

As long as... which they won't, of course.

I don't mind electronic ticketing, provided it retains the properties I find valuable in paper systems: Ease of use (And yes, managing chance is much easier than all that invisible electronic crap. If you complain you merely lack that basic skill.), it has to actually work even in adverse conditions (like when the power goes out or the network is down), and last but certainly not least, it must be anonymous. Even ``anonymous'' but with a seven year trail of your movements attached doesn't count. No traceable record keeping, no names attached, and hard guarantees that state clearly what will happen if a breach does occur.

It's all quite simple compared to the horribly complex systems that trash privacy the government usually comes up with, but nobody bothers to do it. Curious, curious.

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