Feeds

Somerset buses bin paper tickets, sniff journey-logging chips

The future is smartcard bus passes

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Somerset county council is to introduce smartcard electronic ticket reading machines for bus passengers with free passes issued by the authority.

The implementation will cover people are eligible for the English National Concessionary Travel Scheme (ENCTS), run by the Department for Transport in conjunction with local authorities.

Somerset said it hopes the new technology will help to speed up boarding times, as drivers will no longer have to issue paper tickets and journeys will be logged electronically. Microchips already inside cards for the ENCTS will allow pass holders to scan their cards when they get on the bus.

A spokeswoman for the council told GGC that by Christmas bus operators First and Stagecoach will go live with the new readers, with 11 smaller operators following early in the new year. She said that "some very small companies" did not want to participate in the project.

She also disclosed that a pre-payment facility for passengers outside of ENCTS will be available eventually, but a timescale has not yet been set for this.

Somerset was among councils in the south west which secured £640,000 to bring smartcard technology to small and medium operators in the region. Its share of the grant totals £184,000 and it has contributed £80,000 itself. Bus companies have also made an investment.

"The introduction of smartcard technology is a development that I'm very pleased to see on Somerset buses," said Harvey Siggs, cabinet member for highways. "The greatest benefit for passengers will be in the reduced time taken to board. Somerset county council and bus companies will benefit from accurate journey statistics collected.

"Every innovation we develop together like this helps the council and the bus companies maintain an efficient and more convenient service for passengers."

This article was originally published at Guardian Government Computing.

Guardian Government Computing is a business division of Guardian Professional, and covers the latest news and analysis of public sector technology. For updates on public sector IT, join the Government Computing Network here.

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
iOS 8 release: WebGL now runs everywhere. Hurrah for 3D graphics!
HTML 5's pretty neat ... when your browser supports it
Mathematica hits the Web
Wolfram embraces the cloud, promies private cloud cut of its number-cruncher
Mozilla shutters Labs, tells nobody it's been dead for five months
Staffer's blog reveals all as projects languish on GitHub
'People have forgotten just how late the first iPhone arrived ...'
Plus: 'Google's IDEALISM is an injudicious justification for inappropriate biz practices'
SUSE Linux owner Attachmate gobbled by Micro Focus for $2.3bn
Merger will lead to mainframe and COBOL powerhouse
iOS 8 Healthkit gets a bug SO Apple KILLS it. That's real healthcare!
Not fit for purpose on day of launch, says Cupertino
Netscape plugins about to stop working in Chrome for Mac
Google kills off 32-bit Chrome, only on Mac
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.