Avanti West Coast (the operator of long-distance trains out of London Euston) is launching a new smartcard scheme for its services.
The idea with the smartcard is that you will be able to store tickets securely on one card, preventing issues around paper tickets being mixed up or damaged.
It works simply by customers purchasing a ticket online and then loading it on to their smartcard at a station using an enabled ticket vending machine (TVM), an automated gate or a hand-held device used by Avanti West Coast Customer Service Assistants.
Once the ticket is loaded, it can then be scanned at ticket barriers or by a train manager on board with ease.
If you want a smartcard, you can order it from the Avanti West Coast website free of charge. You can order it at https://www.avantiwestcoast.co.uk/tickets-and-savings/ticket-types/smartcards
Avanti is introducing the smartcard, adding another option for those who don’t want to carry a paper ticket. Currently, digital tickets account for Avanti West Coast customer journeys.
For those season ticket travellers, if ordered online, they would be delivered in them in the post and in most cases a record needed to be kept in case a replacement or refund was needed. With the smartcard, the details are stored in the booking system making this process much more user friendly.
The cards themselves are based on the Integrated Transport Smartcard Organisation (ITSO) smartcard standard – which could in theory allow tickets from other operators to be stored on the card (with ITSO being used by a majority of train and bus operators in the UK). This was developed by Paragon ID.
Sarah Copley, Executive Director, Commercial at Avanti West Coast said:
“We are really pleased to be introducing this smartcard for our customers, especially those using season tickets, as a convenient way of travelling and saving time in the process.
“As we have seen with digital ticketing, the smartcard will enhance customer experience as well as remove the need for multiple paper tickets which has an obvious impact on sustainability. Traditional versions are also susceptible to damage which can make them unusable, so this will help solve that problem as well.”
Rail Minister, Chris Heaton-Harris, said:
“The introduction of the smartcard scheme will allow passengers to choose a modern alternative to the paper ticket, providing simpler journeys and reducing time spent in stations.
“As we build back better from the COVID-19 pandemic, this Government is committed to smarter ticketing. Avanti West Coast’s scheme will allow for more convenient travel and will improve the passenger experience once it is safe to return to the railways.”
Sarah McLaughlin, Account Director at Paragon ID, states:
“We are delighted to build on our strong relationship with Avanti West Coast and work with them on this exciting new project to support the roll out of smart ticketing across its UK network.”
Welcome to Economy Class and Beyond – Your no-nonsense guide to network news, honest reviews, with in-depth coverage, unique research as well as the humour and madness as I only know how to deliver.
Also remember that we are part of the BoardingArea community, bringing you the latest frequent flyer news from around the world.