THE CITY of Toulouse has awarded Ascom a contract worth €24m to supply a replacement ticketing system for the VAL metro and local buses, and Norwegian train operator NSB A/S has awarded the company a contract for smart card ticketing at 159 stations.

The biggest challenge of the French project is linking the existing technology, installed by Ascom in 1992, with the 2000 new machines. The modern machines will be able to read the existing tickets and communicate with the present systems during the transition phase until the contactless smart cards are introduced in September 2006. The central management software will be able to analyse data on more than 700000 daily trips.

Ascom’s contract to supply NSB with a fare collection and station access control package is worth SFr20m. Credit card sized contactless smart cards will be used in a ticketing system covering 159 stations, 162 ticket vending machines, 40 service terminals and 345 ticket validators. Printed tickets will be issued for travel to destinations beyond the area covered.

To improve security, CCTV cameras have been installed at 68 of the stations. An alarm is triggered if sensors detect unusual activity at a ticket machine, and the video pictures are automatically supplied to the control centre.