UK: Commuter operator c2c began offering season tickets on its c2c Smart card from November 3, including Travelcards valid for travel on the National Rail and Transport for London networks within Greater London. c2c Smart is the government’s pilot for the South East Flexible Ticketing programme to introduce smart ticketing across 12 companies operating trains into London.

c2c Smart cards are compatible with other cards meeting the national ITSO specification, including the Key smart card introduced by train operator Southern. Following the ITSO on Prestige project, they are also compatible with TfL’s proprietary Oyster smart card system.

The commuter-dominated nature of the c2c network which runs into London from Essex means that around 80% of its passengers are already travelling on season tickets. The c2c Smart product range is to be expanded within the next three months to enable passengers to load up to five non-season tickets purchased using vending machines or online onto their cards. However there are no plans for a ‘pay-as-you-go’ product, with a c2c spokesman telling Railway Gazette that the cost of longer journeys would require relatively large amounts of credit to be loaded onto a card.

The smart cards will also permit the roll-out next year of more innovative ticketing products, including automatic refunds when trains are delayed, carnet tickets and flexible season tickets offering a partial refund for off-peak travel.

The back office system for c2c Smart has been supplied by Applied Card Technologies, which was also responsible for the integration of Cubic Transportation Systems validators, Scheidt & Bachmann ticket vending machines and Atos issuing systems.