GTR Southern ticket gate and Class 455

UK: The Rail Delivery Group has awarded Unicard a contract to supply a fully-managed Host Operator or Processing System which will enable train operating companies to streamline the processing of smart rail tickets, monitor travel patterns and reduce their costs.

The cloud-hosted, multi-tenanted HOPS will manage and process all ITSO accredited smart ticket products, transactions and passenger journeys, providing scalable support for multi-modal ticketing including other forms of transport.

When it goes live, the system will consolidate the HOPS of 17 different TOCs onto a centralised platform. This will allow capacity to be scaled up and down to manage peak activity, and make it easy to set up new configurations, as well as adding additional TOCs as part of the transition to Great British Railways.

RDG Chief Information Officer Simon Moorhead said HOPS would provide ‘the ability to centralise and streamline processing capabilities, onboard new train operators and track smart card data and transactions. It also has the potential to support other forms of smart ticketing in the future’.

The contract runs for four years, with provision to extend for up to a further three years.

Unicard CEO Sean Dickinson said ‘we have collaborated very closely with RDG to optimise the provision of our HOPS managed service, to support the evolving needs of RDG and the train operating companies in line with the Williams Rail Review’.

He said ‘this win also contributes to Unicard’s wider rail strategy, where we are providing a capability that removes the barriers to entry for third-party providers, and extends the opportunity to local authorities looking to offer smart ticketing for rail.’