Rail passengers are set to have a new way to travel thanks to Avanti West Coast launching a smartcard scheme.
After a successful trial, passengers can now store tickets on the smartcard, preventing paper tickets from becoming damaged and being better for the environment.
The smartcard works by passengers purchasing tickets online and then loading it on to the smartcard using a ticket vending machine at one of the enabled stations.
Alternatively, the tickets can be loaded on to the smart card using a hand-held device used by an Avanti West Coast Customer Service Assistant or at an automated gate.
Avanti West Coast train managers can then scan the smartcard with ease.
These smartcards are free and can be ordered from the Avanti West Coast website.
The train operator, who operates trains between London Euston, Birmingham, Crewe, North Wales and Scotland, worked with Paragon ID to produce the cards using Integrated Transport Smartcard Organisation technology.
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 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.”
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.”
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