Successful pilot scheme gives passengers more smart card top-up options
21st Century Technology’s Passenger Information team has developed a new ticket collection device for use at bus stops and shelters along key bus routes in the Midlands. The devices allow passengers to collect their on-line top-ups and ticket purchases made on the Centro web portal and apply them to their registered Swift Pay-As-You-Go smart card. Simply scanning their smart card on the device’s reader will update the card, applying the top-ups that have been paid for.
Following a successful pilot in Coventry, the new Centro Swift Pay-As-You-Go smart card is being launched across the region this month. The aim is for the Swift smart card to become an integral part of public transport throughout the Midlands, in the same way the Oyster Card is for London.
The new smart ticketing service gives passengers the ability to use a single smart card with a variety of ticketing purchase options to get to their destination. Although it is currently only available for use on buses, there are plans to extend the scheme to rail travel, as Birmingham New Street station already has smart card-enabled barriers in preparation.
21st Century Technology has been involved in the project since designing the pilot ticket collection device, collaborating with ECEBS RTD for the back-office fare collection and validation data, and Ingenico in order to make use of their NFC readers. Each device houses its own micro PC and 3G router, to allow communication even in areas with little data infrastructure.
21st Century Technology has supplied 83 of the devices along key routes. In addition to the bus shelters, there are nine bespoke pedestal devices, with a further eight NFC-powered screen solutions to come.
Mark Sampey, 21st Century Technology’s smart ticketing specialist comments: “It has been fantastic to assist Centro in delivering the Swift Card project. The sheer scope of hardware and software development that have been required to meet the specifications set by Centro are a testament to 21st Century Technology’s ability to deliver the full package – from bespoke equipment installed at unmanned locations to software that conforms to ITSO requirements.”