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Written Statement  - Update on Smartcards

Edwina Hart, Minister for Economy, Science and Transport 

This statement provides an update on progress with the Welsh Government’s smartcard schemes.

To date we have developed and deployed a smartcard system that supports our concessionary fares scheme. This includes the back-office systems that manages the transactions and supports the over 700,000 cards in circulation.

Using these systems, we have also developed and successfully trailed ‘GoCymru’ – the Wales Transport Entitlement Card. This involved Cardiff Bus, Newport Bus and 6 Operators in North Wales using local Post Office branches as retail outlets and Traveline Cymru as the customer service interface.

Currently, a re-tendering exercise is underway for the contract for the management and support of our smartcard back office. Tenders are currently being evaluated and we are planning to award the tender at the end of February 2014.

The new four-year contract is designed to deliver enhanced functionality for the concessionary fares scheme including:

  • a web portal where concessionary customers can apply or renew their card online;
  • an option to develop a system where operators can be automatically reimbursed; and
  • enhanced reporting to provide a better understanding of usage trends and identify possible fraud.

The new contract is also the means by which we can continue the development and deployment of “pay-as-you-go” travel for all modes of transport and a wide range of complimentary services.

I am keen to develop this technology further and to this end officials are exploring options for how smartcards could support the metro concept, leading to flexibility in use between bus and rail and utilising contactless technology to make the user experience quicker and easier to use.