Cubic and Southern Railway Team Up to Provide ITSO on Southern and Transport for London Network
6 November 2013 • Author: Cubic Corporation
Cubic Transportation Systems and Southern Railway have joined forces to upgrade the ITSO smart ticket acceptance capabilities at 90 stations on the Southern Railway network outside London. This work is in conjunction with Transport for London’s (TfL) ITSO on Prestige project which has recently upgraded the smart card ticket acceptance at four National Rail stations within the London fares zone area to allow customers to use ITSO-based tickets as well as Oyster cards.
ITSO on Prestige is a Department for Transport (DfT) funded project to enable the TfL transport infrastructure around London to accept ITSO cards on its Oyster rail, Underground, bus and tram network. The requirements of this project have been refined over the last two years by a cross-industry group including the Association of Train Operating Companies and attended by major railway operators including Southern, ITSO, TfL and Cubic.
With London Victoria, London Bridge, Clapham Junction and East Croydon rail stations now capable of accepting ITSO smart card tickets, season ticket holders south of Gatwick will be able to complete their journeys using ‘the key’ – Southern’s branded ITSO smart card. As well as using season tickets in early 2014, Southern plans to launch Travelcards along with single and return tickets across its network. Passengers who buy their tickets online can collect them from the gate as they start their journey at stations south of Gatwick instead of having to queue to buy them from a ticket office.
To complement the ITSO deployment, Cubic has also implemented new gate lines at Gatwick Airport and Brighton, the biggest stations served by Southern outside of London. The next stage of the project will see Cubic deploy the technology to provide ITSO capability on the remaining Oyster overground gate estate, with the final stage enabling London Underground and buses to accept ITSO cards in early 2014.
To enable passengers to use ITSO smart cards across the Southern network, Cubic has installed its latest design of ITSO validators. Passengers can now “touch in” with ITSO cards at the majority of Southern stations and “touch out” at Southern’s London termini, or vice versa.
“This project is the UK rail industry’s leading deployment of ITSO on a commercial basis. All parties involved have discovered and resolved many issues during the process and have worked positively and collaboratively to deliver a great outcome. This approach, based on teamwork, sets the standard for the way to design, implement, test and deploy ITSO rail schemes,” explains Steve Chilver, operations director for Cubic Transportation Systems. “Because Cubic provides the ticketing system for TfL, we were in a unique position with Go-Ahead to create an additional test suite on site at Cubic’s UK headquarters to ensure seamless integration with the London smartcard network.”
Cubic project manager, Glen Fry, explains: “By having the TfL and Go-Ahead facilities located on one site, we were able to quickly and easily run end-to-end journey tests across the two estates, for example, from Brighton to Victoria. The frequent presence of Go-Ahead engineers on site also allowed us to work together on integrated testing with other suppliers’ equipment within the test suite and to build up valuable knowledge within both teams for the pilot and launch.”
Riz Wahid, head of retail development for Southern, said “We are very proud of what we have delivered for our customers. Working with Cubic we have been able to provide a robust system that allows us to provide the best technical solution to support our retail strategy. Working with Cubic and having their resources and experience on this project has been a key contributor to our successful delivery of the key across our network.”
Dave Lynch, IT and procurement director for Go-Ahead Group Plc, said, “Today is the end of a complex technical project made possible by our suppliers and partners TfL and DfT. It is at the same time the start of real innovation in ticketing for our customers in the UK rail industry. Future phases will deliver on the DfT’s door-to-door strategy providing truly multi-modal journey integration with TfL’s Tube and bus services on a single smart card. Cubic has proved again with this project that they are second to none in their delivery of complex IT projects delivering real passenger benefits.”