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Cubic unlocks ‘the key’ as Southern Railway connects to London’s Oyster Network

26 September 2014  •  Author: Cubic Transportation Systems

Cubic Transportation Systems today announced a major milestone with Southern Railway, extending the use of the ITSO ‘the key’ card across the entire Oyster network in London. Passengers on the Southern rail franchise can now use the single smart card from most stations to travel by rail, bus and Tube across the capital. 

Passengers have the option to upload their Travelcards to the smart card, rather than using a paper ticket. The functionality extends to the majority of ticket types including season, returns and Travelcards, available on most of the Southern network outside the London boundary.

Transport Minister Baroness Kramer recently celebrated the announcement with representatives from Southern Railway and Cubic at Victoria Station in London. Thousands of passengers and commuters use ‘the key’ every day on the main London-to-Brighton route and for connecting to Southern Railway’s network across southern England. The link to Transport for London’s Oyster network ensures that travelers can integrate seamlessly on journeys to and from London.

Roger Crow, senior vice president and managing director of Cubic Transportation Systems’ European operations said, “We are delighted that this project has come to fruition. Users of ‘the key’ card can access the entire Oyster network in London now that Travelcards have been added. What started as a limited scheme has become completely integrated into the existing Oyster network. We fully support Southern’s other new and innovative products which show how versatile the ITSO cards can be. We are proud that this teamwork-based approach sets the standard for the way to design, implement and deploy ITSO rail schemes across the country.”

‘The key’ was first trialed in November 2011 on Southern’s Brighton-to-Seaford line. It was subsequently rolled out across most of their network for journeys outside the Oyster network and those terminating at mainline stations in London. More than 26,000 customers have registered for it, with over 70,000 tickets issued to date. Each week, almost 1,500 tickets are purchased on ‘the key.’  The range of tickets available has gradually increased and top-up and pay-as-you-go capabilities are now being introduced. 

Previously, Travelcards were only available to purchase from ticket offices and machines, but now customers can also buy them on the Internet. In addition, Southern is currently trialing an account-based pay-as-you-go scheme, which will extend to Southern’s entire customer base by the end of this month. Last year, Southern ran a trial car-club scheme available to registered ‘key’ users, demonstrating the power of account-based travel to support road as well as rail-based travel.

Southern’s commercial director Alex Foulds said, “We are delighted that our vision has now become a reality. It’s fantastic news for thousands of our London commuters who can now use their ‘key’ smart card for their entire journey to and from work. We have worked very closely with the Department of Transport in developing this new product and the commitment shown by Transport for London and our suppliers has been crucial in making this the success that it is.”

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