Southeastern launch The Key smart ticketing initiative
7 December 2016 • Author: Katie Sadler, European Railway Review
Operator Southeastern has launched its smart ticketing initiative. The Key has been rolled-out as part of the government’s plans for smart card ticketing.
UK Rail Minister Paul Maynard was present at the launch of Southeastern’s new smart card – The Key – at Sevenoaks station on 06 December. The £5.5 million project is part of the Department of Transport’s (DfT) South East Flexible Ticketing (SEFT) programme.
Southeastern passengers can now travel using the smart card for weekly, monthly or annual season tickets allowing paperless commuting and tap-and-go travel. Tickets can be purchased online or, outside London, from Southeastern Ticket Vending Machines (TVMs). Tickets are loaded on the Key card by tapping onto a smart card reader at the station, either on automatic ticket barriers or on TVM.
Unlike London’s Oyster, The Key does not hold funds or credit, just tickets. Passengers will be able to check the status of their tickets and journey history in their online account or at any Southeastern ticket office.
“Today is another milestone in our campaign to ensure smart ticket choices are available by the end of 2018”
Speaking at the launch, Rail Minister Paul Maynard said: “Today is another milestone in our campaign to ensure smart ticket choices are available by the end of 2018 to every passenger who wants one. The Chancellor recently announced £80 million to help us to do this and, within my department, we have a special team set up to work with the rail companies to make change happen.
“More than eight billion of the familiar orange paper tickets have been issued since they were first introduced in 1983 but in this day and age many people expect to be able to choose a smart ticket, especially for a season ticket which can be worth thousands of pounds. I am delighted our investment has enabled Southeastern to offer this major improvement for their passengers.”
David Statham, Southeastern’s Managing Director, added: “This is all about making life easier for our passengers. It’s great news for commuters, because it means they can beat those Monday morning queues. The Key is quicker, sturdier and more secure than paper – and it offers huge potential for future exciting developments that can help to give our passengers better journeys. We’ll continue to work closely with the DfT as more developments are explored for delivery in future franchises.”