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Smartcard Replaces Travel Tickets

Transport for London

5 November 2002

London's Mayor Ken Livingstone today launched a trial of a £1.2 billion smartcard ticketing system which is set to replace tickets and travelcards for transport services across the capital.

The smartcard, called Oyster, will be used by almost 80,000 Tube and bus staff in a controlled trial ahead of its wider introduction from Spring next year. The credit card-sized cards contain a embedded microchip and can be detected by sensors on Undergound ticket barriers and readers on buses. For some, the Oyster card will carry their season ticket while others will, in the future, be able to use the card for a new PrePay facility.

The system has been designed, developed and is being managed by the TranSys consortium for Transport for London and London Underground.

Martin Howell, Chief Executive of TranSys, said: ‘Today marks an important milestone. For the last four years we have been working behind the scenes to design and install the infrastructure to support one of the most advanced, flexible and integrated ticketing systems of its kind in the world. We are now moving into the phase where we are starting to test the system and preparing for its introduction to customers.’

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