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Public Transport: Tickets

Volume 474: debated on Wednesday 2 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps she is taking to encourage the deployment of train-bus Oystercard-type arrangements in major conurbations other than London. (195948)

The smartcard and integrated ticketing programmes are being rolled out progressively. Plus Bus (add-on bus travel to a rail ticket) is growing and passenger transport executives already have integrated bus and train tickets, safeguarded through rail franchise agreements. The national concessionary bus passes are being introduced on ITSO smartcards and with older people being the biggest users of bus, this gives the potential for further smartcard initiatives.

The key to more integrated smart ticketing is to establish ITSO on rail in London and elsewhere. ITSO smartcards are being rolled out through new rail franchise agreements and train operators are encouraged to engage with local authorities on ticketing schemes.

The Northern Way have identified smartcards as a tool which would support economic growth by making public transport more attractive; and are considering how they might potentially encourage take up in the north.