The £500k investment is being financed by Red Funnel and the DfT following a successful Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF) bid by Solent Transport (previously TfSH).
The new technology will enable Red Funnel to be part of the new Solent Go smart travelcard scheme which allows commuters and travellers in South Hampshire to purchase a single smartcard for hop-on and hop-off access to buses and passenger ferries in the region. The Solent Go card is an ITSO compliant multi-modal, multi-operator travelcard which makes paper tickets a thing of the past. Solent Go cards are easy to use and can quickly be applied for and topped-up online.
To facilitate Solent Go, Red Funnel is installing new self-serve ticket vending machines (TVM’s) and ITSO smart card readers at its ticket offices and terminals in West Cowes, East Cowes and Terminal 1 & 2 in Southampton.
In addition to offering Red Funnel passenger tickets and a top-up facility for Solent Go travelcard holders, the new TVM’s will give Island customers travelling via Southampton the ability to purchase through-tickets to any UK rail station including one-day travelcards.
For the first time, passengers will also be able to purchase rail tickets online from train operators and websites such as thetrainline.com and then collect their tickets when travelling from a Red Funnel TVM – a process known as TOD (ticket on departure).
The new technology will sit alongside manned ticket desks and is being installed over the next few months – it is expected to be fully commissioned during May 2015. More details of the Red Funnel products which will be available to Solent Go travelcard holders will be announced nearer the time.
Jonathan Green, marketing and communications director commented:
“We are excited to be part of the Solent Go travelcard scheme which will improve the accessibility of the Isle of Wight and enable Red Funnel customers to benefit from integrated ticketing within South Hampshire. Rail customers are also set to benefit as the investment will make it even easier to purchase through-tickets to or from East and West Cowes”.
A spokesperson for Solent Transport – the strategic lead in transportation for the region commented:
“We are delighted that the installation for new smart ticketing technology at Red Funnel’s four ticket offices has started this week. Financed through funding by the ‘A Better Connected South Hampshire’ – Local Sustainable Transport Fund project, this represents the next phase in the process for a totally joined up public transport system for South Hampshire. The Solent Go travelcard can also be used on buses as well as ferries, making it much easier for local people to get around”.