Smart train tickets hit West Yorkshire

Smart train tickets hit West Yorkshire

Train passengers in West Yorkshire will be the first to trial new technology which allows them to use their smartphone as a ticket.

Launching this autumn, the trial will see a small group of West Yorkshire Combined Authority staff using smartphones as a replacement for their ticket.

Host Card Emulation (HCE) technology developed by ITSO combined with NFC (Near Field Communication), enables the phone to emulate a physical contactless smartcard.

Services between Huddersfield and Leeds stations are being targeted for the trial, with both stations having ticket gates which can work with the technology.

Staff will be able to test purchasing and downloading tickets to their phone as well as using the phone for validation purposes at ticket barriers.

Cllr Keith Wakefield, chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Committee said: “Having been a leading player in the development of smartcard travel through our MCard scheme, I am delighted the Combined Authority is a partner in this exciting pilot.

“It has the potential to benefit customers across the north and further afield, and we believe that customers will welcome the opportunity to use their smartphone to purchase a ‘smart ticket’, safe in the in the knowledge that the transaction is secure.”

The pilot project trialling ITSO HCE will inform work being undertaken by Transport for the North, which has smart ticketing as one of its main goals in achieving its vision to boost the North of England’s economy.

Steve Wakeland, ITSO’s general manager, said: “The delivery of the Transport for the North trial is a significant landmark in the development of HCE with ITSO on smartphones.

“We have been working very closely with our members and suppliers on the solution for the trial, and through their knowledge and expertise we have been able to identify various technologies and approaches relating to HCE.

“We will continue to explore these different options, with the objective of identifying viable solutions for broader adoption and rollout by our members.”

ITSO is working with smart technology suppliers Rambus Ecebs and Penrillian to support West Yorkshire Combined Authority in delivering the project.

The technology behind the mobile app was developed by Rambus Ecebs and the app, developed by Penrillian.

Rambus Ecebs managing director, Russell McCullagh said: “As the demand for interoperable smart ticketing grows, so does the use of mobile to deliver new and exciting services. Rambus Ecebs are delighted to support ITSO in delivering truly mobile and secure smart ticketing."

Penrillian CEO Joanne Thompson added: “An Oyster-like card may be a convenient way of travelling but that bit of plastic is a cost to both the traveller and transport operator and those cards can be easily misplaced.

“The aim of this trial is to go beyond travel cards and turn the mobile phone into the ITSO ticket itself, making it even more convenient to use public transport.”



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