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Best smartcard to get

johncrossley

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Is there any advantage in getting one particular smartcard over another? I've got a Southern Key card with KeyGo, so they have emailed me to invite me to get another card in case I want a part time season ticket. I don't need one, but I thought I might take the opportunity in getting another one in case I want one in future. I thought it would be a good idea to get one from a different TOC so I don't get them confused.
 
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FatContr0ller

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Any smart ticket of any validity can be loaded onto any ITSO compatible smart card (at least this is what I was told during my training)
I had someone come with a smart card from a TOC with a name very similar to my own, and loaded a monthly for our line onto it with no problems
 

Aictos

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Any smart ticket of any validity can be loaded onto any ITSO compatible smart card (at least this is what I was told during my training)
I had someone come with a smart card from a TOC with a name very similar to my own, and loaded a monthly for our line onto it with no problems
So basically someone with a Southeastern Keycard could load a Thameslink smart fare of Bedford to Brighton on it?
 

yorkie

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Getting a smart card from any operator (in this case GTR is the TOC) should be no different to getting a smart card from any other TOC.
So basically someone with a Southeastern Keycard could load a Thameslink smart fare of Bedford to Brighton on it?
Yes, of course. A Southeastern product can be loaded onto a GTR smart card.
 
Last edited:

Jan Mayen

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I don't think Keygo or Tap2Go can be loaded onto to Smartcards Inthe same way tickets can. Don't you have to sign up through the relevant website?
 

py_megapixel

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Really bad advice, if you have a keygo card and need another non ABT card just select whichever you fancy .
Getting a smart card from any operator (in this case GTR is the TOC) should be no different to getting a smart card from any other TOC.
This is true on the relatively regulated world of the railway, where any ITSO card is (supposed to be) accepted by any TOC.

However you have to be a lot more careful with buses. I know it's not really the topic of this thread, but I feel it's worthy of mention anyway - it's often impossible to persuade bus company staff to load tickets onto another operator's card, except in cases where there is a scheme controlled by a PTE (such as TfGM's 'getmethere' cards) - even though they are technically compatible. Then there's the ticket machines, some of which check who issued the card before accepting it, refusing to accept cards other than those issued by that operator (there used to be some of those on the railway too but I think they're mostly gone now).

In short: ITSO on the railway generally works. ITSO on buses is a horrible mess with all paths seemingly leading to the passenger having to purchase a new card for every bus operator despite them all being compatible with each other.
 
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Presumably ITSO cards issued by bus companies can be used on the railway?

And maybe concessionary passes? This needs an education campaign, for staff and customers. I still think ITSO is a nice technology held back by corporate politics. Some TOCs will hold out against eTickets, and an alternative digital format that is widely understood and accepted by everyone in all senses of the word, is required. Also, let's get PlusBus working on ITSO.
 

MikeWh

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So basically someone with a Southeastern Keycard could load a Thameslink smart fare of Bedford to Brighton on it?

Getting a smart card from any operator (in this case GTR is the TOC) should be no different to getting a smart card from any other TOC.
Careful. GTR and Southeastern are both Govia, but not the same company.
Yes, of course. A Southeastern product can be loaded onto a GTR smart card.
Agreed.
 

Wallsendmag

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Presumably ITSO cards issued by bus companies can be used on the railway?
I’m not sure they can, the OID, Operator ID needs to be known to the system.

This is true on the relatively regulated world of the railway, where any ITSO card is (supposed to be) accepted by any TOC.

However you have to be a lot more careful with buses. I know it's not really the topic of this thread, but I feel it's worthy of mention anyway - it's often impossible to persuade bus company staff to load tickets onto another operator's card, except in cases where there is a scheme controlled by a PTE (such as TfGM's 'getmethere' cards) - even though they are technically compatible. Then there's the ticket machines, some of which check who issued the card before accepting it, refusing to accept cards other than those issued by that operator (there used to be some of those on the railway too but I think they're mostly gone now).

In short: ITSO on the railway generally works. ITSO on buses is a horrible mess with all paths seemingly leading to the passenger having to purchase a new card for every bus operator despite them all being compatible with each other.
There is one exception , we aren’t allowed to retail ScotRail flows onto Smartcards either ours or theirs.
 
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Haywain

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I’m not sure they can, the OID, Operator ID needs to be known to the system.
Which is probably where the problem lies with using ITSO on buses when they’re issued elsewhere, other than ENCTS passes.
 

py_megapixel

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I’m not sure they can, the OID, Operator ID needs to be known to the system.
Which is probably where the problem lies with using ITSO on buses when they’re issued elsewhere, other than ENCTS passes.
I'm unfamiliar with the jargon, and what you mean by it being "unknown to the system". But the problem needs to be solved if at all possible, as ITSO is supposed to be an interoperable system and as it stands it's miserably failing at that.

Another justification I've heard for not allowing it is liability - when trying to get a Go-Ahead subsidiary to issue a ticket on my Stagecoach card, I was told they won't do that because Stagecoach might hold Go-Ahead responsible if anything goes wrong with that card afterwards. That needs to be solved somehow as well.

ITSO and the transport industry have done an excellent job of making the underlying technology compatible and widely used - now they need to work on removal of the "red tape" policies which prevent the system from actually being any good.
 

JaJaWa

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Sounds like ITSO on rail has come a long way as you definitely needed the relevant operators card when I used it (many years ago). I believe even the SWT and EMT cards which both just said StagecoachSmart on were not compatible.

Unfortunately I was so put off that I’ve never tried again… wonder how many people are in my situation.
 

py_megapixel

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Sounds like ITSO on rail has come a long way as you definitely needed the relevant operators card when I used it (many years ago). I believe even the SWT and EMT cards which both just said StagecoachSmart on were not compatible.

Unfortunately I was so put off that I’ve never tried again… wonder how many people are in my situation.
I am. I avoid it like the plague for tickets where any other option is available.
 

Haywain

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Another justification I've heard for not allowing it is liability - when trying to get a Go-Ahead subsidiary to issue a ticket on my Stagecoach card, I was told they won't do that because Stagecoach might hold Go-Ahead responsible if anything goes wrong with that card afterwards. That needs to be solved somehow as well.
Is this a reference to the bus industry? If so, it should be better than this but with no governing body it is unlikely to change.
 

FatContr0ller

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Getting a smart card from any operator (in this case GTR is the TOC) should be no different to getting a smart card from any other TOC.

Yes, of course. A Southeastern product can be loaded onto a GTR smart card.
Mine was Northern and Great Northern, pax was close enough lol
 

Haywain

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There's a glimmer of hope because of the shift to enhanced partnerships and franchising.
I think my best hope will be when I get an ENCTS pass. Until then it will be PlusBus if I want a national interavailable ticketing scheme.
 

Wallsendmag

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I'm unfamiliar with the jargon, and what you mean by it being "unknown to the system". But the problem needs to be solved if at all possible, as ITSO is supposed to be an interoperable system and as it stands it's miserably failing at that.

Another justification I've heard for not allowing it is liability - when trying to get a Go-Ahead subsidiary to issue a ticket on my Stagecoach card, I was told they won't do that because Stagecoach might hold Go-Ahead responsible if anything goes wrong with that card afterwards. That needs to be solved somehow as well.

ITSO and the transport industry have done an excellent job of making the underlying technology compatible and widely used - now they need to work on removal of the "red tape" policies which prevent the system from actually being any good.
Each card OID ( the part of the number after 633597) need to be entered into the back office (HOPS) our production OID is 0264. All these codes need to be set us so that the back office can recognise the card
 

Argyle 1980

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The Southern Key benefits from being able to load railcard discounts for when using key go.
All depends where and how you use it as in to what benefits you'll get.
If it's for the purpose of the new part time tickets, then any card is good for it.
I've got a GTR one and a GWR touch one. The GTR one is very useful if in that area because of KeyGo but since Southern switched to Etickets, that options better for me so the card is redundant in that area for me. Likewise the GWR one locally for me in Cornwall is pretty useless because only STs can be loaded onto it and because Etickets are far more convenient.
Only time I ever use the two cards now are in Southeastern area where Etickets are barred.
A strange anomaly there though is the Southern Key won't open the ticket gates at Folkestone Central or Canterbury East but the GWR one will. The Southern one works fine at Dover Priory. A quick tap of either card onto the Southern on track app quickly brings up the ticket loaded to show through the barriers though.
 

Aictos

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The Southern Key benefits from being able to load railcard discounts for when using key go.
All depends where and how you use it as in to what benefits you'll get.
If it's for the purpose of the new part time tickets, then any card is good for it.
I've got a GTR one and a GWR touch one. The GTR one is very useful if in that area because of KeyGo but since Southern switched to Etickets, that options better for me so the card is redundant in that area for me. Likewise the GWR one locally for me in Cornwall is pretty useless because only STs can be loaded onto it and because Etickets are far more convenient.
Only time I ever use the two cards now are in Southeastern area where Etickets are barred.
A strange anomaly there though is the Southern Key won't open the ticket gates at Folkestone Central or Canterbury East but the GWR one will. The Southern one works fine at Dover Priory. A quick tap of either card onto the Southern on track app quickly brings up the ticket loaded to show through the barriers though.
The Key regardless of issued by Thameslink, Great Northern or Southern are all capable of loading railcard discounts on it indeed the following railcards are available:

  • 16-17 Saver
  • 16-25 Railcard
  • 25-30 Railcard
  • Senior Railcard
  • HM Forces Railcard
  • Annual Goldcard
  • Network Railcard
  • Disabled Persons Railcard*
  • Jobcentre Plus Discount Card
It also states that while it can be used on GWR services between Redhill and Dorking Deepdene and between Warblington and Brighton, you cannot start or finish your journey at Dorking Deepdene as there are no card readers at this station which makes it pointless to have the facility there in the first place if there are no card readers.
 

MikeWh

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which makes it pointless to have the facility there in the first place if there are no card readers.
It's not pointless if you are continuing from Dorking (Main) on Southern services.
 

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