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Smart cards are better value say customers

Smart cards are gaining popularity with customers and operators and contribute to higher customer satisfaction!


23 September 2013 - OXFORD’S pioneering bus ticketing system has triggered an eight percent surge in passenger numbers in the county, officials say.


In July 2011, the city’s two bus companies introduced Smartzone – a £10m smartcard scheme – and began co-ordinating their timetables and ticket operations in what was the first service of its kind in the UK.


The Passenger Focus group carried out a study on how Oxford’s scheme is working – and it says that it has led to three million more people getting on the bus.

A spokesman for the group said: “Smartzone is generally acknowledged as being a successful smartcard scheme, so we have carried out a case study in order to understand the reasons for this. Our study of bus users in Oxford found that overall satisfaction with bus services was high both among smartcard users and those using paper tickets. Almost nine out of 10 were satisfied”.


Oxford has one of the highest levels of bus use in the UK, with around 50 percent of all journeys in and around the city made by bus. Statistics published by the Department for Transport show bus passenger journeys in Oxfordshire have jumped from 36.3m in 2010-11 to 39.3m in 2011-12 – an increase of more than eight percent. The research shows 80 percent of smartcard holders use the bus five days a week or more compared to just 29 percent for paper ticket users.


In addition, more than a quarter of smartcard holders claim to use the bus more than they did before they had a smartcard. Martin Sutton, managing director of Stagecoach Oxfordshire, said: “Value for money and convenience are crucial to getting more people to switch from the car to greener public transport. It has made it easier for people to travel and helped improve the local environment in Oxford.”


The research also shows that full-time students use the smartcard most, with 66 percent of them using it, while 85 percent of pensioners tend to use paper tickets.


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