Brighton and Hove City Council wanted residents and commuters to enjoy all the benefits of Smart ITSO Ticketing, but the smaller bus operators in the area, Compass and Big Lemon, were not smart-enabled and only accepted paper tickets. As a result, passengers were unable to use the town's main ticketing system if it involved those operators. Not only did this antagonise passengers, a research study revealed the lack of smart ticketing acted as a barrier to travel, and was potentially stifling both competition and the growth potential of those operators.
As Compass, Big Lemon and the council lacked the resources to introduce or manage a smart ticketing system, Hammock was asked to provide a solution.
Working alongside Compass, Big Lemon and the council, Hammock introduced a commercial, interoperable ITSO scheme, developed and deployed in only 20 weeks, that allowed bus passengers to use any operator in the town, irrespective of which one supplied their ticket.
We run the ITSO back office and provide its software support and there is 24-hour service monitoring through Service Desk and support arrangements with suppliers. As the relationship between all operators is managed by Hammock, any commercial changes made by Brighton and Hove City Council, such as fare prices, routes served and products offered, is relayed to all operators, ensuring parity of acceptance. Compass and Big Lemon also benefit from swift fault resolution and improvements to the smartcard scheme operation.
As part of our Managed Service we also perform upgrades to back offices hardware to improve service monitoring, performance, resilience and security.
The overriding success of our Smart Ticketing Managed Service is that residents and commuters benefit from the convenience, interoperability and value-for-money of using a large operator's network; Compass and Big Lemon benefit from increased revenues and the freedom to concentrate on their core business as all retail and settlement is managed entirely by Hammock; the council benefits from genuinely more competitive tenders as the playing field is now level. Southern Key Smartcard holders with a PLUSBUS ticket can also travel on any of the buses.
There is growing awareness among other councils and, based on results, Compass Travel wants to adopt the council's bus ID smartcards to support their tender for scholars' services specified by West Sussex County Council.