27 January 2012
Bus and rail operator Go-Ahead further expanded its award-winning smartcard the key this week when Bus Users UK Chair Gillian Merron launched the latest roll-out at Go South Coast in Bournemouth.
Smartcard ticket machines have been installed on all Go-Ahead’s 2,000 buses outside London and the key is successfully up and running across most of its bus network and on parts of its Southern and London Midland rail franchises. In all, 140,000 passengers are now actively using the smartcard and 60,000 journeys outside London are made every day using the key.
David Brown, Go-Ahead's Group Chief Executive said:" We are absolutely committed to giving our passengers the kinds of tickets and products that meet their requirements. Smart ticketing through the key means we can introduce new offers such as integrated bus and rail tickets, inter-operable tickets, lifestyle offers and pay as you go. The key is proving a big success with passengers. In Oxford, only 40 per cent of passengers now pay on the bus, and in less than two years, the key has been made available at eight of our 11 businesses outside London. Our aim is to see the key being used by half a million passengers by early next year.”
Gillian Merron of Bus Users UK said:"I am delighted to launch the next phase of Go-Ahead's roll-out of the key. The smartcard is hugely convenient for passengers because it means they can hop on the bus without having to worry about having the correct change. It also reduces boarding times for operators, so services are more punctual."
Go-Ahead is marking today's launch at Go South Coast with a new podcast at go-ahead.com/thekey and a key facts area which will keep track of the smartcard's progress over the coming year. Over the next two months, the key will be introduced in Southampton and Salisbury in February, Bournemouth and Poole in March and on the Isle of Wight in April. Metrobus will also introduce the card next month.
Andrew Wickham, Managing Director of Go South Coast said: “The key will deliver real benefits for passengers. It will mean people can better control what, when and how they buy tickets and, by encouraging customers to switch to the key, we will all be doing our bit for our carbon footprints by reducing the amount of paper being used every year on producing paper tickets.”
Gillian Singh, Group Marketing Director for Go-Ahead said:"The key is becoming highly recognisable across our operations now and is uniquely branded to fit each different operation - an approach which echoes Go-Ahead's distinctive localised approach to running its businesses. The key really does unlock a wealth of smarter travel options for our passengers, enabling us to offer lifestyle products like car and bike hire, a car scrappage scheme at Go North East, plus self-service and on-line ticket buying."
For further information, please contact:
|Sam Hodder, Group Corporate Affairs Director
||020 7821 3928
Go-Ahead is a leading UK public transport operator, providing high quality services in the bus and rail sectors. Employing around 22,000 people across the country, over one billion passenger journeys are undertaken on our services each year. We are committed to operating our companies in a safe, socially and environmentally responsible way and are proud to have been reaccredited with Carbon Trust Standard after taking action on climate change. In addition to the travelling public, our customers include the Department for Transport, Transport for London (TfL) and local authorities.
Go-Ahead is one of the UK’s largest bus operators. With a fleet of around 3,900 buses, we carry, on average, around 1.7 million passengers every day. Our operations are focused on high density commuter markets. We have a strong presence in London, with around 21per cent market share, where we provide regulated services for TfL. We operate deregulated services in Oxford, East Anglia, the South East, Southern and North East England. We also have a yellow school bus joint venture in North America.
The rail operation, Govia, is 65per cent owned by Go-Ahead and 35per cent by Keolis. It is the busiest rail operation in the UK, responsible for nearly 30per cent of all UK passenger rail journeys through its three rail franchises: Southern (which includes the Gatwick Express), Southeastern and London Midland. In December 2009, Southeastern began operating the UK's first high speed domestic rail service between Kent and London, significantly reducing journey times.
Certain statements included in this press release contain forward-looking information concerning the Group’s strategy, operations, financial performance or condition, outlook, growth opportunities or circumstances in the sectors or markets in which the Group operates. By their nature, forward-looking statements involve uncertainty because they depend of future circumstances, and relate to events, not all of which are within the Company’s control or can be produced by the Company. Although the Company believes that the expectations reflected in such forward–looking statements are reasonable, no assurance can be given that such expectations will prove to have been correct. Actual results could differ materially from those set out in the forward-looking statements. Nothing in this press release should be construed as a profit forecast and no part of these results constitutes, or shall be taken to constitute, an invitation or inducement to invest in The Go-Ahead Group plc or any other entity, and must not be relied upon in any way in connection with any investment decision. Except as required by law, the Company undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statement.